How-To: Turn Off Duplex Printing by Default on Your Mac

I’ve been a Mac since 2006.  That was the first year that Apple produced an Intel-based Mac, and I remain a Mac to this day.  I will likely be a Mac for many years to come.

One of the biggest issues I have with my Canon Multi-Function Laser Printer is that it prints in duplex mode (2-sided printing) by default.  While this saves paper, it isn’t what most teachers want from their students and may lead to confusion when turning in homework or trying to print study guides or portions of PDF text books.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to turn off duplex printing; but that setting doesn’t always stick and become the new default.  Here’s how to get 1-sided printing for your Mac printer by default.  Its actually, very simple. Just follow these steps:


Open terminal.  Type this and hit enter:

cupsctl WebInterface=yes


  1. Open a browser window and type the following in the address bar:


  2. On the CUPS screen, select the Administration tab
  3. Click Manage Printers
  4. Select the Canon device by IP address (or name if you can find it on the list)

  5. Click Administration drop down box and select Set Default Options

  6. Click General

  7. Click the  Long-Edge (Portrait) dropdown from the 2-Sided Printing field.  Select Off (1-Sided) from the dropdown.

  8. Click the Set Default Options button (bottom of page)

That should do it.  The default action on your printer should now be 1 sided and not duplex (2 sided).  While this may use more paper, it will be easier for you, your kids, and their teachers to keep track of what is printed where and in what order.  Most teachers don’t look for double-sided printing.

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