How to automatically switch printers based on network

Take the hassle out of using different networks and printers with this simple setting

If you often work at different locations--say, the office and your home office--you don't have to manually switch the default printer every time you go from one place to the other. Windows has a built-in setting for automatically switching the default printer based on the network you're connected to.

Note that this setting is only available in Windows 7 and 8 Premium and Enterprise versions, though. If you have one of those, here's how to set up the printer settings.

  1. Head to Control Panel > Printers (or Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices & Printers).
  2. For your current network, right-click on the printer you want as the default and make it the default printer, if you haven't already.
  3. Next, click the "Manage default printers" button in the toolbar.
  4. Select the "Change my default printer when I change networks" option.
  5. Finally, you can use the dropdown boxes to match the printer you want to use on a specific network.
windows default printers

That's it. Now you don't have to select a different printer every time you want to print. Windows will choose the default one for you based on your network.

[h/t Liberian Geek]

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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