If you are constantly connecting to different printers in multiple locations, you probably won’t be using all of the printers installed on your device – perhaps just once or twice. However, there are many printers installed on your device that you don’t even know existed.
Luckily, you can delete any printer you no longer use, except that it won’t be completely removed from your device – the printer driver will remain in your device’s inventory in case you need it again.
If you are sure you will not need it, you can uninstall old, obsolete, or deleted printer drivers and leftover driver packages or registry entries from your device.
Here are five ways to completely uninstall printer drivers in Windows 10.
How to remove or uninstall printer drivers in Windows 10
Here are some ways to uninstall printer drivers in Windows 10:
- Uninstall the printer software using preferences.
- Remove the printer driver from the print server properties. Li>
- Uninstall the printer driver using the Control Panel.
- Use Print Management to remove old printers.
- Remove old printers using Registry Editor.
- Remove the printer using Command Prompt.
- Delete the printer using PowerShell.
- Remove leftovers from the Windows Driver Store.
Uninstall the printer software using Settings
If you no longer need a particular printer, you can follow the usual steps to remove a printer from settings and then uninstall its software, especially when using a third-party utility.
If Settings has installed other tools to automatically manage the printer, you will need to manually uninstall the remaining software.
- Go to Settings> Devices.
- Click Printers & Scanners.
- Select your printer, click Remove Device and click Yes when asked to confirm removal.
Note. The above steps only remove the printer from the list, so you need to uninstall any remaining printer software or related applications.
- Open Settings> Applications.
- Click Apps & Features and select the printer software you want to uninstall.
- Click Uninstall and follow the instructions to completely uninstall any remaining printer-related applications.
- Open Settings> “Devices”> “Printers & Scanners” in the left pane.
- Scroll down to the Related Options section and click Print Server Properties. Alternatively, you can right-click Start> Run and type printui / s / t2 to go directly to the print server properties page.
- Select the Drivers tab. In the list, click the entry for the old printer and select Remove.
- In the pop-up window, you will see two options: Remove driver or Remove driver and driver package. Select the latter and click “OK”.
- If you are prompted to confirm the removal of the driver package, click Remove.
- Open Control Panel> Hardware and Sound.
- Click Devices and Printers.
- In the Printers section, right-click the device and select Remove Device. Click “Yes” to confirm the action.
- Then go to Settings> Apps> Apps & Features and select the software you want to uninstall.
- Click Uninstall and follow the onscreen instructions to completely uninstall the printer software.
- Open Control Panel> System and Security.
- Click Administration.
- Double-click the Print Management shortcut.
- Under Custom Filters, select All Printers.
- Right-click the printer you want to delete.
- Click “Delete” and “Yes” to confirm the action.
- Go to Settings> Apps> Apps & Features and click the printer software you want to uninstall.
- Click Uninstall and follow the onscreen instructions to completely uninstall the printer driver.
- Right-click Start> Run.
- Type regedit.exe and click OK (or press Enter on your keyboard) to open the Registry Editor.
- Right-click the printer in the right pane and select Uninstall.
- Check your printer records and remove unnecessary items by going to this section: HKEY_CURRENT_USER Printers Connections
- Click to expand the section, right-click the printer and choose Delete.
- Click Start and type CMD in the search bar.
- Click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator in the right pane.
- In the Command Prompt window, enter the following command: wmic printer get name and press Enter to view the list of printers on your device.
- To remove the printer, type printui.exe / dl / n “PRINTER NAME” and press Enter. Remember to replace YOUR-PRINTER-NAME with the full name of your printer. For example, printui.exe / dl / n HP DJ 2600 Series CL3 .
- To uninstall the printer software, go to Settings> Apps> Apps & Features and select the printer software you want to uninstall. Click “Uninstall” and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.
- Right-click Start> Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Enter this command: Remove-Printer –Name “YOUR-PRINTER-NAME”.
- Open Settings> Applications> Applications & Features and click the program you want to uninstall.
- Click Remove and follow the instructions to remove it completely.
Remove the printer driver from the print server properties
If you still see an old or previously deleted printer on the Printers & Scanners page, you can uninstall or remove the printer driver and driver packages.
Uninstall the printer driver using the control panel
You can uninstall your printer and the remaining printer driver or related applications from the control panel by following these steps.
Use Print Manager to remove old printers
Ideally, if you’ve used the print server properties method above, it should uninstall and uninstall the printer driver. However, you can use the Print Management Console to completely remove printers you no longer use and their drivers.
The Print Control dialog box displays the printers and current print jobs on your device. However, before uninstalling the old printer driver, make sure it is not being used by other printers.
Delete old printers via Registry Editor
If you open the Add Printer page and find old printers still listed there, edit the registry to remove the remaining entries. To do this, first create a system restore point and then follow these steps.
Find the registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Classes Local Settings Printers Roamed
Then navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Print Printers
Some subsections may still have links to your old printer, so you can also delete the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Print Environments Windows NT x86 Drivers Version-3 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Print Environments Windows x64 Drivers Version-3 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control Print Environments Windows x64 Drivers Version-4
Once this is done, exit the Registry Editor.
Uninstall the printer using Command Prompt
If you like command lines, command line is another tool that you can use to uninstall your printer and remove associated drivers and applications.
Removing a printer using PowerShell
If you prefer PowerShell to the command line, follow these steps to uninstall the printer and associated software.
Delete remnants from Windows Driver Store
This solution is designed to remove any remnants of drivers that might remain on your device even after removing driver packages.
In the driver store, you will find inbound and third-party driver packages that were installed and saved in a folder even before the driver itself was installed.
Each of the subfolders in the store contains a driver package and a corresponding .inf file, but it is quite difficult to find the specific driver package you want to remove.
The good news is that you can use a third-party tool to examine the Windows driver store and completely remove the old printer driver once and for all. It will also save you a lot of space that would otherwise be occupied by unnecessary files.
What happens when I delete drivers?
A device driver is a piece of software that tells your computer’s operating system how to communicate with the device to which it is connected.
For example, to connect to a printer and execute a print command, you need a printer driver to bridge the gap between the two devices and deliver the print job to you.
Without a printer driver, your printer simply won’t work. Likewise, uninstalling the printer driver after removing the printer from your computer makes it unusable.
However, if you uninstall the driver, you can undo the uninstall using the System Restore from a previous restore point that was created when you uninstalled the driver from your computer.
In addition, Windows will automatically install the driver on your operating system by searching the extensive driver library. If it does not find a suitable driver, it will search the Internet for the driver via Windows Update. Otherwise, you can visit the device manufacturer’s website to find a driver for your printer.