Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Default settings for printers are located in Properties for the printer icon. Settings configured there should become the default settings.

I run Windows 7 and use an HP Officejet 6500, wireless printer. Is it possible to change the default print quality from normal to draft rather than having to go through multiple steps for each separate document to be printed?

In this excerpt from Answercast #82, I show where to go to change default printer settings in Control Panel.

Default settings for printer

Well, I don't know for sure because this actually varies from printer to printer - but I can certainly tell you how to find out.

What you need to do is to go into the printer section of Control Panel and locate the specific printer icon that we're talking about.

Right-click on it and select Properties.

Set printer properties

Now, in Properties (depending on how the manufacturers of the printer driver set everything up) there may be options to control things like: print quality, paper size, orientation, and any number of different things.

You may have to drill into Advanced Options or explore some of the other tabs associated with it. But the bottom line is that the settings you change in the printer icon, in Control Panel, should become the default setting for the printer when it's used elsewhere on your machine.

So that's where I'd have you start: go check out the printer's icon in Control Panel; right-click on it; check on Properties (or potentially "page setup" if it's there) and see if changing there doesn't give you the default setting that you're looking for.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6185 - December 27, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

December 29, 2012 6:23 AM

Great info, thanks. Have been dogged by this for years!

komo tan
December 29, 2012 2:48 PM

Whilst on the topic of printer, IS Panasonic' PANAFAX UF-590 really OBSOLETE? I can not find a driver that works in Win XP SP3, leave alone Win 7 or 8. Help or any suggestions on work-around will be greatly appreciated.

bob D.
December 30, 2012 10:03 AM

i been buying computers and printers and etc since first ones y1986;;;;; i finally switched to laser, Brothers, with FAX, ($750) but jammed it badly by accidently dropping small object into feed, so i trashed that and bought a Brothers Laser 7020 (without Fax) it came with a tube of laser black stuff that i guess turns into print on paper;;; the tube of black stuff lasted well over 2,500 pages, then i bought another tube $104 at stationary store because at the time WallyMartie did not carry same, but next tube i did buy at WM at $80, am well into the advert # of 2,500 pages printed or copied, etc and so have not yet shoved #2 into the machine;;;;; always the print comes out super clean - super clear better than print shop smudges, etc, so for the buy-price less the black stuff price the machine cost only $40 but on the second black fill i think the entire $40 is eaten up thus i got the machine for free and it produces excellant copy, is also a copier and scanner, but no FAX (on windows can set up so can send FAX to FAX tele via email fooling around, but why would i want to spend the tele call if long distance when the email itself is free?)

---anyway, Leo just spend another lifetime explaining his views on "change", i agree why would anyone want to have no-change in their life? - it is change that makes the world go round and round, all else fades into the backround and is more or less forgotten and or not used or used but only until a newbie comes along...

so thanks Leo, for your informative site (nope i have not a cell phone nor any of those new gadgets only because i dont have time to fool with them since 101% of my time is spent on the net which i have not used up - yet)

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.