Fix: Can’t Remove Printer on Windows 10

As soon as Windows 10 came out, a lot of users have begun reporting problems with their printers. Aside from a multitude of incompatibility problems that limited some functionality on Windows 10, a lot of users report losing the ability to remove the printer conventionally.

Most of the time, this problem starts with a simple Windows 10 error that signals a problem with the printer. When the user tries to uninstall the printer, Windows 10 refuses to remove it. Some users report that removing the printer device via the Devices menu shows a perpetual “being removed” state with no improvement over time. Uninstalling the software via Programs and Feature still preserves the printer in the devices list.

If you have the same problem, the following methods will help you resolve the issue. Below you have a collection of fixes that other users have used to successfully remove their printer from Windows 10. Please follow each method in order until you encounter a fix that manages to get the job done. Let’s begin!

Note: Keep in mind that while the methods below show different ways that you can follow to remove a printer from Windows 10, not all of them will uninstall the driver associated with the printer. If you also wish to uninstall the printer driver, you’ll likely have to do it manually.

Method 1: Remove Old Drivers From Print Server Properties

Some users have reported being able to fix a printer driver that was stuck in a perpetuity state by deleting the printer driver from Print Server Properties.

Note: Keep in mind that this method is only a fix that will allow you to remove a printer device that is stuck in a perpetuity state. Even if this method is successful, you’ll still have to remove the printer device conventionally or using one of the other methods below.

Here’s a quick guide on how to delete the printer driver from Print Server Properties:

  1. Open a new Run window by pressing Windows key + R. Then, type “control” and press Enter to open Control Panel.
    Open Control Panel
  2. Inside Control panel, click on Device and Printers.
    Open Devices and Printers
  3. In the Devices and Printers window, select the printer that you are having trouble removing and click on Print server properties (top ribbon bar).
    Open Print Server Properties
  4. In the Print Server Properties window, click on the Drivers tab. Then, systematically remove any driver that belongs to the printer that refuses to uninstall by selecting it (via the Installed printer drivers box) and clicking Remove.
    Remove the Faulty Printer’s Driver
  5. Once the printer driver is removed, click on Apply and restart your computer. At the next startup,  remove the printer conventionally or follow any method from Method 4 to Method 10 to remove the stuck printer from your system.

If the printer is still stuck and refuses to be removed from your system, continue with Method 2.

Method 2: Remove the Corrupted Printer Registry Entries

Some users have managed to remove the printer from their computer permanently after eliminating any keys and subkeys belonging to the offending printer via Registry Editor.

By specifically targeting and the entries belonging to the corrupted printer, some users have reported that the removal process was successful after they rebooted the system and removed the printer conventionally.

Here’s a quick guide on how to remove the offending printer’s keys and subkeys via Registry Editor:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “Regedit” and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.
    Open Regedit
  2. Inside Registry Editor, navigate to the following location using the left pane:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Print > Printers
  3. In the Printers key, locate the entry associated with your the printer that you want to remove, right-click and choose Delete.
    Delete Faulty Printer’s Registry Entries

    Once the key (and subkeys) associated with your printer has been deleted, close Registry Editor and reboot your system. At the next startup, try to remove the driver conventionally or use any method from Method 4 to Method 10.

If the printer is still stuck, continue with the next method below.

Method 3: Clear the Print Jobs Queue

As quite a few users have reported, a stuck print job can also be responsible for preventing the printer from being removed. Some affected users were finally able to remove the stubborn printer by clearing the folder responsible for holding the print jobs.

Here’s a quick guide on how to clear the print jobs queue folder:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, paste (or type)
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
    

    in the Run box and hit Enter to open the folder holding the printing jobs.

    Open C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
  2. Hit Yes at the UAC prompt to get permissions to edit the PRINTERS folder.
  3. If the PRINTERS folder is not empty, delete everything there to free up the printing queue.
  4. Once the PRINTERS folder is empty, try to remove (or uninstall) the printer again, then restart your computer.

Method 4: Remove the Printer from the Settings Menu

While this is not always effective, it’s the most accessible way of removing a printer from Windows 10. This method involves using the new Windows 10 interface to get rid of the printer that you no longer use. Here’s a quick guide on how to get this done:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run window. Then, type
    ms-settings:connecteddevices

    and hit Enter to open the Connected Device tab of the Settings menu.

    Open ms-settings:connecteddevices
  2. In the Connected Devices menu, move over to the left pane and click on Printers & Scanners to expand the list. Now, click on your printer to expand the drop-down menu, then click on Remove Device.
  3. Hit Yes to confirm the removal of the device at the next prompt, then close the Settings menu and restart your computer to force the changes to take effect.

If you’re still seeing your printer listed in the Devices list at the next restart or if it continues to show “being removed”, move over to Method 2.

Method 5: Remove Printer via Control Panel

Another way to go around removing a printer that is refusing to go away is via the old Control Panel interface. Some users have reported being able to remove the printer using this method after performing one of the first three methods presented in this article.

Here’s a quick guide on how to remove a Printer using Control Panel:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run window. Then, type “control” and hit Enter to open Control Panel.
    Open Control Panel
  2. Inside Control Panel, click on Devices and Printers, then expand the Printers drop-down menu.
  3. Right-click on the printer that you want to remove, then select Remove Device.
    Remove the Printer
  4. Hit Yes at the confirmation prompt, close Control panel and restart your system.

At the next startup, see whether the printer has disappeared from the devices list. If it’s still there, continue with the other methods below.

Method 6: Remove the Printer via Print Management (if applicable)

Another way to go around removing a printer that is refusing to go away from Windows 10 is via the Print Management menu. This is a dedicated utility that some uses seemed to have used successfully to remove a printer indefinitely from Windows 10.

Note: Keep in mind that Print Management is not available in the basic versions of Windows 10.

Here’s a quick guide on using Print Management to remove a printer device:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a new Run box. Then, type
    printmanagement.msc

    and hit Enter to open the Print Management wizard.

    Open printmanagement.msc
  2. In the Print Management window, expand the Print Servers drop-down menu and double-click on Printers to open them in the left pane.
  3. From the left pane, right-click on the printer that you want to remove and click on Delete.
  4. Click the Yes button to confirm the deletion, then close Print Management and restart your computer for the changes to take full effect.

At the next startup, see whether the printer driver has been successfully removed. If you’re still seeing listed among your other devices, move over to the other method below.

Method 7: Remove Printer via Device Manager

Removing the printer from the list of devices can also be done from Device Manager, but keep in mind that some users have reported that this method was ineffective in their case – the printer has only briefly removed from the list of devices and was back at the next startup.

If you decide to try it, here’s a quick guide on removing a printer using Device Manager:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open a Run box. Then, type
    devmgmt.msc

    and hit Enter to open Device Manager.

    Open devmgmt.msc
  2. In Device Manager, expand the Print queues drop-down menu, right-click on our printer and choose Uninstall Device.
    Uninstall the Faulty Printer in Device Manager
  3. Close Device Manager and make sure you disconnect the printer cable from the PC, then restart your computer.

At the next startup, return to Device Manager and see if the printer was successfully removed from the list of devices. If it was, you managed to permanently remove the printer from your Windows 10 PC. If you’re still seeing the printer listed, move over to the other methods below.

Method 8: Remove the Printer via Command Prompt

Some users have finally managed to remove the printer using an elevated Command Prompt. This method will require you to get a little technical, but it has the potential of succeeding where other methods failed.

Note: The following procedure will not be successful unless you do the command in an elevated Command Prompt.

Here’s a quick guide on removing a printer via Command Prompt:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a new Run box. Then, type “cmd” and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter and click Yes at the UAC (User Account Control) prompt to open an Elevated Command Prompt.
    Open Command Prompt
  2. In the Elevated Command prompt, type or paste the following command and press Enter to see a list with all your printers that are currently active:
    wmic printer get name
  3. Open a Notepad or a similar text editor and make a note of the exact name of the printer that you want to remove.
    Note Down Exact Name of the Faulty Printer
  4. Type the following command and press Enter to remove the printer from your Windows 10 computer:
    printui.exe /dl /n "Name of Printer"

Note: Keep in mind that the Name of Printer is just a placeholder for the name that you previously noted down at step 3. Replace the placeholder with the actual name of the printer that you want to remove. The result should look like this:

Remove-Printer -Name "Canon IP1188 Inkjet Printer"

To verify if this method was successful, close the elevated Command Prompt and restart your computer. At the next startup, see whether your printer is still among the devices list. If it is, move over to the other methods below.

Method 9: Remove the Printer Using Powershell

Some users have successfully managed to remove the stubborn printer that was refusing to go away on Windows 10 by using PowerShell. While this method will require you to get a little technical, it’s reportedly more efficient than the majority of methods that are done through a graphical interface.

Here’s a quick guide on removing a printer via PowerShell:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “PowerShell” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter and hit Yes at the User Account Control prompt to open an elevated Powershell window.
    Open PowerShell
  2. In the Elevated PowerShell window, type or paste the following command and press Enter to get a list of all your active printers:
    Get-Printer | Format-List Name
  3. Open notepad and copy the exact name of the printer that you wish to remove. You’ll need it briefly.
    Copy the Faulty Printer Name
  4. In the same elevated Powershell window, type the command below and press Enter.
    Remove-Printer -Name "Printer name"

    Note: Be mindful that “Printer name” is just a placeholder for the actual name of your printer. Replace the placeholder with the name of the printer that you extracted at step 3. The result should end up looking like this:

    Remove-Printer -Name "Canon IP1188 Inkjet Printer"
  5. Once the command has been successfully registered, close the Elevated Powershell window and restart your system.

At the next startup, see whether the printer device is still present in the printer’s list. If it is, move down to the next method.

Method 10: Remove the Printer From the Printers Folder

The final method in which you can remove a printer from your list of devices is also one of the fastest and most effective ways to do it. Here’s a quick guide on removing a printer via the Printers folder:

  1. Open a new Run box by pressing the Windows key + R. Then, paste (or type)
    explorer shell:::{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
    

    in the Run box and press Enter to open the Printers folder.

    Open Printer Folder
  2. In the Printers folder, right-click on the printer that you wish to remove and choose Delete.
  3. Click Yes to confirm the removal of the printer, then restart your computer to force the changes to take effect.

At the next startup, see whether the printer has been removed from your computer.

Tags

Expert Tip

Fix: Can’t Remove Printer on Windows 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested

Close