Updated for MS Windows 10 – How To ‘Really’ Remove Unused Print Drivers From Your Windows XP/7/8/10 PC or Tablet
Let’s assume that you have deleted the print drivers from your Printer Folder in the traditional manner and that your Printer Folder is still open.
Next, select “Server Properties” from the “File” drop-down menu. Then, click on the “Drivers” tab.
But wait, there is only one icon for this printer in the Printer Folder. How can that be? This is a result of failed attempts to get the right print driver installed for this cranky but reliable and versatile printer, and a perfect example of why you need to periodically perform advanced maintenance chores on your PC. However, which drivers should I delete? Deleting the wrong driver is not a good thing. However, Windows usually complains (what else is new?) if you try to delete the drivers for an active printer. Just to be sure, I will verify which version of the print driver is currently in use. Back in the Printer Folder, I click on the printer icon, select “Printer Properties” and navigate to the “Advanced” tab.
But wait! What is this “PCL 6 Driver for Univers…” all about? Is it related to the HP Universal Print Driver that I have chosen to remain on my system? I highlight the print driver and click “Properties.” The following screen shot explains it all and clearly shows who the culprit is.
This driver is left over from my evaluation of Ricoh‘s Universal Print Driver. Since I am not using the driver, and the icon has been deleted from the Printer Folder, I conclude that it can safely removed.
What does this mean? This message means exactly what it says. Even though the icon is not in the Printer Folder, the system is still using the software. Now we must take the process a step further in order to completely eradicate this print driver from the system.
My experience has shown that when this happens, there are several complicit factors: 1) there are jobs in the print queue; or 2) another printer is attached to the port to which this print driver was previously assigned. I discover that there are no print jobs in any queue so let’s once again take a look at the port settings under “Server Properties.”
(At this point, I realize that I haven’t rebooted the PC since I removed the Ricoh UPD. Ten minutes later after the reboot process, the “Delete Port” process works successfully. Now I can try to delete the remnants of the printer driver once again.
At this point, I really don’t know what more I can do to get rid of the useless print driver. I know that I’ve got more research to do and suspect that I may have to ultimately edit the Windows registry to get things straightened out. I do remember that in the past, I’ve had to reinstall a print driver and then repeat the arduous process outlined above to truly eradicate it—and I don’t want to go through that particular installation process again (see previous post).
For now, I’m down but not out and I guess I’m just going to have to live with it. After all, I did get rid of a couple of useless print drivers that I do not use or need. You may be wondering “what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that this is a perfect example of how over time, your shiny new PC can turn into an overweight slug and you can’t do anything about it. Oh, I just thought of a surefire solution—I could buy a new PC! Somehow I get the sinking feeling that this is what “they” really wanted me to do in the first place . . .