How to Prevent Windows 10 From Changing Default Printer Automatically

Microsoft has implemented a new behavior called Let Windows manage my default printer for default printer in Windows 10 build 10565. This new option will now change your default printer to the last used printer at your current location automatically to ensure the best printer is preselected in inbox print dialogs.

Let Windows manage my default printer option is checked/enabled by default. This can be annoying for some users who might prefer to set the default printer manually because Windows 10 will set the new default printer automatically every time you select a printer different from the default one in the print dialog. For example, if you occasionally use a different printer or use Acrobat PDF Printer, you have to change the printer back to regular default when next time you print.

How to Prevent Windows 10 From Changing Default Printer Automatically
How to Prevent Windows 10 From Changing Default Printer Automatically

This article will show you how to prevent Windows 10 from changing the default printer automatically and manage your default printer manually.

Table of contents

Uncheck Let Windows manage your default printer option
Disable Let Windows manage your default printer option using Registry Key
Enable Turn off Windows default printer management User Group Policy
Set as default printer in Settings
Set as default printer in Control Panel
Set as default printer in Command Prompt

Uncheck Let Windows manage your default printer option

Step 1: Click the Start menu.

Step 2: Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app. Or you can press Windows + I to open it.

Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app.
Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app.

Step 3: Click the Devices option.

Click the Devices option.
Click the Devices option.

Step 4: Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu.

Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu.
Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu.

Step 5: Scroll down and locate the Let Windows manage my default printer option, uncheck it. You have to turn off this option in order to manage the default printer manually.

Uncheck Let Windows manage my default printer option.
Uncheck Let Windows manage my default printer option.

Disable Let Windows manage your default printer option using Registry Key

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open a Run box.

Step 2: Type regedit and press Enter to open up the Registry Editor. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges when prompted by the UAC (User Account Control).

Step 3: Navigate to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Step 4: Check if the Dword LegacyDefaultPrinterMode exists. If it does not exist, right-click on the right pane then select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new DWORD as LegacyDefaultPrinterMode.

"Check

Step 5: Double-click on LegacyDefaultPrinterMode and change it’s value to 1 to turn off Let Windows manage your default printer option. Click on the OK button and close the registry editor.

Double-click on LegacyDefaultPrinterMode and change it’s value to 1 to turn off Let Windows manage your default printer option.
Double-click on LegacyDefaultPrinterMode and change it’s value to 1 to turn off Let Windows manage your default printer option.

Step 6: Restart the PC.

Enable Turn off Windows default printer management User Group Policy

Start from Windows 10 Version 1607, you can disable Let Windows manage my default printer function through User Group Policy if you have a larger network domain environment.

Step 1: Go to Group Policy Editor.

Step 2: Navigate to the following location: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Printers

Step 3: Enable a policy called Turn off Windows default printer management.

Enable a policy called Turn off Windows default printer management.
Enable a policy called Turn off Windows default printer management.

Set as default printer in Settings

Step 1: Click the Start menu.

Step 2: Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app. Or you can press Windows + I to open it.

Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app.
Click on the gear icon on the left sidebar to open the Settings app.

Step 3: Click the Devices option.

Click the Devices option.
Click the Devices option.

Step 4: Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu. The list of printers and scanners installed on your system shown.

Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu.
Click the Printers & scanners option in the sidebar menu.

Step 5: Click the printer you want to set as the default printer.

Step 6: Click the Manage button.

Click the Manage button.
Click the Manage button.

Step 7: 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 make sure the Let Windows manage by default printer option is unchecked)

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

Step 8: The change will take effect immediately and the printer you selected will now be set as your default printer. Exit Settings app.

Set as default printer in Control Panel

Step 1: Open the Control Panel in the icons view.

Step 2: Click on the Devices and Printers icon.

Click on the Devices and Printers icon in Control Panel.
Click on the Devices and Printers icon in Control Panel.

Step 3: Right-click on the printer you want to set as your default printer.

Step 4: Click on the Set as default printer option in the context menu.

Right-click on the printer you want to set as your default printer. Click on the Set as default printer option in the context menu.
Right-click on the printer you want to set as your default printer. Click on the Set as default printer option in the context menu.

Step 5: If you have the Let Windows manage my default printer option checked, the printer dialog box with the message Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer will prompt, click on the OK button to confirm.

If you have the Let Windows manage my default printer option checked, the printer dialog box with the message Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer will prompt, click on the OK button to confirm.
If you have the Let Windows manage my default printer option checked, the printer dialog box with the message Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer will prompt, click on the OK button to confirm.

Step 6: The printer will now be set as the default printer.

Set as default printer in Command Prompt

Step 1: Open Command Prompt and run it as administrator.

Step 2: Type or copy-paste the following command into the elevated command prompt and press Enter: wmic printer get name,default
This command will show you the list of installed printers and the currently set default printer will have TRUE showing in the Default column to the left of the printer name.

Command to the list of installed printers and the currently set default printer will have TRUE showing in the Default column to the left of the printer name.
Command to the list of installed printers and the currently set default printer will have TRUE showing in the Default column to the left of the printer name.

Take note of the printer name that you like to set as the default printer.

Step 3: Type or copy-paste the following command into the elevated command prompt and press Enter: wmic printer where name="printer name" call setdefaultprinter
Note: Replace the printer name with the one you like to set as the default printer.

Command to set dafault printer.
Command to set dafault printer.

Step 4: Close the command prompt.

Published by Emma Watson

, an Information Technology Engineer By qualification who loves to write about Windows, macOS and technical solutions for various error and problems. Coming from a solid background in PC building and software development, with complete expertise in touch-based devices, I am constantly keeping an eye out for the latest and greatest!