How to Print in Draft Mode in Windows

Change print quality to draft mode and save time and ink

Printer ink is expensive, and printing high-quality documents can take a long time. But if you're printing items such as a shopping list, notes, or anything that's just for your personal reference, consider printing in Draft mode. When you change the print quality to Draft, your document will print more quickly and use less ink, so you'll save both time and money.

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

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

How to Print Using Draft Mode in Windows

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

Woman at a computer with a printer set to Draft Mode
  1. Open Control Panel on your Windows computer.

    In the search box on the Taskbar, type control panel, or access Control Panel via the Start button in older Windows versions.

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

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

  3. Right-click the printer and choose Printing Preferences.

  4. Depending on your 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 your 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 high-quality, full-color printing mode.