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How to Print Double Sided on Windows 10

Note: Please assume duplex printing = double side printing, for all intents & purposes of this post.

With the entire world going more digital, the need for printing has indeed reduced; albeit, not entirely eliminated. And despite the fact that it may not excite you much when it comes to sustainability & Eco-friendliness, it doesn’t mean that you cannot contribute further to a greener Earth.

When it comes to printing, commonly, there is single sided printing, or double-sided, or often called duplex printing (some may argue on the technical definition though; more below in the FAQs).

In any case, double sided printing makes the best use of your printing paper, where it utilizes both the front and the back. Traditionally, a printer could only print on one side, so for example, if you had to print 2 pages, you’d need 2 pieces of paper. With double-sided capability or duplex, you’d only need 1 piece of printing paper.

How to Print Double Sided on Windows 10

For this post’s purposes, we’re talking about automatic double-sided printing on Windows 10, without manual interference. As common sense would dictate, you could still print on both sides by manually inserting the same paper again — even on a printer that doesn’t have this feature.

Coming back to the premise, know that just because your printer has that functionality built-in, doesn’t mean it’ll always behave that way, as the setting to print double sided might be disabled.

To enable, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Printers and Scanners System Settings

From your start menu, search for “printers & scanners,” to open the system settings app.

opening printers and scanners system settings app from windows 10 start menu
As shown, search for “printers & scanners.”

Step 2: Find Your Default Printer, Choose “Manage,” and From There, Go to “Printing Preferences”

Next, from the system settings window, locate your default printer, and select manage.

printer manage option in windows 10
Find your printer, and select “Manage.”

Afterwards, select “printing preferences” from the subsequent window.

windows 10 printing preferences
As a result of clicking on “manage,” you’ll get the additional choice of “printing preferences.”

Step 3: Choose ‘Flip on Long Edge’ or ‘Flip on Short Edge’

First, let’s discuss the obvious elephant in the room.

What is the difference between flip on long edge and flip on short edge?

Plainly put, the idea behind flip on long edge is that you’d want to flip your pages like you would a regular book or a magazine. (Imagine flipping a page from right to left). Flip on short edge conversely, means you’d want to flip your pages bottom to top (like you would on a calendar or a vertical paperback notepad).

If that sounds confusing, just remember this:

  1. For regular portrait style printing, select flip on long edge
  2. For landscape style printing, select the other.
  3. If you aren’t sure, your best bet would likely be to go with the long edge route.

In any event, to choose between the two, once you’ve clicked on printing preferences, a new window will open, that’ll amongst others, will also ask you on how you’d want to print on both sides. The answer, is either of the two choices discussed.

how to print double sided on windows 10 option window
As illustrated, elect either of the two possibilities.

To finalize the setting, hit Apply, and then hit OK, to ensure the changes can take effect.

A Few FAQs

How Do I Print Double Sided on Windows 10 PDF?

Technically speaking, the process is the same. However, you can quickly get to the printing preferences directly from Adobe Acrobat by going to File > Print > Properties. Here, you can decide between the flip on long edge and short edge.

How do I turn off double sided printing on Windows 10?

To turn it off, from your printer preferences setting, under the heading of “print on both sides manually,” opt for ‘none.’ Then, apply and OK, to update your printer settings.

What Is the Difference Between Duplex Printing and Double Sided Printing?

From my understanding, duplex printing refers more to the technology itself (as printers have a duplexing unit), while double sided printing, refers to the actual occurrence.

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Conclusion

In Windows 10, if you ever need to configure your double sided printing, you’d have to eventually work with your printer’s printing preferences. And worse case, say your printer doesn’t have the competence to perform this task, you can always duplex print manually.

A couple of added benefits to double sided/duplex printing are:

  1. Less use of resources.
  2. In some cases, faster printing times, as you may think otherwise.
  3. Comes in especially handy for bulk printing situations. Imagine the amount of paper you’re saving and actual psychical space because of a lesser quantity of actual papers.