Automatically change default printer when you change your network in Windows 7

It’s a common scenario where people move with their laptop from one network location to another all the day. For example I connect to my home network in morning, office network in day and sometimes to my friends network when i visit him.

Now with change of network, devices which in this case is Printer also changes. Windows allows you to keep one printer as default but that doesnt change when you change to another location right ? Yes but with Windows 7 its little smarter. Now Windows 7 allows you to configure a different default printer with a different location on a 1 : 1 basis.

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Select Devices and Printers.
  • In the printer section first select any of the already listed printer.
  • Now you will see menu item “Manage Default Printer” listed, click on that.
  • This will open a window which will either let you select same printer for all network or another section where you can select first the network and then the printer and map it.

Now if you change the network your default printer settings also changes. This feature is also called as Location aware printing.


  1. This Default Printer by network thing sounds GREAT. Per your instructions, once I select a default printer, the Manage Default Printers option does NOT show. I really would like to set this up. Win7 keeps changing my default printer and is driving me nuts! I am running Win 7 Home Premium Edition. Thanks,Tom

  2. That isn’t changing network location, that’s changing networks.

    What is needed under this title is how to change the default printer, on the same network, but on a different PC WITH roaming profiles. So, when at one end of the building the user defaults to the closest printer. When they move to another PC, on the same network, too far from the previous printer, their default is changed, automatically, to the nearest one to that location.

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