Most likely your printer settings got changed from “Draft” to “Best”. I know, because I did the same thing. I was printing some photos and changed the print quality to “Best” mode and it stayed there. Every time I went to print a simple Word document, it would take forever to print. If I remembered to change the properties, it would go right back the next time I printed. Finally, I figured it out…
Rather than opening my print properties in Word, I needed to change the settings of the printers themselves. In XP, Vista, and Windows 7, you can access your printer by holding the Windows key and pressing the R key (Win+R). This will bring up the Run box. In Run, type control printers, or copy it from here and paste it into the Run box. Click OK.
Find your printer on the list (it should have a check mark beside it), In XP, right click then choose Properties (or Alt+double-click the printer). In Properties, under the General tab, click the Printing Preferences button.
Next, under the Paper/Quality tab, change the Print Quality to Draft and make sure the Paper Setting is on Plain Paper. The view below is the same in XP and Vista.
Click OK and you’re all set. These should now be your default settings.
In Vista and Windows 7, find the default printer and right click. Select Printing Preferences from the menu.
In Windows 7, in the Printing Preferences dialog box, select More in the Paper type section. In the dialog box that opens there, select Plain. In the Print Quality section, reduce the dpi from the drop down menu.