How to set the Default Printer in Windows 10

Symptoms

You are using Windows 10 and you have set a specific printer as your default printer in Windows 10 but the default printer changes to other printers once in a while.

Cause

In November 2015 Microsoft released a major upgrade for Windows 10 (Build 1511). This major Windows 10 update introduced a new setting to change the default printer in Windows 10. When turned on, the default printer is the last used printer.

For example:

Brother 5450DN Laser Printer is your default printer in Windows 10 and for a special case you need to manually select your printer to a different printer driver. With this setting turned on, your default printer in Windows will not be Brother 5450DN Laser Printer anymore but the last used printer.

Change via Printers & Scanner Settings (Recommended)

  • Go to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners

  • Disable the setting Allow Windows to manage my default printer by un-ticking the box

  • Then click on the printer you want to be the default printer, select Manage and then select Set as default

Change via Registry

  • Open the Registry Editor (Right mouse click Windows StartRunRegedit)

  • Navigate to this key:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

  • For name “LegacyDefaultPrinterMode” set the “Value data:” to “1” to return to the old Default printer behaviour in Windows 10

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