Cannot remove printer

Actions to be taken when the printer cannot be removed

There are several reasons if you need to reinstall or completely remove your inkjet or laser printer. Perhaps you have bought a new printer in the meantime and want to delete all driver details and connections. Likewise, it is sometimes necessary to uninstall the printer if there are problems updating the driver.

It is always annoying when¬†the message “Printer cannot be removed” appears¬†on the¬†screen.¬†Uninstalling the printer may¬†block access.¬†Note that¬†normal printing will no longer be possible¬†if you remove the printer.¬†In the following we would like to give you¬†some possible solutions¬†with which you can solve the problem.

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Why should I uninstall the printer?

Regardless of whether you are using an inkjet printer, a laser printer or a corresponding multi-function device, it is¬†not automatically uninstalled when you disconnect the power plug and the USB connection cable.¬†Printers are always installed with a¬†suitable printer driver¬†that is¬†integrated into¬†the¬†operating system.¬†The drivers are usually provided on a driver CD that is included in the scope of delivery or can be downloaded from the printer manufacturer’s website.¬†Your printer can¬†only¬†communicate properly with the PC¬†with this¬†software installation.¬†It doesn’t matter here either if you‚Äôre¬†using¬†a¬†wireless printer.¬†This also needs the¬†appropriate drivers.

It is always important that when you reinstall a printer, the old drivers and the printer software are completely removed from the computer. The PC then knows via the operating system that there is no longer a printer. It is ready to accept new drivers. When uninstalling a printer, you also save yourself valuable disk space on the hard drive. The only exception is if you want to operate several printers on your PC. In this case, the current printer must always be used as the default printer be declared. We generally recommend that you completely uninstall the old printer and its drivers if you have acquired a new printer and would like to continue to operate it on your own.

This means that there are no complications with the operating system. Printer problems can also occur due to the installed printer cartridges or, in the case of laser printers, from the installed toner cartridges. If these are very serious, it may be worthwhile to first completely remove the printer from the device list and then reinstall it. In an inkjet printer, for example, the printer cartridges can be incompatible with the printer driver.

Here at Copiac you will find the right consumables for most inkjet and laser printers at affordable prices. You do not run any risk, so that the warranty of your device is not affected even after using compatible products. Regardless of this, if you have serious printer problems, we would like to recommend that you briefly uninstall your printer. After doing this, most of the problems should be resolved.

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This is how the printer is removed from Windows

Most PCs use the Windows operating system. Most users use Windows 7, Windows 8 and currently Windows 10. We recommend the following solutions for these operating system versions.

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Use the command prompt to remove the printer

If your printer cannot be removed and there is no access to it, you can remove the printer as an administrator on your computer via the command prompt. The steps that are of interest to Windows users are briefly listed below:

  • Log on to your computer as an administrator
  • Go to the Windows Start menu
  • In Windows 10, use the search bar
  • Search for the term ‚Äúinput‚ÄĚ
  • Now the ‚ÄúCommand Prompt‚ÄĚ should be recommended to you
  • You get to a spartan input screen from the good old DOS days
  • Enter the command ‚Äúcd c: \ windows \ system32 \ printing_admin_scripts \ de-DE‚ÄĚ
  • If you would like to display all installed printers, enter the command “cscript prnmngr.vbs -l”
  • You can now choose the printer that you want to remove
  • Write down the name of the printer and your PC as you will have to type them in manually
  • Use the command “cscript prnmngr.vbs -d -p” printer name “-s computer name” to delete the printer
  • As a result, you should get a message that the printer has been deleted
  • Use the Control Panel in the “Devices and Printers” menu to check whether the uninstallation was really successful
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Another possibility why the printer cannot be removed in Windows

It is often the responsibility of the printer driver to ensure that your printer cannot be removed from the system. Perhaps an uninstallation was aborted prematurely or the driver files are defective. Try the following steps:

  • Go to the control panel of your PC
  • Switch to the device manager there
  • There you can call up the “Printer” tab
  • Double-click the printer to be removed
  • The window for your printer shows several tabs and status messages
  • Go to the point “Driver” and then to “Uninstall”
  • Follow the operating system instructions step by step
  • After the driver has been removed, you have to restart your computer
  • After such a restart, the printer should be easy to delete
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The problem with the printer queue

Please note that a common cause can be the¬†printer queue.¬†Perhaps there are still some documents in this queue that you have not yet printed.¬†When you try to remove your printer, you will usually get a message saying “The printer cannot be removed because the¬†device is still in use¬†“.¬†In part, this is because the last print job has not yet fully completed and you may have tried installing a new driver in the meantime.¬†This is where the¬†system gets mixed up.¬†Proceed as follows:

  • Go to the control panel of your PC
  • Go to the point “Administration”
  • Switch to “Services”
  • Now go to “Printer Management”
  • All services are listed alphabetically under Name
  • Look here for “printer queue”
  • Mark this entry with a mouse click
  • Now click on the command “End the service”
  • The printer queue will now be emptied
  • Now try to remove your printer

Services Printer queue Name Description Status Start type Log on as…………… Printer queue Loads files for printing Started automatically Local system……………

Tip: After you have uninstalled your printer in this way, you should definitely¬†reactivate¬†the¬†system service for the printer queue¬†.¬†Proceed in the same way and at the end just select the command “Restart the service”.

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The printer can also be removed via the registry

If the message “Printer cannot be removed” appears under Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can also¬†intervene¬†deeply in the¬†operating system¬†and use the¬†registry entries.¬†Be extremely careful, however, as incorrect entries made by careless¬†mistakes¬†can¬†seriously¬†damage¬†your system.¬†To remove your printer, do the following:

  • Go to the Windows start menu
  • Enter “Execute” in the search field
  • In the window that now appears, type ‚ÄúRegedit‚ÄĚ against you
  • You will then find yourself in the registry of your computer
  • Look for the point “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” and click it twice
  • There you go to “SOFTWARE” and “Microsoft”
  • From there switch to “Windows NT” and “CurrentVersion”
  • You will find your installed printers under ‚ÄúPrint‚ÄĚ – ‚ÄúPrinters‚ÄĚ
  • Right-click the printer that you want to delete
  • This device can now be removed via the ‚ÄúDelete‚ÄĚ submenu
  • Exit the registry again and check whether the printer has been removed correctly



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Perform a reboot

Many PC problems can be solved very well by restarting your computer. In some cases, this is also a convenient solution to removing a printer. First, uninstall your printer from the device manager via the control panel. The driver should also be uninstalled here. Now restart your PC. You can then check whether the printer in question has really been removed from the device list.

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The easiest way to uninstall the driver

If your printer is to be removed, the first thing to do is to uninstall the appropriate printer driver. This is required for the correct operation of the printer. Simply proceed as follows:

  • Go to the Control Panel and there in the Device Manager
  • Select the “Printer” tab
  • You will also find the driver settings in this window
  • Remove or uninstall your printer’s driver
  • Follow the instructions of the operating system
  • At the end you should restart the computer
  • Now check if your printer has been removed
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The printer manufacturer can also help in many cases

If there are problems with your printer, you can also¬†contact¬†your¬†printer manufacturer¬†without hesitation.¬†You will find various contact options¬†both in the¬†operating instructions¬†and on the¬†manufacturer’s¬†website.¬†It is important that you make a note of your printer model and series, and precisely describe the operating system used and the error.¬†A telephone hotline often helps to solve the problem.

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Remove the printer from an Apple Macintosh

Many Mac users can also get an error message from the printer, such as “The printer cannot be removed”.¬†There are also¬†various solutions¬†for this:

  • First, click on the Apple logo in the top menu bar
  • Here you can now select the system settings
  • There you will also find the item ‚ÄúPrinter & Scanner‚ÄĚ, which is sometimes also called ‚ÄúPrint & Scan‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúPrint and Fax‚ÄĚ
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the aforementioned menu item
  • Now the submenu “Reset printing system” appears
  • Click here
  • After such a cleanup, the installed printer is removed
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Remove the printer in Ubuntu

Many use the user-friendly Linux version Ubuntu instead of Windows. When you first set up this operating system, most printer drivers are included automatically when you connect to the Internet. In addition to installing a printer, uninstalling it is also very easy. This works as follows:

  • Go to System Preferences on Ubuntu
  • Open the “Hardware” menu and then “Printer”
  • There you will find your installed printer by name
  • Right click on your printer name
  • Then select “Delete”
  • Your printer will now be removed from the list


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