How to REALLY remove a printer?

I've been given a Win 7 x64 machine and USB printer to fix. The printer is allegedly off-line with jobs still in the queue.

Trying all the USB sockets doesn't seem to reconnect it.

I have tried deleting the printer and device drivers in admin mode and of course doing an uninstall. The printer (greyed out) and jobs remain.

Because the computer thinks it still has jobs in the queue I suspect it's not allowing me to delete it.

So how do I REALLY DELETE A PRINTER in Windows 7?
Who is Participating?
Thomas GrassiConnect With a Mentor Systems AdministratorCommented:
try this

. Click Start.

2. Type Command.

3. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

4. Type net stop spooler then press Enter.

5. Type del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\* /Q then press Enter.

6.  Type net start spooler then press Enter.

The queue must be cleared before a printer is deleted
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have tried deleting the printer and device drivers

If the Printer is still in Programs and Features, then remove it from there (uninstall).  At that point, the printer should not show up in Devices and Printers.

Now, did you remove the driver from Printer Server Properties?  Open Devices and Printers, click on any printer to reveal a new sub-menu. Click on the Printer Server Properties link and then the Drivers Tab. Make sure there are none of your printer (and fax) drivers in this list.

The printer should be now gone.

...  Thinkpads_User
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Open Computer Management then expand services.

Scroll down to Print Spooler

Then stop the service.

wait a min or two

Then check your print queue see if jobs still appear.

restart the service

Once the queue is cleared then you will be able to delete the printer by simply clicking on remove device from the devices and printers window.

You may need to stop and start the print spooler service a few times to clear the queue.

This is the only way to clear the print queue if jobs are hung up there.

Give it a try
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

edhastedAuthor Commented:
This is what is happening:

1. Log on as Admin.
2. Uninstall printer.
3. Printer remains, grayed out.
4. Delete printer, it disappears.
5. Restart computer.
6. Printer still in Devices and Printer
7. Go into Print Manager - can delete printer or devices. Says "driver currently in use".
So how do I delete a printer?
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Did you stop the spooler as suggested above?
... Thinkpads_User
edhastedAuthor Commented:
edhastedAuthor Commented:
Thanks - this line killed the queue and then everything else began to behave!

Type del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\* /Q then press Enter.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.