How to Completely Uninstall a Printer
Our home printer was acting up for me last week only on my computer and it was working fine for other computers. So I thought I would delete it and then add it again so I did that but it still kept acting up. Restarting the computer did not help as well.
My husband is in IT so I told him and he told me that deleting the printer from the Printers folder does not really clean up anything. It just removed the printer icon if you will from the Printers folder leaving the drivers still installed on the computer. Drivers are small programs that let the computer communicate with hardware.
So I followed his advice as shown below and then added the printer again and my printer issue was gone.
So let us start by clicking on Start and then selecting Printers (Picture 1), if you don’t have it listed in the Start menu then go to Control Panel and open it from there.
Delete the printer that you want to delete by right clicking on it and then selecting delete. (Pictures 2, 3)
Once done, click on File and then select Server Properties. Highlight the driver for the printer that you just deleted and then select delete(Pictures 4, 5). Once the driver is gone, then the printer is completely removed.
If you get a message that the driver is in use and can’t be deleted, you have two options. The first is to restart the computer and then going directly to Server Properties after the computer starts and deleting the desired driver. The second option is to restart the Print Spooler service. The Print Spooler service is a service that controls how Windows prints.
Click on Start and then right click on Computer and select Manage. Once Computer Management opens up, click on Services and Applications and then scroll down to the Print Spooler service. Right click on it and select Restart. Once that is done, you can go ahead and remove the printer driver. (Picture 6, 7)
Sometimes even after restarting the service, you still get the message that the driver can’t be removed so restarting the computer should completely take care of that.
One thing to note is that you need to be a compute administrator to be able to do any of this.
If you have installed the printer software that came on the CD that came with your printer then go to Add and Remove Programs and uninstall it from there if you want.