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I am running Windows 7/64-bit (Ultimate). I recently replaced my printer. For some reason, I cannot remove the printer from Windows.

I have gone to Start | Devices and Printers, right-clicked on the printer and chosen "remove device".

Everything appears seems to work -- I get a UAC elevation prompt, and the printer disappears from the console, but the next time I open "Devices and Printers", it'll be back. Any ideas?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

From here (broken link):

After removing the printer from Devices and Printers there are still traces of the driver to re-install itself when plugging in the device. Under Control Panel and Administrative tools theres a new option here in windows 7 labled Print Management. From here you can see all the printers you have ever installed and all the drivers that are still amongst the system. under the option All Drivers on the left is where I found the print driver I new was hanging around somewhere but couldnt find to remove, Right clicking on the printer name and choosing Remove Printer Package allowed for windows 7 to scan for and find the drivers and allows you to delete them."

Also, is the printer installed on another account and set as the default printer? Perhaps the administrator account, that may cause it to reappear in your account.

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I'll try that this evening, Joe. It is possible that the printer is still marked as default on one of my kid's accounts. – JMarsch Feb 22 '10 at 16:58
The "Print Management" tool doesn't seem to be included in Windows 7 home editions, but you can also remove drivers by opening a command prompt, running printui /s and going to the Drivers tab in the dialog box that pops up. – Nathan Reed Sep 10 '15 at 5:37

Also don't forget to check the printer queue, as long as the printer has pending jobs it won't let you delete it, it will continue to show up.

But sometimes the system will have difficulty emptying a printer's queue if the printer is offline or in the process of being deleted. Here's how to clear the print queue manually:

Open an elevated Command Prompt (Right click Command Prompt in Start-->All Programs-->Accessories, then choose Run as Administrator)

Enter the following three commands, hitting enter after each one and then waiting for the command prompt again:

net stop spooler

del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers* /q

net start spooler

The print queue should now be clear.

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Didn't know that one +1 – JMarsch May 18 '12 at 23:03

I had the same issue and had to reset the spooler. The process was similar to @Untherxadyus answer, but for some reason the line they had to delete the spool didn't work for me.

However, the script in this tutorial did. The tutorial also has screenshots on how to delete the spool manually.

Here is the contents of the .bat file on there, which is harmless (besides deleting your printer spool) and okay to run.

net stop spooler
del /F /Q %systemroot%\System32\spool\PRINTERS\*
net start spooler

I would have added this as a comment, but I don't have enough overflow juice to comment.

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