How to Print from the Windows 10 Desktop

By Andy Rathbone

Built for power and control, the Windows 10 desktop offers many more options when it comes to printing your work. But that power and control often mean wading through a sea of menus.

When working from the desktop, Windows shuttles your work to the printer in any of a half-dozen ways. Chances are good that you’ll be using these methods most often:

  • Choose Print from your program’s File menu.

  • Click the program’s Print icon, usually a tiny printer.

  • Right-click your unopened document’s icon and choose Print.

  • Click the Print button on a program’s toolbar.

  • Drag and drop a document’s icon onto your printer’s icon.

If a dialog box appears, click the OK or Print button, and Windows immediately begins sending your pages to the printer. Take a minute or so to refresh your coffee. If the printer is turned on (and still has paper and ink), Windows handles everything automatically, printing in the background while you do other things.

If the printed pages don’t look quite right — perhaps the information doesn’t fit on the paper correctly or it looks faded — then you need to fiddle around with the print settings or perhaps change the paper quality.

  • To print a bunch of documents quickly, select all their icons. Then right-click the selected icons and choose Print. Windows quickly shuttles all of them to the printer, where they emerge on paper, one after the other.

  • When printing with an inkjet printer, faded colors usually mean you need to replace your printer’s color inkjet cartridge. You can buy replacement cartridges both online and at most office supply stores.