The Printer settings in Windows 10 can be found in both the Settings app and Control Panel. The settings can be used to configure the existing printers or add a new printer to the list. The users can also remove the printer device from the list if they are not using it anymore. However, an administrator can prevent standard users from deleting the printers from the list. It will simply disable the remove device button from the settings.
This article will show you different methods to disable the deletion of printers on Windows 10.
The Local Group Policy Editor is only available on the Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, and Education editions. Therefore, we have also included the Registry Editor method for the Windows 10 Home users. Both of the methods will configure the same setting.
1. Using the Local Group Policy Editor to Prevent Deletion of Printers
The Group Policy is a Windows feature that provides centralized configuration and management of the operating system and applications. There are a wide variety of advanced settings available in the Group Policy Editor. There are two different categories in the Group Policy Editor. The setting that we are looking for can be found under the User Configuration category.
If your system is not equipped with the Group Policy Editor, then skip this method and try using the Registry Editor method. However, if you have Group Policy Editor available on your system, then follow the below steps to prevent users from removing printers:
- Press the Windows + R key together on your keyboard to open a Run dialog. Then, you need to type “gpedit.msc” in the dialog box and press the Enter key or click on the Ok button. This will open up the Local Group Policy Editor window on your computer.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor window, head over to the following path:
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization\
- Now double-click on the policy named “Prevent deletion of printers” and it will open another window. Then change the toggle option from Not Configured to Enabled as shown below.
- After that, just click on the Apply and Ok buttons to save these changes.
- The Group Policy will automatically update the changes. If not, then you must force the update for the group policy.
- Search for Command Prompt in the Windows search feature and run it as an administrator. Now type the following command in Elevated Command Prompt and press the Enter key on the keyboard. You can also update the group policy by restarting the computer.
- If you want to enable the remove device button again, just change the toggle option to Disabled or Not Configured in step 3.
2. Using the Registry Editor to Prevent Deletion of Printers
The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that saves all the settings for the operating system and applications. It contains keys and values for each specific setting. If you used the Group Policy Editor before using this method, then the value and the key will be updated for that specific setting. However, if you are using the Registry Editor directly, then you need to create the keys and values for any specific setting. The setting for preventing deletion of printers can be configured under the Current User hive. Now follow the below steps carefully:
Note: We have also included a step for creating a registry backup for safety. However, you can skip that step if you don’t want to create any backup.
- First, open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows and R keys together on your keyboard. Then, you need to type “regedit” in the dialog box and press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor. If you get UAC (User Account Control) prompt, then click on the Yes button.
- You can also create a Registry backup before making new changes. Click on the File menu and choose the Export option. Choose the file name, location, and click on the Save button.
Note: The restoring process of backup is the same, click on the File menu and choose the Import option as shown. Then, you can choose the backup file that you recently created.
- In the Registry Editor window, head to the following location:
Note: If the Explorer key is missing, just right-click on the Policies key and choose the New > Key option. Then name that newly created key as “Explorer“.
- Right-click on the right pane of the Explorer key and choose the New > DWORD (32-bit) Value option. Then rename the value as “NoDeletePrinter” and save it.
- Double-click on the NoDeletePrinter value and it will open a small dialog. Now change the value data to 1 and click on the Ok button.
- Finally, close the Registry Editor window, and reboot the computer to apply the new changes.
- You can always enable the remove device button by changing the value data to 0 or by removing the value from the Registry.