How to Set Your HP Printer to Default Economical Mode

For any of you owning one of the new range of HP DeskJet printers, like the D4260, and frustrated that it keeps printing out in Normal ink-guzzling mode, however many times you change it in the print dialog box to a more economical setting here’s how to set it so it ALWAYS prints out in more economical mode.

Find your printer in the Printer section of the Control Panel. (In Vista and Seven just type Printers in the Start Menu and select Devices and Printers. Right click and select Properties:


In the Advanced tab, select Printing Defaults..:


Select Fast/Economical Printing and switch Pages per sheet: to 2 pages per sheet (if you want):


Click OK and then, in the Properties window, OK again.

Now your printer settings should be permanent. (Nothing with HP is ever permanent so you may find these settings overwritten at some point.)


Published by:

Jeremy Wagstaff

Jeremy Wagstaff is Chief Technology Correspondent, Asia, for Thomson Reuters. He has worked as a reporter, editor and columnist for Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the BBC. . He has lived and worked in Asia since 1987 and is currently based in Singapore.

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26 thoughts on “How to Set Your HP Printer to Default Economical Mode”

  1. Thank you. very much. I have been wanting to change the default color to black and did not know how to do it and I did it through the properties menu in control panel. Now I don’t have to manually switch to black every time I print.

  2. I have a HP All-in-One printer, hooked to an Apple. I have not been able to find the menu to set the default for the ink. I would like to print in grayscale all the time. Have tried everything. The only time I can print in grayscale is when the print menu opens when I hit print from the drop down menu. Problem is, that some websites have a print button and you never see the drop down. It goes straight to printer and your not able to choose. Could you help me? Is it possible to even set to grayscale as default with HP?

  3. kberide, I’m not sure what the Apple software looks like, but it should be possible to tweak it for grayscale default. I’m not impressed with the HP software for Windows and can’t imagine it’s much better for Mac.

  4. Thank you. Thank you. It was such a pain and the HP website gave information that did not apply: saying to check boxes that did not show up on my system.

  5. There is something wrong….whenever i try and change it and lick ok, it seems fine. But when i check it afterwards it automagically swithes back to colour….it doesnt matter that I change it to black only or another colourscheme…

    Does any1 know how to change the factory settings?

  6. Thank you, I can’t tell you how helpful this was.

    Now if I can just install the e-font to use even less ink, we should be all set!

  7. AWESOME! gotta love th einternet for answering questions
    😀 this answer is exactly what i wanted to know xx

  8. I have an HP2605 that has a similar problem to Chuck and “anonymous”. I can change it through the advanced tab to grayscale, but as soon as I go back in, it’s back to color.

    It’s on an XP machine if that helps.

  9. I have an HP photosmart c7280. Recently it’s been acting up. When I go into the printing preferences to choose Fast Draft I notice that the printer changes the number of copies to print to 20! Here I am trying to save ink and the printer is trying to make me use more! I cannot find a reason behind this – is it a bug?

  10. I have a HP 3210 and followed the easy directions. It has been saved in the default as fast economical and black, but when I go to print it is set a Every day and color. I check back in the default and it does not change, Weird.

  11. Thanks so much! You don’t know how much toner I’ve been going through because I’m busy with my master’s class and forget to change to the fast economical mode — printing 10-20 pages a pop makes the cart. last like a week – not to mention how many trees I’m using up. Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

  12. Thanks I have tried it, go to printer and devices, properties and then advance, but no fast economical printing. We have a Energy Star HP deskject 100. PLEASE HELP, I am printing 40 pages on one cartrage!!!!

  13. I have an HP Office Jet 4500 G5 wireless and am using Windows 7. When I follow instructions and go to Properties, there is no Advanced Tab, just General, Hardware and Web Services. None of these tabs have an advanced tab either.

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