Multiple Default Printers in Windows 7

Windows7_v_rgbThis is a little bit off the normal stuff I post (or at least the stuff I’ve been posting) but I wanted to share this great trick with all of you currently using Windows 7 – utilizing multiple default printers.

I use a laptop that moves between several different networks – my home network, our offices in Las Colinas, Redmond, Austin, and Houston, as well as my parent’s house and the local School where my kids attend. In each of those networks, there is at least one, usually several different printers. Before Windows 7, printing a document this way was always a 2-step process – I’d either have to manually select a specific printer when it came time to print something, or go into the printer settings and choose a new Default Printer before pressing the “Print” button. This was a real pain, and I often forgot to reset the printer when I moved on to the next place, causing the printing to not work as expected.

Along comes Windows 7 and this Multiple Default Printers feature – it’s really, really easy to set up:

Open the Printers list from Control Panel (or from the Search bar), select one of your printers, and click on the Manage Default Printers button in the toolbar at the top: select_printer
Select the “Change my default printer when I change networks” option, and associate your network to a printer using the dropdown lists provided.  Don’t forget to choose “Add” or “Update” as the case may be to apply your changes.  You can always go back and change them later if you want to. default_printer

And that’s it!  Easy, right?  If you get stuck, here’s a video I found that walks you step-by-step through the process:

Click to watch the video


Hey – if you’re not using Windows 7 – what are you waiting for?  Go out and get it TODAY!

2 thoughts on “Multiple Default Printers in Windows 7

  1. Hi Chris,
    I have a software package that prints documents and labels. I would like to be able to set the label printing to always print from my label printer. At the moment it prints from the default printer. It is obviously possible to choose the printer from the list, but as i often forget to do so it can be a headache. I downloaded Automatic Print Switcher, but that only allows to default for each application, not 2 defaults in one app.

    1. Did you ever get an answer to your question. I have a similar issue where I want to be able to direct output to one of two printers right from the menu ribbon.

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