When you try to add a new printer by clicking the Add a printer or scanner in the Printer & Scanners page, old printers you added earlier but no longer use may be listed.
This post tells you how to completely remove old, uninstalled, or obsolete printers from the Add a Printer and Printers & Scanners pages. In addition, the leftover printer drivers, driver packages, and registry entries need to be removed.
- Delete old Printer drivers via Print Server Properties
- Delete old Printers via Print Management
- Delete old Printers remnant entries in the Registry Editor
- Delete old Printer driver packages from the driver store
Remove Old Printers Completely
The old or supposedly uninstalled printers may still appear on the Printers & Scanners page. In some cases, the entries may appear on the Add Printer list and not in the Printers & Scanners or the Devices page. The following procedure helps you uninstall or remove your old printer and its drivers and drive store package.
To remove the old printer entries from the Add a printer or scanner as well as Printers & Scanners page, follow this procedure:
- Open the Printers and Scanners page in Settings.
- Scroll down and click the Print server properties link. Tip: Alternately, you can run
rundll32.exe printui.dll,PrintUIEntryDPIAware /sor
printui /s /t2command elevated (as administrator) from the run dialog or elevated Command Prompt. The commands open the Print Server properties page directly.
- Select the Drivers tab.
- Select the old printer entry from the list, and click Remove
- Select Remove driver and driver package, and click OK.
- Click Delete when you see the Remove Driver Package confirmation prompt.
The Print Server properties method should do the trick. Alternatively, you can use the Print Management console to remove old printers and their drivers. Print Management is a Microsoft console that lets you view and manage printers and print jobs on the computer.
- Open Print Management via Start Search. Or run the command
printmanagement.mscto launch Print Management.
- Select the All printers section.
- Right-click on the old printer if listed in the right pane, and choose Delete.
- Select All drivers.
- Right-click on the old printer, and click on the option Remove driver package or click Delete.
Even after you uninstall and delete the printers using the above methods, the Add a printer page may still show your old printers. Therefore, you need to edit the registry to remove the remnant entries.
- Create a System Restore point.
- Right-click Start, and click Run.
regedit.exeand press ENTER. This opens the Registry Editor.
- Go to the following registry key:
- In the right pane, right-click the printer you want to remove, and choose
- Do this for every other printer you want to remove.
- Also, check the printer entries under the following key and delete the unwanted item(s):
- Go to the following key:
- Expand the key and select the old printer listed under the key.
- Right-click on the old printer and choose Delete.
- Additionally, one of the following subkeys may contain references to your old printers. You may want to clear that as well:
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
The registry had references to my old inkjet printer HP F4488 (F4400 series). I recently deleted them and the driver store using earlier methods, as I’ve replaced the HP with a Canon G2012 series printer.
- Exit the Registry Editor.
Even after removing the driver packages using the methods above, some remnant drivers may exist in the driver store. The driver store is a trusted location for the inbox and third-party driver packages. Before a driver can be installed, it must first be stored in the driver store folder located under
Each subfolder stores a driver package along with the respective .inf file. The driver store folders have cryptic names; you need to look at the relevant INF files to find the driver package you want to delete.
Fortunately, we have the excellent DriverStore Explorer tool that does the job for you.
DriverStore Explorer [RAPR] is a third-party program that makes it easier to deal with the Windows driver store. It supports operations including enumeration, adding a driver package (stage), adding & installing, deletion, and force deletion from the driver store.
Looking at this image, you can see that HP printer driver files (~
9 MB) are left over. This happened even after I removed the driver packages via Print Server Properties; those two methods weren’t enough.
All I had to do was select the old HP printer driver from the list and click Remove. Click OK when you see the following warning:
Warning About to delete prnhpcl1.inf (oem32.inf) from driver store. Are you sure?
This removed the old HP printer’s driver package. I hope the above methods helped you remove old printer entries, drivers, and packages from your Windows computer.
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