How to Print in Draft Mode in Windows

Change print quality to draft mode and save time and ink

Not only is it expensive, printer ink never lasts as long as you want. When you print items such as a shopping list, notes, or anything that's for your reference, consider printing in Draft mode. When you change the print quality to Draft, your document prints more quickly and uses less ink, and you'll save both time and money.

Here's how to set up a printer to use Draft mode by default. Change the settings back when you need to print something of higher quality, such as a proposal or photos.

These instructions apply to computers with Windows 10 as well as older Windows versions. Specific settings differ according to the printer make and model, but the general idea is the same.

Person sitting at desk, looking at computer, with printer on the side
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How to Print Using Draft Mode in Windows

It's easy to set up a printer to print in Draft mode. Your specific printer may refer to this setting as "fast mode" or something similar, but the process yields the same result.

  1. Open Control Panel on your Windows computer.

    In the search box on the Taskbar, enter control panel. In older Windows versions, access Control Panel by selecting the Start button.

  2. From the Hardware and Sound section, choose View Devices and Printers.

    On older Windows versions, you may need to select Printers and Other Hardware > View installed printers or fax printers.

    View devices and printers under Hardware and Sound
  3. Right-click the printer and choose Printing Preferences.

    The Printing Preferences option
  4. Depending on the printer, you'll see a variety of tabs, including options like Color and Quality. Click around to explore these tabs' settings.

  5. Select the Quality tab or something similar and look for a Draft or Fast option. Select it to enable the quick-print option.

    For example, with a Canon MX620 printer, the option is called Fast, and it's found under the Print Quality section of the Quick Setup tab.

  6. Select the Color or Grayscale tab. If there's a Grayscale option, select it to save color printer ink.

  7. Select Apply or OK to save the settings.

  8. The printer will now print in Draft mode and grayscale while these settings are intact. Follow the same procedure to change back to a high-quality, full-color printing mode.