When I open up Devices and Printers from Control Panel, I see a list of printers installed on my Windows 10 computer but don’t see an icon that indicates which one is the default printer, like we normally see on a Windows 7 computer.
Why is that? How does Windows 10 know which printer to print to when I print a document?
Windows 10 actually has a new feature that automatically manages my default printer. It’s turned on by default, and when it’s on, Windows will set my default printer to be the one I used most recently at my current location.
For example, when I connect my laptop to my work network and send a document to Printer1. The Printer1 will be set as my default printer for my work network but will not be the default one when I take my laptop home and connect it to my home network. The printer I used last time when I am at home will be set as default instead.
That means, with this new feature, I don’t have to manually change my default printers back and force. Windows will automatically do the job for me based on the network I am connected with.
While the feature is pretty cool and useful, some of you may not like this behavior and would like to have one printer set as default at all time. Here is how you can disable it.
The setting is available in Windows 10 version 1511 (build 10586) or later. Go to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners, and switch off the “Let Windows my default printer” setting.
Alternatively, you can also disable the setting through Group Policy if you have a larger network domain environment.
Go to Group Policy Editor, navigate to the following location:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Printers
And enable a policy called “Turn off Windows default printer management.”