Being able to print a quick copy of anything is really useful, and it normally works so well we take it for granted. That's why it's extra annoying when you click "print" and the computer keeps asking you where to save the file. Can't it even understand simple English? The words "Print" and "Save" don't even look similar!

Poor PC, it's only doing what it thinks is right, even though it doesn't look like it. It is trying to print, the problem is that the computer's printer defaults have become set to Microsoft Document Writer rather than the device you want to use. This is a common problem and can happen after installing a new printer, running updates or changing settings. Here's a guide to starting the printer rolling again.

The Knowhow

What is Microsoft Document Writer?

Microsoft Document Writer saves files in a "universal format". This allows them to run and be printed on many computers, even if they don't have the software the original file was created in. It works as a "virtual printer", saving a copy of the file in a format that allows for easy printing on other PCs. This is often Windows default printer until the settings are changed.

How do I make my printer the default?

Windows XP:

  • Click Start and open the Settings menu
  • Open Printers and Faxes
  • Right click on the printer you want to use
  • Select Set as default printer

Windows Vista:

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Click on Hardware and Sound
  • Under the Printers section, choose Change default printer
  • Right click on your printer and select Set as default printer

Windows 7:

  • Click the Start button and open Devices and Printers
  • Right click on your printer and choose Set as default printer

You're now set up and ready to print. The paper copies you've been waiting for will be in your hands within minutes.

Updated On:

Nov 14, 2011

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