How to Print in Draft Mode in Windows

Use rough draft print mode to save money on ink and print faster

Changing print quality to a draft mode can help save on both time and ink. When printing in a faster mode, not only will the print be finished quicker than it otherwise would, but the amount of ink used will be reduced.

You might want to print in a lower quality if... well if the quality doesn't need to be high. Examples might include if you're printing a shopping list or a homemade birthday card. However, you probably don't want to use draft printing if you're wanting a high-quality print, like when producing photos.

How to Print Using Draft Mode in Windows

Setting up the printer in fast or draft mode might be drastically different depending on the printer you're using, but no matter how you do it, it shouldn't take longer than just a couple minutes.

Person a computer.

To skip over the first few steps and jump right in with Step 4, just begin printing something. When you're to the point of selecting the printer, choose the Preferences button.

  1. Open Control Panel. You can find Control Panel by right-clicking the Start menu in Windows 10/8 or through the Start button in older versions of Windows.

  2. Choose View devices and printers from the Hardware and Sound section. Depending on your version of Windows, you might need to look for Printers and Other Hardware. If you see that, click it and then continue with the View installed printers or fax printers option.

  3. On the next screen, right-click the printer icon you want to have print in draft mode, and then choose Printing preferences. There might be more than one printer listed here, and possibly several other devices. Typically, the printer you've been using will be marked as the default printer and will stand out from the rest.

  4. This is where your results may vary from what's written in the following steps. Depending on the printer software you have installed, you might see a very basic screen with a Print Quality tab or you might see lots of buttons and confusing options.

    No matter the printer, you should see some sort of option called Draft or Fast, or some other word that indicates a quick, ink-saving print. Select that to enable the quick print option. For example, with a Canon MX620 printer, the option is called Fast and is found under the Print Quality section of the Quick Setup tab. With that printer, you can make the new changes the default by checking the box called Always Print with Current Settings.

  5. If you want to conserve your color ink, choose the grayscale option, which should be near the same place as the draft/quick printing option.

  6. Click Apply or OK on any of the printer windows you've opened.

The printer will now print in draft or grayscale for as long as you keep the settings intact. To change it, simply follow the same procedure.