Get rid of any that you are not using
If you’re like me, you probably install printers on your Windows PC whenever you need to print something when you’re not at home. This is fine, but I recently noticed I had 10 printers installed that I never use because they were one-time printers installed while traveling. I also realized that just because you delete a printer from Devices and Printers, it doesn’t mean the printer driver gets removed from Windows.
Being a computer geek, I like to make sure my system is clean with no extra junk that’s not needed. So I decided to get rid of all the printer drivers that I am no longer using. You can do this in Windows 7/8/10 by going to Print Management. Click Start and type in print management.
This will bring up the Print Management dialog. Now in order to properly delete a driver from Windows, you first have to make sure the driver is not being used by any printers. Before we get to that, first click on Print Servers in the left-hand dialog, then the computer name, then click on Drivers.
This is the list of all print drivers installed on your system. First figure out which one you want to delete. Before you can delete it, you will need to click on Printers in the left-hand tab and right-click on the printer that is using the driver you want to delete.
You can quickly see which driver each printer is using. If you don’t care about the printer anymore, you can just right-click on the printer and then click Delete. If you want to keep the printer and just delete the driver, you will need to right-click on the printer, click on Properties and then click on the Advanced tab.
In the Driver drop-down box, you need to simply change the driver to a different driver. It doesn’t really matter which one, it just has to be something other than the driver you want to delete. Once you have changed it, exit and then go back and click on Drivers in the Print Management dialog.
Now that the driver is no longer being used by any printer, just right-click on it and choose Delete. It should be deleted without any errors. Again, if you get an error message saying you cannot delete the printer driver because it’s being used, that means you have to go to Printers and check more printers to see if that driver is being used. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Enjoy!