Deleting outdated or unused printer ports can help free up system resources and improve your computer’s performance. Over time, installer programs and driver updates may leave remnant printer ports that pile up and take up space. Clearing this printer port clutter helps optimize your computer.
Why Delete Printer Ports?
Printer ports act as interfaces between your computer and printers for sending print jobs. As you install and remove printers and printer software, ports get added and often remain even if unused. Here are key reasons to delete old printer ports:
- Frees up system resources: Printer ports utilize memory, CPU usage, and disk space even when idle. Deleting unused ports frees these resources.
- Resolve port conflicts: Sometimes printer connectivity issues arise from conflicts between ports trying to access the same printer. Deleting outdated ports can help troubleshoot.
- Fix printing errors: Corrupt or faulty ports can sometimes cause printing errors or failed print jobs. Removing bad ports may resolve printer problems.
- Eliminate confusion: Seeing many unused printer ports cluttering settings makes it harder to tell which ports link to current printers. Cleaning house helps reduce confusion.
Deleting unnecessary printer ports improves system stability and printer functionality while reclaiming used disk space and memory.
Identifying Printer Ports on Windows
You can view all printer ports set up on a Windows computer through the Devices and Printers settings. Here are the basic steps:
- Open Control Panel and view by large or small icons.
- Click Devices and Printers.
- Right click on any printer device shown here and select Printer Properties towards the bottom of the menu.
- In the printer properties window that opens, click the Ports tab.
This displays information on all ports related to that printer, including port name, type (local, network, etc), and any port description for additional identification.
You can repeat steps 3-4 for every printer listed under Devices and Printers to compile a master list of all printer ports set up on your Windows computer.
How to Delete Printer Ports on Windows
Deleting ports in Windows takes just a few clicks once you have identified superfluous ports. Here is the general process:
- Access the Systems Properties control panel. Hit Start, type System and click View advanced system settings in Windows 10/8 or click System directly in Windows 7.
- Navigate to the Hardware tab and click Device Manager button.
- Open the Ports menu to display the full list of printer ports.
- Right click any port you wish to remove and select Uninstall device.
This will immediately delete the port. Most ports can be removed this way unless being used by vital hardware. Repeat steps 3-4 to remove all outdated printer ports cluttering your system.
Be careful not to delete ports associated with printers you still use regularly. Consult your list of current printer port connections before removing any questionable ports.
Finding Printer Ports on Mac
Mac computers include built-in support for USB, network and Bonjour printers. You can view configured printers and associated ports through System Preferences:
- Go to the Apple menu and open System Preferences.
- Select Printers and Scanners. This displays your printer list.
- Select any printer and click Options & Supplies.
- Go to the General tab and you will see one or more ports configured for that printer. E.g. a USB port address or Bonjour connection.
Repeating steps 2-4 enables you to record all ports linked to configured printers on a Mac computer.
Deleting Ports on Mac
To remove unnecessary printer ports on a Mac:
- Open System Preferences then Printers and Scanners again.
- Select the printer connected through the port you wish to delete.
- Click the minus “-” symbol button to remove this printer device.
- Confirm the removal in the popup dialog box.
This deletes all associated printer ports as part of removing the full printer configuration.
Repeat steps 2-4 to remove all obsolete printer ports by deleting the attached printer devices.
If certain ports are still being utilized by other hardware or network functions, the Mac system will retain necessary ports automatically even after printers are removed.
Key Takeaways on Deleting Printer Ports
- Record all configured printer ports on Windows through Control Panel or on Mac in System Preferences to identify obsolete ports not in use.
- Deleting unnecessary ports helps optimize system resource usage and can fix some printer errors.
- Carefully remove outdated ports through Device Manager on Windows or by erasing printers in Mac Printer Preferences while avoiding ports used by current printers.
- Confirm deleted ports are removed in follow up checks to free up resources without disabling vital hardware links.
Properly identifying and removing outdated printer ports clears clutter and improves computer performance. But special care should be taken not to delete ports actively used by printers or other crucial devices.
- Why do old printer ports need to be removed?
Old ports waste device resources even when inactive. Deleting clears this technical debt and optimizes system stability.
- Is it safe to delete printer ports I don’t use anymore?
Generally yes, as long as you double check it is not used by current hardware. Delete with care.
- What happens if I delete a port used by my printer?
This could cause your printer to stop working until the proper port is reconfigured. So confirm port utility first.
- How can I tell whether I really need a printer port?
Check your Devices and Printers settings in Windows or the Printers and Scanners preferences on Mac – if no current printers use a port, it is safe to remove.
- Will deleting ports impact other device connectivity?
Removing ports only impacts devices specifically dependent on that port. Other hardware connections will remain intact.
- Can removing ports fix printing errors I get?
Possibly. Sometimes corrupt or conflicting ports cause issues directing print jobs. Deleting and reconfiguring proper ports can help resolve.
- Is there any downside to removing printer ports?
Aside from accidentally disabling a vital port, deleting unnecessary ports has no real downside and multiple benefits.
- Do I have to reboot after deleting printer ports?
No system reboot is required. Changes take effect immediately after port removal.
- How can I easily identify all printer-related ports in Windows?
The best method is: Control Panel > Devices and Printers > select any printer > Ports tab. Review each printer’s ports shown here.
- Where do I go to delete ports on a Mac computer?
You manage ports connected to printers through System Preferences > Printers and Scanners. Remove printers fully to delete all their ports.
- Can I delete printer ports through PowerShell?
Yes, PowerShell cmdlets like Remove-Printer Port let you identify and remove ports via command line as administrator.
- Is there a log of historic printer ports I have deleted?
No built-in log exists but you can create your own documentation by recording ports before and after removal.
- Will an unused printer port always show active connections?
Not necessarily. Irrelevant ports may show no connections but still consume a small amount of resources.
- Is it better to uninstall printer software entirely rather than delete individual ports?
Full software removal is not necessary to clear ports. But uninstalling unused printer programs can provide additional optimization.
- Can you delete printer ports configured as vPorts or WSD ports?
Yes, all port types show under the ports view and can be removed with the same steps if obsolete.
- How can I avoid accumulating needless printer ports over time?
Be selective when installing printer software, drivers and addons to minimize port creation. Also periodically scan for and remove any unnecessary ports cluttering your system.
- Is there a quick shortcut to access my port settings on Windows 10?
Yes, you can right-click the Start button and select “Device Manager” then navigate straight to the ports menu.
- What third-party software helps manage printer ports?
Some recommended tools include Printer Port Manager, Delete Ports and Uber Options for streamlined port removal.
- Can I directly reset or renew the driver for a printer port?
Unfortunately no – updating device drivers can only be done for full printer devices. But deleting and re-adding a printer will install updated port drivers.
- Where is the best place to research printer ports more?
Microsoft and Apple provide tech specs on printer ports for Windows and Mac systems with details on configuration, utilities and optimization best practices.
Regularly reviewing and removing outdated printer ports is an easy optimization to reduce technical clutter and improve computer performance. Just be certain to carefully confirm any ports are inactive before deletion. Keeping vital system resources clear of disused printer ports enhances stability and functionality across both Windows and Mac machines.