How to disable two-sided printing on Mac

Two-sided printing is enabled by default on Mac for supported printers. That means all your print jobs can be printed on two sides in case you forget to turn off two-sided printing on your Mac.

Disable two-sided printing on Mac

As mentioned above, the default behavior in macOS is to automatically enable two-sided printing if a printer that supports duplex mode is connected to a Mac.

However, not every document is suitable for two-sided printing. In fact, most everyday documents such as school/college essays, homework, resumes, airline tickets and many other documents mostly need to be printed on one page.

While it’s easy to turn off the Two-Sided option before printing documents, many users forget to do this and end up having their documents printed on both sides of the paper, which is not what they wanted.

Therefore, it is better to turn off duplex printing on Mac to avoid wasting paper, toner and your time by printing the documents twice.

To disable two-sided printing on Mac, you need to enable CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) browser interface on Mac first. Once you can access CUPS, you can make the necessary changes to disable two-sided printing on your Mac.

Enable the CUPS browser interface

As mentioned above, the printing setup on the Mac is based on CUPS, an open-source modular printing system developed by Apple for Unix-based systems. The CUPS interface is disabled by default in macOS.

Follow the steps below to enable the CUPS browser interface on your Mac.

1. Make sure you are logged in to your admin account on Mac.

2. Click on that finder icon in your Mac’s taskbar (see image below).

Finder icon in the taskbar on Mac

3. In the Finder window, first click on applications in the side menu and then scroll down and click Utilities Folder (see image below)

Utilities folder on Mac

4. In the Utilities folder, click Terminal.app (See image below).

Terminal.app in the Utilities folder on Mac

5. In the terminal window, enter the command sudo cupsctlWebInterface=yes and press Enter on your Mac’s keyboard

Command to enable CUPS interface on Mac

Once this command is successfully executed, you can access CUPS using any browser on your Mac.

Steps to disable two-sided printing on Mac

After enabling the CUPS interface on Mac, follow the steps below to access the CUPS settings page and disable two-sided printing on your Mac.

1. Open safari Browsers on your Mac.

2. Go to http://localhost:631 – This will take you to the CUPS settings page.

Note: Although you access the CUPS settings page through a browser, the page itself is not online. Whatever you see, it’s right there on your computer.

3. If prompted, enter the username and password you normally use to log in to your Mac.

4. On the CUPS settings page, click the Printer Tab in the top menu bar (see image below).

Printer tab in CUPS browser interface on Mac

5. You will see a list of printers. Click on that Printer for which you want to change the print settings.

Printers listed in the CUPS interface on Mac

6. On the printer configuration page. Click on that down arrow next to Administration and then click Set default options in the drop down menu (see image below).

Set the Default Options tab in the CUPS browser interface for Mac

7. On the next screen, click first administration Tab, click next To press and then set the duplex printing mode to the OFF position as shown below.

Set duplex mode to OFF for Mac printers using CUPS

For some printers, the Duplex Printing Mode option is located under General Settings (see image below)

Set the duplex printing mode to 1-sided on Mac using CUPS

8th. Next click on the Set default options button to save your changes.

Now close the browser and try to print any document. You will see that the two-sided printing option is no longer enabled by default on your Mac.

From now on, you no longer have to go through the frustrating episodes where two-sided print jobs have to be discarded and reprinted. Plus, you can still print on two sides if you want.

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