Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to set up our colour printer (HP Laserjet 4650) such that by default it will only print mono. It needs to be such that a conscious choice has to be made to print in colour for every job - if this is not the case, our young daughter will inevitably print something in colour one time and then forget to set it back to black and white afterwards and cost us lots of CMY toner!

One possibility is to create a queue for the printer which does not allow colour printing. I can then set this as the default printer for all users... but I can't seem to find a way to do this either through the normal interface or the CUPS interface.

Or is there a way to make a Preset set of settings always the default that is reverted to for every job?

Or anything else anyone can recommend?

share|improve this question
Hi! I assume this printer has a web interface. Very likely you will be able to set default printing properties there ... also: if the default print mode is color or b/w. Look in the manual how to access the web interface and hunt down the options. Good luck! – myhd Mar 29 '13 at 22:19
Unfortunately, the web interface reports "Macintosh OS is not supported to run this application." :( – Martin Thompson Apr 1 '13 at 16:10
I’m sorry to hear that! Perhaps @Jadav's answer is helpful? – myhd Apr 2 '13 at 4:55
up vote 0 down vote accepted

What I've done is:

  • Use the CUPS interface (http://localhost:631/ - specifically http://localhost:631/admin/#HPColorOptionsPanel) to change the default for Print colors as grey to on.
  • From a Print dialog, on the Presets menu choose Show presets...
  • Tick Reset Presets menu to "Default Settings" after printing.

When I want a colour print, I go to the 'Colour/Quality' section of the Print Settings dialog and set up the colour options as I want them. I've saved them in a preset, so I can just select a colour printing preset when I want it, but after each job it reverts to black and white.

share|improve this answer

** When you go into Printers and Faxes on the Windows/Mac client, you will NOT be able to set it to default to Greyscale by right-clicking and choosing "Properties". It will work once and then revert to color.

** HOWEVER, if you right click on the printer and choose "Printing Preferences," once you change it there, the change is persistent. Only problem is, you'll have to train your user to turn it off when they do need to print in color.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.