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?

5 Answers 5


From [here][1] (link removed due to spammy site):

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.

  • 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, 2010 at 16:58
  • 3
    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. Sep 10, 2015 at 5:37
  • @NathanReed, VERY helpful, except for when the driver can't be deleted as it's in use. I'm running into that situation now; maybe you'd like to see if you could answer that question? :)
    – Wildcard
    Sep 22, 2016 at 3:52

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.


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.


The Chrome browser is another problem when it comes to removing printers. It held onto printer even after I removed the printer. When I tried to print anything from Chrome it would reinstall the printer I had just deleted. I had to clear my browser cache and settings and restart my PC to totally remove the printer.

  • This steps worked for me:
  • Open "Administrative Tools", then "Print Management"
  • Select "All Printers" -Find the printer in question -the status will be something like "Deleting - Offline" and there was 1 pending job. I right-clicked, selected "Cancel All Jobs", and the printer immediately disappeared.

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