Normally, Windows 10 will automatically set the printer you used most recently to be your default printer. For some people, this can be annoying. Luckily, you can turn this feature off and manage your default printer manually. Here’s how.

How to Stop Windows 10 from Automatically Changing Your Default Printer

First, open “Settings” by clicking the “Start” menu and selecting the gear icon on the left. Or you can press Windows+i on your keyboard to open it quickly.

In Settings, click “Devices.”

In Windows 10 Settings, click "Devices."

In Devices, select “Printers & Scanners” in the sidebar menu.

In Windows 10 Settings, click "Printers & Scanners."

In “Printers & Scanners” settings, scroll down and uncheck the box beside “Let Windows manage my default printer.”

In Windows 10 Printers & Scanners settings, uncheck "Let Windows manage my default printer."

After that, you might want to stay in Settings to manually change your default printer—see the instructions below. Otherwise, exit “Settings,” and the change you just made will take effect immediately.

RELATED: How to Manage a Printer in Windows 10

How to Manually Change Your Default Printer in Windows 10

If Windows Settings isn’t already open, open it up and navigate to Devices > Printers & scanners.

In Windows 10 Settings, click "Printers & Scanners."

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First, scroll down and locate the “Let Windows manage my default printer” option (see previous section). If the box beside it is checked, uncheck it. You have to turn this feature off to manage your default printer manually.

In Windows 10 Printers & Scanners settings, uncheck "Let Windows manage my default printer."

After that, scroll up on the same “Settings” page and locate the list of “Printers & scanners” installed on your system. Click the printer you’d like to make your default, then click the “Manage” button.

In Windows 10 Settings, click the printer you'd like to set as default and select "Manage."

When the individual printer settings page appears, click the “Set as default” button.

(If you don’t see this button, go back to the previous page and uncheck “Let Windows manage by default printer.”)

In Windows 10 printer settings, click "Set as default."

After that, the printer you selected will be set as your default printer. Exit Settings and print as much as you’d like. Just watch out for that expensive ink. Happy printing!

RELATED: Why Is Printer Ink So Expensive?

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Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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