One of the little annoying issues in Windows 10 is how it manages printers. Whether you’re bouncing back and forth between a personal printer and one at the office, or you use a laser printer and inkjet printer at a location, you may not realize it until you print that your default printer is no longer the default.

Printers can come with many issues like print queue not clearing or network printer not connecting. However, dealing with default printer settings is most important, as you don’t need to select a printer before every print.

Here’s the quick fix to stopping Windows 10 from choosing what your default printer is so you can set it yourself. 

Stopping Windows 10 From Changing Your Default Printer

Use Cortana to open the “Settings” app.

Windows 10 settings app search

Once open, search for “Printers” and click on “Printers & scanners.”

(4) printer settings

Scroll down and slide the setting under “Let Windows manager my default printer” to the off position.

Turn off Windows managing your default printer

Now, in the Settings app, search for “Printers” again.

This time, click on “Devices and Printers.”

Control Panel Devices and Printers settings

This’ll open the Control Panel where you can see the list of all printers available to your PC. This will pick up any printer you’ve set up on your Windows 10 machine.

As you can see, my work computer is what’s checked by default now. That’s because Windows 10 identified that as the printer I use the most and made it the “default” without alerting me.

I want my HP printer to be my default at all times, so pick the printer you want to be your default and right-click on it.

Set as default printer in Windows 10

Now, click “Set as default printer.”

There’s no need to restart your Windows 10 computer or anything like that. Now, until you change the default printer, whatever you choose will remain the default printer in the future.

If you juggle multiple printers, I recommend setting the default printer to the printer you use the most. Whether this is at home or work, this will cause the least amount of frustration. It’s aggravating when you print to the wrong printer, and we know printer spools have a mind of their own and don’t like to be cleared until a restart takes place.

By configuring Windows 10 to let you set the default printer, you can avoid printing to the wrong printer during the day. This is a stupid setting in Windows 10, to begin with, especially one that was hidden and recently implemented without much notice. It’s another reason Windows users need access to what Windows updates entail.


As you can see, setting your default printer in Windows 10 is easy. It’s also very easy to turn off Windows managing your default printer. While Microsoft continues to make little tweaks that cause so many headaches is beyond me. Hopefully, they start focusing on making consumer lives easier rather than implementing changes that just make life more complicated on a platform that’s supposed to be easy to use.