How to Disable Photo Printing Wizard

Sometimes it's the little things that make computing frustrating--like the continual appearance of the Photo Print Wizard when attempting to print a file, which brings regular complaints from both the workplace and the home. The feature is linked to the Windows Picture and Fax software, which is in wide use. (It's a standard installation on many systems.) Though designed to help computer users with their printing decisions, the Photo Print Wizard can quickly overstay its welcome.

Avoiding the Photo Print Wizard

Be sure you really want to turn off this feature. The purpose of the Photo Print Wizard is to help you print exactly what you want, and to avoid costly mistakes, such as printing a high-res digital picture in enough pieces to build a poster instead of a single sheet. If your printing needs change often, consider giving the wizard another chance.

Make sure your default printer is correct. If you're allowed to make changes to the computer in question, access this setting within the Control Panel. Sometimes problems occur when the wrong printer or fax is selected.

Choose an alternate program to handle files that are triggering the Photo Print Wizard. For example, find any .JPEG file in any folder using Windows Explorer and right-click on it to choose the program that will be used to open that type of file. On many computers, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer is the default for photo files.

Use a shortcut. You can change the programs associated with any of your file types through the menu tabs in Windows Explorer. Choose Tools, then Folder Options, then File Types. This is an easier way to handle photo files, because you will need to change the setting for all file extensions you use, such as .jpg, .gif and .bmp.

Test your new setting. If an attempt to print a file no longer launches the Photo Print Wizard, then you are all set. Otherwise, consider taking more drastic measures.

Disable the Windows Picture and Fax program. More advanced users can turn off the program responsible for launching the Photo Print Wizard: Type msconfig at the Run prompt of your Start menu. From there, you can toggle this or any other program item between active and inactive from the Startup list on the last tab. You might also need to type the following at the Run command prompt: regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll.