ArcMap returns settings to the default printer

Last Published: April 25, 2020


ArcMap occassionally changes specific printer settings back to the default printer.

This problem occurs during various operations such as the following:

1. Each time Page Setup or Print is opened, ArcMap erroneously sets the printer back to the machine's default printer, even after Page Setup has been properly set to another printer.

2. After clicking OK in the Print window, ArcMap may still print to the default printer on the machine, even if the correct target printer was properly set.


ArcMap printing relies on the registry settings of the installed printer drivers. These settings get changed by performing a number of procedures or events, such as installing various software.

Solution or Workaround

  1. A solution that frequently works is to delete the printer from it's shared network location, such as the printer server. Uninstall the printer driver.

    Instructions provided describe how to delete a printer and the printer's corresponding driver from a Windows computer.

    <b>Before beginning</b>
    If the printer being deleted will be reinstalled, identify its port before proceeding. To find the port, right-click on the printer and select Properties. On the printer Properties dialog box, select the Ports tab and look for the Port that is checked.


    1. Navigate to Start > Settings > Control Panel and select 'Printers' or 'Printers and Faxes'.
    2. Right-click on the printer to be deleted and select Delete.
    3. Navigate to File > Server Properties and select the Drivers tab.
    4. Select the corresponding installed printer driver for the deleted printer and click the Remove button. Click OK to close the Printer Server Properties dialog box.
    5. Reinstall the printer if necessary via the Add Printer button.

  2. Reinstall the printer driver.

Article ID:000006353

  • ArcMap

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