Whenever I print something from my MacBook, the printout is always in color.

On my Windows machine, I could go to my printer preferences and set it to always print in grayscale. Then, no matter what application is printing, they always printed in black & white.

I have searched and I have not found a setting on my Mac which allows me to say "color prints are expensive so dont use color when printing". In other words, "always use grayscale or black and white" when printing. Where can I change my printing preferences to always use grayscale?


Current answer is wrong because Apple does not allow you to override the default. Still the answer is good for saving another preset.

Once you saved and selected that preset jus tbe sure that you keep Option/Alt key while pressint the print button, this will make MacOS remember your preset for the next usage --- mainly switcing the default to your current profile.


You can set Print prefs & defaults from any print dialogue - Cmd ⌘ P - though specific options change with each printer type..

An example -

enter image description here

First, in the lower half, look for 'Color' or a similar option. In there you should be able to define how to handle colour printing.

Once you have set that, then at the top where it says "Default Settings, you can save the current setup & then define it as your new default.

Advanced options at the bottom of the dialog will very much be printer-dependant.

  • This is NOT working anymore because once you write "Default Settings" for the new preset the "OK" button gets disables. Mainly Apple forbids us to change default settings. It works to define new presets but saving change to default one is not allowed the the operating system. – sorin Feb 23 '19 at 9:14
  • I never said you overwrite the current default. I said you write a new one. – Tetsujin Feb 23 '19 at 10:37
  • @tetjuin Quoting from your answer: "Default Settings, you can save the current setup & then define it as your new default." .... not really clear or possible. Still, If you update the answer to include the extra info I gave, I will be more than happy to support your answer and remove mine. Clearly you did a great job documenting the use of print dialog, missed only the. "option" trick. – sorin Feb 23 '19 at 10:50
  • I don't know why you need the 'option' bit. I simply made new settings, called it 'Default Settings- Duplex' & saved it. That's what it now prints by default, from any app. – Tetsujin Feb 24 '19 at 11:45

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