Network PrinterControl (NPC) for Windows 8 & 10, both 32-bit & 64-bit, is an example of a utility I wrote to solve a problem I found myself dealing with. In this case, when I upgraded the laptop that I use as my main home & work machine from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 10 Pro, I suddenly found that the way Windows 10 (& Windows 8, apparently) managed the default printer didn't meet my needs. Under Windows 7 ( "Device and Printers -> Printers and Faxes" -> "Manage default printers"), I had a default printer set for every network that my laptop had to encounter at my house, my work, and the other places I used the laptop on a regular basis. Windows 10 wiped that out, and replaced it with "Let Windows manage my default printer", which behaves differently in one important and annoying way - it switches the default printer it associates with a given network to the last printer used on that network. In other words, if you use multiple printers on a given network but mostly use a specific printer when on that network, you probably want that one to be the default all of the time. But under the new Windows 8/10 scheme, if you need to use another printer, the act of using that other printer changes the default associated with that network. NPC is my attempt at mimicking the old Windows 7 default printer network management scheme.

How it works: NPC has three modules, the control panel module, the management module, and the tray module. The control panel module is the program you see above, which allows you to setup network-printer pairings, and setup whether Windows or NPC manages the printers. The management module runs every time you login, and it checks the Windows setting for whether Windows is to manage the printers. If Windows is supposed to manage the printers, then the management module quits to free up CPU time & RAM. If Windows is not supposed to manage the printers, then management module looks through it's list of pairings and the first pairing that matches the network the PC is on, then it tells Windows (via the Windows API) to set that printer to be the default printer, and then the management module quits to free up CPU time & RAM. The third module, which keeps an access icon in the System Tray, runs only if you have asked for a NPC System Tray. If you do not want Windows nor NPC to manage your printers, you need to uninstall NPC.

You can always get the latest version of Network Printer Control here: