Thursday, January 17, 2013

Change default format for XPS printing from OXPS to XPS

After installing Windows 8 using a clean install, I noticed a new XPS file format: OpenXPS. I often print receipts using XPS so I was kinda annoyed with the whole OXPS defaulting thing. I wanted to change it back to XPS because the OXPS file format is not supported in Windows 7 and below without the OXPS to XPS converter tool: In this blog I'll detail what that is but I wanted to go into what is going on here first.

.XPS File Format - an electronic paper format for one-way export from a Microsoft client application (feature rich) to a platform and application independent, paginated format document which follows Open Packaging conventions.

So what is the new OpenXPS (.OXPS) format? The exact same as .XPS except its been standardized as an open format by the Ecma International standards organization. In Windows 8, Microsoft changed the out of the box printing format for xps to the oxps format. Again, this wouldn't be a problem if the new format could be opened in previous versions on windows OOTB. To fix this, I needed to change the default back to the old xps.

Here is a step by step from I copy and pasted the manual way in case it gets removed from the other location.

To use Group Policy to change the default format, take the following steps:
  1. Search for "Group Policy" and select "Edit Group Policy" from Settings.

    Settings screen
  2. In the Group Policy control panel, select Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Printers in the tree on the left of the screen. Then, double-click "Change Microsoft XPS Document Writer (MXDW) default output format to the legacy Microsoft XPS format (*.xps)" to open the options.

    Local Group Policy Editor screen
  3. You can make the following selections:
    • "NotConfigured" and "Disabled" will set the MXDW default to OpenXPS.
    • "Enabled" will set the MXDW default to Microsoft XPS.
  4. Click OK to save settings.

    Change policy screen

    Note: You may need to logoff/login or force a Group Policy update from an administrator command prompt (gpupdate /force) before the change in policy will take effect.


  1. I know this is over 5 years old but it does not seem to work on Windows 10 Enterprise Version 1809.

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