Connecting printers to your Windows 10 computer allows convenient printing access. However, as printers get replaced or become obsolete, the list of installed devices can become cluttered over time. Removing outdated printers helps organize your machines and ensures only current devices appear in the print queue.
Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it simple to remove printers using several methods. This guide will cover the various techniques to delete printer connections from your computer.
Why Remove Printers in Windows 10?
Here are some key reasons to remove printer installations from Windows 10:
- Eliminate clutter: Deleting old or unused printers cleans up the list of installed devices and makes it easier to find current hardware.
- Fix printing issues: Sometimes removing and re-adding a printer connection helps resolve problems like missing printer queues or driver conflicts.
- Save resources: Printer installations utilize disk space and system resources, so removing obsolete devices can improve computer performance.
- Update drivers: Getting rid of old printer connections allows you to download updated drivers if you decide to re-install the device later.
How to Remove Printers Using the Control Panel
The classic Windows Control Panel offers a simple interface to manage installed printer connections. Here are the steps to remove printers with this tool:
- Open the Control Panel from the Start Menu or via Windows Search.
- Click Devices and Printers under the Hardware and Sound category.
- Right-click the printer you want to remove.
- Select Remove device from the context menu.
- Confirm the deletion in the prompt window.
This will instantly remove the chosen printer device from your computer.
Removing Printers Via Settings App
The Settings app provides another way to delete printer connections:
- Launch Settings from Start or via Windows search.
- Click Devices in the main Settings menu.
- Click Printers & scanners in the sidebar.
- Under the Printers & scanners header click Remove device below the printer name.
- Confirm the printer removal action.
Like the Control Panel method, this instantly disconnects the selected printing device.
Delete Printer Installations from Devices Manager
The Devices Manager utility lets you remove printers using a manual approach:
- Access Devices Manager by right-clicking the Start Menu and choosing the option.
- Expand the Print queues section in the device tree.
- Right click the printer node you want to remove.
- Select Uninstall device from the menu.
- Tick the checkbox to delete the driver software too in the prompt.
- Confirm the printer removal process.
This eliminates the chosen printer device and any associated driver packages from the computer.
Use the Print Management Console
The Print Management console includes batch removal capabilities:
- Go to Windows Search and type print management.
- Expand the Print Servers > LOCAL sections.
- Right-click the printer entry and choose Delete from the menu.
- Check any additionally installed printer ports you want to remove.
- Confirm the batch removal operation.
Follow these steps to remove printers as well as secondary print server connections in a single action.
- Windows 10 provides various tools like the Control Panel, Settings app, Devices Manager and Print Management to remove printers.
- Deleting outdated printers cleans up the devices list and solves issues like cluttered print queues.
- Eliminating unnecessary printer connections saves disk resources and improves computer performance.
- Always confirm removal actions in the prompt dialogs before deleting printer devices.
Cleaning out obsolete printer installations is an important device management task in Windows 10. Learning the different methods to remove printers using inbuilt OS tools empowers you to organize the computer’s connections. Fewer devices also run more efficiently, while solving common printing problems.
Overall, taking time to prune unnecessary printers streamlines everyday computer use on Windows 10 machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need administrator rights to remove a printer?
A: Yes, you need administrator privileges on the computer to be able to uninstall printer devices in Windows 10. Standard users can view devices but not delete them.
Q: What happens to documents in the print queue when removing a printer?
A: Deleting a printer automatically clears any jobs pending in its queue. However, this could result in temporary data loss for unprinted documents.
Q: Can I delete printer ports too?
A: When uninstalling printers from Devices Manager or Print Management, you get options to remove associated ports too like TCP/IP, USB or LPT1. This helps clean up unneeded connections.
Q: Is it better to disable or uninstall printers?
A: Full removal is better to free resources. Disabled printers still occupy disk space. However, disabling first helps identify if it causes any program issues before deletion.
Q: Does the printer model disappear from the devices list when removing it?
A: Yes, deleting removes the printer model entry entirely from the machines list. You need to re-install it from scratch later if required.
Q: Is there a quicker way to remove all printers together?
A: The Print Management utility lets you multi-select and batch remove multiple or all unused printers in one go. This saves time versus individually removing devices.
Q: Can I undo a printer deletion if I remove one by mistake?
A: Unfortunately no, there is no undo or recycle bin option after deleting printers. You have to re-install the printer using its software CD or download the driver.
Q: Where are leftover printer drivers stored after I uninstall a device?
A: Windows retains unused printer drivers under C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository folder. You can manually delete these later if desired.
Q: Do printer deletions also remove associated apps like scanner utilities?
A: Yes, removing an all-in-one printer uninstalls bundled scanner apps and other software utilities related to that device model.
Q: Is there any difference between uninstalling versus disconnecting a printer?
A: Disconnecting keeps the device driver installed but makes it inaccessible for printing. Uninstalling deletes the printer software and drivers entirely from the system.
Q: Can I remove network printers mapped to my computer?
A: Yes, the uninstall procedures outlined above apply to shared network printers too. But this only disconnects the mapped printer from your local machine.
Q: Will the spooler service restart when I delete printers?
A: No, removing/adding printers does not automatically restart the print spooler service in Windows 10. You have to manually restart it if required.
Q: Is deleting printer connections risky?
A: Not really, as long as you remove only unused and obsolete printers. Accidentally deleting in-use printers is easily fixed by re-installing the device.
Q: Where do I find help for specific printer deletion problems?
A: Consult the user guide or support site of your printer manufacturer for troubleshooting model-specific uninstall issues. Windows own help documentation can assist for general problems.
Q: Can I remove printer ports without deleting the device itself?
A: Yes, you can independently remove only the ports from Devices Manager if unused. This avoids re-configuring the printer connectivity when required later.
Q: Is it necessary to uninstall my old printer drivers?
A: Yes, it’s recommended. Old printer drivers take up space and can sometimes cause conflicts with newer printers. Uninstalling keeps things clean.
Q: Do I have to uninstall printers before upgrading Windows versions?
A: No, Windows can usually safely upgrade while keeping your installed printers intact. However, reinstalling particularly old printers after an upgrade is still a good idea.
Q: How do I delete printers that show as “Unavailable” in Devices Manager?
A: Unavailable printers cannot be directly deleted. But removing their drivers from the Driver Store folder with the manual method deletes them.
Q: What’s the easiest hotkey method to delete printers fast?
A: Open the “Devices and Printers” Control Panel view, select the target printer, then press the Delete key to quickly remove it. Requires admin rights.
Q: Is there a VBS script method to batch uninstall printers?
A: Yes, an admin can run a simple VB script that loops through all printers and removes them automatically without any prompts.
Q: Can I delete printer subscriptions like HP Instant Ink during uninstallation?
A: Yes, some printer deletion utilities prompt to also remove any subscriptions or associated online services linked with that device model.
Q: Will Microsoft Store printers uninstall like regular ones?
A: Printers added from the Microsoft Store behave like other Windows printers. They delete via the standard tools like Settings or Control Panel.
Q: How can I see previously connected printers that were removed?
A: Open the classic Printers Control Panel view, select “See what’s printing” under “See more”, then choose “Open printers and scanners history”.
Q: Can printing problems happen if I uninstall printers incorrectly?
A: Yes, errors like missing queues, stuck jobs or driver conflicts can occur if printers are not removed properly following the standard methods.
Q: Is it safe for standard users to delete their own mapped network printers?
A: Yes, regular users don’t need admin access to remove only the network printers mapped to their own user account through prior connections.
Q: Where can I find advanced utilities to deep clean printer deletions?
A: Third-party tools like the Printer Removal Tool offer advanced cleaning of print spool files and registry entries during printer removal for expert users.
Q: How can I confirm a printer uninstallation succeeded fully?
A: Open Devices Manager and verify the removed printer no longer exists in the “Print queues” section, indicating it deleted properly at software and hardware levels.