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  • Windows 10 Default Printer Management

    Posted on rmallen07 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Windows 10 Default Printer Management

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      • #1957722 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I am an IT Support for a local government and we are upgrading all of our PC’s to Windows 10.  One of our departments uses a software that won’t let you select your target printer on the fly.  It always prints to the default printer.  We have turned off the Windows 10 feature to manage the default printer, but it keeps turning itself back on.  We even did this is the Registry.  They use a network connected copier to print that is installed on the server and connected to them by group policy.  It is quite a problem when they print 600 page docs and it goes to a locally connected label printer!  This is happening on multiple computers so we have ruled out profile, network connection or network port.  We even moved them in AD to an OU that did not have any group policies assigned to it to rule out some policy that was effecting it.  Has anyone had any experience with this?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


      • #1957780 Reply
      • #1957809 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you for that link.  They mention not sharing a printer from your pc, but our printers in question are shared from a server and mapped to the local pc via group policy.  I wonder if this is the cause due to being shared, regardless of where it’s shared from?

      • #1957946 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        Which version and SKU of Windows 10?


      • #1957951 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I believe it’s a common problem since the crazy “default printer = last one used” setting was introduced four years ago. It’s only ever useful for road warriors, so why make it the default?

        Managing your default printer: We are introducing a new mode that makes your default printer the last printer you used. This change helps ensure the best printer is preselected in inbox print dialogs. You can manage this behavior in Settings > Devices > Printer & Scanners to change this to the previous way Windows handled default printers. The ability to set a default printer by network location has been removed.

        Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 (OCTOBER 12, 2015)

        Several people at used a VBS script called by a scheduled task to check and if necessary reset the default printer every minute, and it seems to have worked well for a bunch of them; the script is in post #22: Default printer keeps changing
        (Ugly but practical?)

      • #1957958 Reply


        We are using Windows 10 Pro version 1809 and 1903.  This occurs on both versions.

      • #1958061 Reply
        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m curious if you tried setting the default printer in the devices and printers option in the old control panel instead of using the Windows 10 settings app?

        Does your group policy admx file match the version of Windows 10 you are using? Perhaps check the group policy shown below.


        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      • #1958173 Reply
        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        What printer (driver)?  I often have to fiddle with and find a more polite (read older and without the gee wiz doo dads) to work how I want to print.  So if it’s a PCL6 see if you can find a PCL5.  Ensure it’s set up by IP, not by the Webprint address thing (that never works right).

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      • #1958810 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Mr. Natural,

        Thank you for the advice.  We have tried setting the default printer from both the Windows settings and the old Control Panel.  We have set the default domain policy to turn off the management of the default printer by Windows.  This was not previously set.  We will monitor the situation and see what happens.


        We are using UFRII drivers from the mfg of the copier.  It’s the only one that actually works for us.  Our next step if the group policy setting above doesn’t work is to add the printers directly by IP address to the computer without getting it from the server.  The one being connected from the server IS mapped by IP, but shared from the server.

        Thank you to all who responded, this definitely gives us a place to proceed.  I will update and let you all know how it works out.

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