How to Fix Windows Randomly Changing the Default Printer
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Look, sometimes computers are weird. You expect them to do one thing, and they decide to do something else entirely. It can feel like you’re running into a wind tunnel sometimes.

For me, my Achilles heel in the world of computer stuff has always been printers. It’s a daily struggle in the constant battle between man and machine. Windows doesn’t always make this easier, as it sometimes just decides it wants to change my default printer, leaving me waiting for ink to slather itself onto paper forever.

Thankfully, there are ways to fix the problem and make the printer you actually want your default one, in spite of Windows’ best efforts to sabotage your plans.

  • Head to Settings.
  • Click Devices.
  • Click Printers & scanners.
  • Under the section Let Windows manage my default printer, change the tick box under When turned on, the default printer is the last used printer to the Off position.

Now, Windows won’t mess with your printer, so even if you use another one, the next time you print, whatever you’ve set as default is used.


Speaking of which, if you haven’t set your default printer in Windows 10, here’s how it’s done:

  • Above the area you just were is a list of printers, click the one you want.
  • Click Set as Default under it.

Now, with these two quick adjustments made, the printer you want to use as your default will actually stay that way!

Image Credit: FabrikaSimf via ShutterStock

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  1. Doug
    February 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    My Windows 10 Devices & Printers screen does NOT have any toggle switch to turn on or off the Windows management of one's default printer. Also, when I attempt to change the default printer in Devices & Printers nothing happens.

    FYI I am using Windows 10 on a new MAC Pro via Parrells - note my desired default printer does not appear in the IOS device selection screen (it's an older HP workhorse - a laserjet 4050 TN).

    Ideas on how to fix???