ACC2000: Error Message: You Must Set a Default Printer Before You Design, Print, or Preview

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Article ID: 224148 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q224148
Novice: Requires knowledge of the user interface on single-user computers.

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) and to a Microsoft Access project (.adp).

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When you try to create or open a report in Microsoft Access, you may receive the following error message:
You must set a default printer before you design, print, or preview.
NOTE: Microsoft Office 2000 has built-in functionality that allows you to get more information about difficult-to-troubleshoot alerts or error messages. If you want to enable this functionality for this and other error messages in Microsoft Office 2000, please download the Microsoft Office 2000 Customizable Alerts file from the Microsoft Office Update Web site at the following address:
NOTE: If you reached this article by clicking the Web Info button in an error message, you already have Customizable Alerts enabled.

Things to Try

No default printer is installed

If you don't have a printer set up, use the Add Printer wizard to install it. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Printers. Then double-click Add Printer, and follow the instructions. (Note that some printers have their own setup routines that bypass the Add Printer wizard. Follow the instructions in your documentation.)

A registry key is corrupted

To reset the registry, first set another printer as the default, and then set your original printer as the default again.

NOTE: If you don't already have another printer set up on this computer, follow these steps. If you already have another printer set up on this computer, skip to the "Switch the default printer to the new driver and back" section.
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Double-click Add Printer.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Local, Local printer, or My Computer, and then click Next.
  5. In the Manufacturers list, click Generic.
  6. In the Make/Model or Printers list, click Generic / Text Only, and then click Next.
  7. Click the LPT1 port, and then click Next.
  8. Click Next again, and then click Finish.

Switch the default printer to the new driver and back

  1. In the Printers window, right-click the Generic / Text Only printer (or your other existing printer), and then click Set as Default.
  2. Right-click your original printer, and click Set as Default.
  3. Try printing again.

A printer driver is corrupted

If changing your default printer does not work, the driver files may have become corrupted. If you continue getting this error message, delete the printer driver and reinstall it. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
  2. Right-click your default printer, and click Delete. If you're asked if you want to remove extra files left on the system, click Yes.
  3. Double-click Add Printer, and follow the instructions to reinstall your printer driver.
  • If your printer model isn't listed in the Manufacturers and Printers lists, check the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for an updated driver. If your printer isn't on the HCL, contact the printer manufacturer for drivers and instructions.
  • If you are on a network, you may need to install the correct printer driver from a network printer share. Contact your network administrator for instructions.

More information

Before you can use reports in Access, you must install a printer. Access uses the printer settings to define aspects of reports.

For more information about problems that you could encounter in Access when you do not have a default printer, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
208553 You receive an error when you try to create a new report in Access 2000 without a default printer


Article ID: 224148 - Last Review: August 16, 2012 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
kbdownload kbprb KB224148

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