A printer driver is a software that works as a pathway between the device to connect with the printer and print documents through the printer. As you start printing documents, you may have connected your device with multiple printers occasionally, and these have been installed on your device as you did not delete them. All these printers will also have their distinct printer drivers, which can start to consume the device storage without being helpful.
Besides that, sometimes the printer drivers get corrupted, leading to many other complications, including difficulty during printing.
In both cases, deleting the printer driver can be very helpful. Deleting the printer from just the device may not be enough, and you may need to delete it from your device completely. Let’s learn how to delete a printer driver from a Windows 10 device!
How to Remove a Print Driver on Windows 10?
1. Using Control Panel
- Click the Windows button and open the Start Menu by clicking on them or pressing the Windows key, and from here open Settings
- Now, on the new screen, click on Apps.
- From here, try locating the printers you have installed with the name and model number.
- Under the printer name on the right, click Uninstall to uninstall the printer driver.
2. Via Settings
- First, press the windows and ‘I’ keys to open the settings app.
- Next, click on devices from the screen.
- Select ‘Printers & scanners’ from the left panel from the new window.
- Now, wait till your screen displays all the installed printer drivers. Choose the one you want to delete with a click.
- Then, click on “Remove device.”
- Finally, click on “Yes’ ‘ to save your changes.
- Please note that if you need to uninstall multiple drivers from your device, please repeat the fourth, fifth, and sixth steps to delete each at a time.
3. Using Command Prompt
- In the search bar, type “cmd”. From the search result, click on it, and from the right pane, select “Run an Administrator.”
- Type the command wmic printer, get the name, and press Enter
- You will see a list of all the saved printer drivers
- Now type exe /dl /n “the full name of the printer,” and again press Enter
- From here, go to Settings and then open Apps and Features. From here, you can uninstall the printer driver.
4. Using Power Shell
- Open the search bar and type ‘PowerShell’ there.
- From the search results, find “Windows PowerShell’, and right-click on it, and select ‘Run as administrator’ to run Windows PowerShell and administrator.
- Wait till the interface of PowerShell opens on your screen. In the new screen, type the command- Get-PrinterDriver | Format-List Name
- Wait till all the installed printer drivers open on the screen. If you want to remove a particular driver, type the command- Remove-PrinterDriver -Name “the printer name.”
- If you want to delete all the printers, repeat the previous step to delete each of them one by one.
5. Using Device Manager
- First, open the Run dialogue box by clicking the Windows and R keys together
- In the dialogue box, click on explorer shell:PrintersFolder and press OK
- Expand the “Print queues” in the window by clicking the arrow beside this. It will display all the printers saved on your device.
- Select the printer you want to delete.
- Now, from the Context menu, select “Uninstall device.”
- From the pop-up box, select “Uninstall” to uninstall the driver.
6. Using Printer Folders
- Open the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows and R keys together
- Now, type explorer shell:PrintersFolder in the dialogue box and click OK
- In the new Printer Folder Window, you will find all the printers and the drivers installed in the device.
- You can delete the drivers in two different ways-
- From the Context Menu
- Right—click on the printer name you want to delete.
- From the context menu, choose “Delete.”
- Finally, click “Yes” on the dialogue box and save the change
- From Top Menu
- Now, click on the printer name you want to delete.
- From the drop-down menu, click on “Delete this printer.”
- Save your changes finally by clicking “Yes” on the pop-up box.
7. Using Print Server Properties
- Press the Windows and R keys together to open the Run dialogue box.
- Now, type msc in the dialogue box and click on OK
- In the new window, locate “Print Spooler” and select it.
- Select “Stop the Service ” from the drop-down menu to stop it temporarily.
- Now, again open the Run dialogue box
- In the dialogue box, now type print management.msc and click OK
- In the new window, locate and click “Print Server” from the right panel.
- Now, from the drop-down menu, select the computer name.
- Under this, click on Drivers. The device will display all the installed printer drivers on the right side of the window.
- Now, right-click on the printer model you want to remove.
- From the drop-down menu, select “Remove Driver Package.”
- Now, again go back to the left pane and click on the ‘Printers’ option located under the “Print Server.” Right-click on the printer driver you want to remove.
- From the pop-up box, select “Delete.”
- If you want to delete the default printer, return to “Print Management.”
- Under this section, click on “Custom Filter.”
- Click on “All Printers” and your device will display all the printer names on the right side of the window.
- Please select the driver you want to delete and click on it. From the pop-up menu, click “Delete.”
- Once again, go back to “Custom Filters” and click “All Drivers” under this section.
- Select and right-click on the driver package you want to delete from here.
- From the drop-down menu, click on “Remove Driver Package.”
8. Through the Registry Editor
If nothing works, you can delete the printer driver from the Registry Editor to edit the printer entries. But, before that, you need to create a system restore point by following these steps-
- Press the Windows and ‘R’ keys together to open the Run dialogue box.
- In the box, type exe and then press the Enter key
- Wait till a new dialogue box opens. Here check if the drive where Windows is installed has protection mode on. It will protect the other purposes installed in your device while you delete the printer drivers.
- If the protection system is turned off, click on configure
- In the new pop-up dialogue box, turn on the system driver protection. You can also adjust the Max Usage with the gliding slider underneath.
- Click ‘OK’ to return to the System Properties dialogue box.
- Here, click “Create…” to create the needed restore point. Wait till the creation is complete.
Let’s move on printer driver deletion now-
- Again open Run by pressing the Windows and ‘R’ keys together.
- On the command dialogue box, type exe and press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor.
- In the new window, navigate to the registry key- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Printers\Roamed.
- When a new screen opens, you will see all the printer drivers present on the screen on the right panel. Right-click on the printer driver you want to delete, and from the pop-up menu, click ‘delete’.
- Now, check the printer entries of your device with this registry key to check for any unwanted entries left. Enter the key- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections
- From here, open the key- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers and expand it.
- Select the older printers listed under this key in the new screen and Right-click on it.
- From the drop-down menu, click on ‘Delete.’
- Similarly, click on each driver you want to delete one by one here.
- Now, exit the Registry Editor.
What Happens When Drivers Are Deleted?
Drivers are not devices but software components related to a particular device, like a printer which allows the device to function properly when your computer is connected to that specific device.
If a driver is deleted, the device related to the driver will not work anymore. It’s because the driver helps to bridge the gap between the device and the computer for smooth operation.
Hence, it will no longer work if you try to use a printer after deleting its respective printer driver.
Printer Driver – FAQs
Ans: You can use the “Print Management” tool or any third-party driver uninstaller tools to remove any remnant traces of the printer driver.
Ans: No, it will not, as you are deleting a driver related to a particular driver only, and the other printers will remain unaffected.
Ans: Yes, you can reinstall a deleted printer driver by downloading and reinstalling it from the manufacturer’s website of your printer model.
Ans: If you cannot delete the printer driver, try restarting your device once. You can also use the command prompt to remove the driver if nothing works.
Ans: Deleting printer drivers does not affect your print history, as these records are not associated with printer drivers.
Printer drivers are special software that helps your computer or laptop command the printer device to continue printing without any hitch. But sometimes, having multiple saved printer drivers can be a hassle, especially if you no longer use the respective printers. There are many ways to delete a printer driver, and you can use any of the methods mentioned above in this article.