windows-7-printer-drivers

Remove Windows Vista/7 Printer Driver


If you right click on a printer and delete it, this doesn’t remove the printer driver from the machine. Sometimes when working with print servers and testing multiple drivers there will be times when you need to completely remove a driver package from the machine so you can install a new or different one.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 has a tool called the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) built into windows which you will use to remove the drivers. Please note, if you are running the premium or home version of the OS then skip to the bottom and follow the alternative option.

Printer Driver Removal Instructions

Step 1

Reboot the machine and login as “Administrator”.

Step 2

Go to the start menu and start typing MMC, you will see the Microsoft Management Console shortcut appear in the start menu; click on it.

MMC - Remove Print Driver

MMC

Step 3

Go up to the file menu and select Add/Remove Snap-in…

MMC - Add/Remove Snap-in...

Step 4

Then scroll down in the list and select the “Print Management” snap-in and then hit “Add”.

MMC - Print Management

Step 5

At this screen you are going to want to select “Add the Local Server”, hit Finish, and then hit ok.

MMC - Add the Local Server

Step 6

Then you can scroll down to your computer name, select the drivers tree and then right click on the driver you want to remove and select “Remove Driver Package”.

MMC - Remove Driver Package

Step 7

Make sure you reboot your machine before trying to add new or different print drivers.

Alternative way to remove the printer driver.

For those of you running Windows 7 Home or Premium then you might not have the MMC options available. This is an alternative way to remove the printer driver.

Step 1

Go to your start menu, search for “regedit” and click into it.

regedit

Step 2

Then navigate to the following location (example of 64-bit OS):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers

Step 3

You now might have two different folders, Version-3 and Version-4. Simply expand those folders and find your printer driver that you are trying to remove. Then right click on the printer folder and select “Delete.” Reboot your computer and you should be good to go.

remove-printer-driver-registry

I also recommend running Windows Update: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

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