How to Set a Default Printer in Windows 10

Simple ways to set your Windows 10 default printer

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Printers & Scanners, select your printer, click Manage, and then Set as default.
  • Go to Control Panel > View Devices and Printers and right-click your printer to pick Set as default printer.
  • Go to Settings > Printers & Scanners and check the box for Let Windows manage my default printer.

This article walks you through two easy ways to set your default printer on Windows 10 and let Windows manage it for you. Use whichever method is quickest or easiest for you.

Set the Default Printer in Settings

You can go right to the Settings on Windows 10 and pick the printer you want to use by default. This makes printing with a click faster with your preferred printer.

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen and select Settings.

    Open your Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Choose Devices at the top of the window that pops open.

    Devices highlighted in Settings in Windows 10.
  3. Pick Printers & Scanners on the left and select the printer you want to use on the right.

    Printers & Scanners highlighted on the left and your printer highlighted on the right.
  4. Below your printer’s name, click Manage.

    The Manage button highlighted below your printer's name.
  5. On the final screen in the process, click Set as default.

    The Set as default button highlighted.

Set the Default Printer in Control Panel

Some Windows 10 users still like to use the Control Panel for managing settings and devices. If you fall into this group, follow these steps to set your default printer in Control Panel.

  1. Open Control Panel as you usually would. You can also use the Search box to locate it quickly if you have it in your Taskbar. Just enter “Control Panel” into the Search box and then select it from the results.

    The Control Panel app highlighted in search results.
  2. Under Hardware and Sound, choose View devices and printers. If, for some reason, you don’t see this option, click Hardware and Sound and then pick Devices and Printers.

    View Devices and Printers highlighted under Hardware and Sound.
  3. Scroll down to Printers, right-click the printer you want to use, and pick Set as default printer.

    Right-click the printer and pick Set as default printer in the contextual menu.

Set the Default Printer as the Last One Used

One other handy option on Windows 10 is to set your default printer as the last one you used at that location. So if you travel between your home and physical office, for instance, you can have the default printer set as the one you used most recently at that spot.

  1. Click the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen and select Settings.

    Open your Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Choose Devices at the top.

    Devices highlighted in Settings in Windows 10.
  3. Pick Printers & Scanners on the left. Below the list of printers on the right, check the box for Let Windows manage my default printer.

    Check the box for Let Windows manage my default printer.

Take Control of Your Printer on Windows 10

Rather than selecting the printer you want to use each time, set your default printer instead. Then you can print much faster with fewer steps.

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