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Can't Remove Printer Drivers in Windows 7 32-bit

    Question

  • On one of our Windows 7 machines at work I am unable to remove any of the printer drivers that are currently installed on it. I have tried to remove them as the domain admin, and local admin with no luck.  The error I get when I try to delete the driver in the print server properties is as follows.

    "Unable to remove driver blah blah, Type 3 - User Mode driver. The specified printer driver is currently in use."

    There are currently no jobs waiting to be printed on any of the installed printers.

    Any idea's?

     

     

     

    Friday, January 28, 2011 8:52 PM

Answers

  • Most likely there is a reference to the driver from one of the other profiles that has a connection a machine sharing a printer that uses the driver.

    Stopping and starting the print spooler service in the current logged on session usually allows for driver deletion.  If that does not work then an application has loaded one of the driver UI components and still holds a handle reference.  

    I guess the best steps would be close all applications, terminate all explorer.exe process(es),  start explorer, Delete Driver.  If failure, stop the printer spooler service, start the print spooler service, Delete Driver.


    Alan Morris Windows Printing Team
    Friday, January 28, 2011 10:06 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Most likely there is a reference to the driver from one of the other profiles that has a connection a machine sharing a printer that uses the driver.

    Stopping and starting the print spooler service in the current logged on session usually allows for driver deletion.  If that does not work then an application has loaded one of the driver UI components and still holds a handle reference.  

    I guess the best steps would be close all applications, terminate all explorer.exe process(es),  start explorer, Delete Driver.  If failure, stop the printer spooler service, start the print spooler service, Delete Driver.


    Alan Morris Windows Printing Team
    Friday, January 28, 2011 10:06 PM
    Answerer
  • I will give that a try and report back on whether it worked or not. Thanks!
    Monday, January 31, 2011 1:31 PM
  • I'm having the same problem with Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit). As long as one user profile has a printer connected which uses the specific driver, I can't delete this driver package. I tried all what Alan proposed, but it didn't help. I also tried a reboot to make sure that nothing is left of the other user session - no success.

    So far my only solution is to log on as the user who has this printer connected and delete this device. Then log on as administrator and delete the driver package.

    Monday, March 14, 2011 1:30 PM
  • I've had good success removing printer drivers that the above solution didn't resolve, by downloading the Kyocera Deleter tool (available from the Kyocera website, do a search for it in their downloads section). I made sure to run it by right-clicking and choosing Run as Administrator, otherwise it doesn't have the permissions it needs.
    Friday, November 04, 2011 6:52 AM
  • I resolved this be deleting drivers IMMEDIATELY after restarting print spooler service. More info here http://www.mysysadmintips.com/clients/170-cant-remove-printer-drivers-in-windows-7-the-specified-printer-driver-is-currently-in-use
    Friday, November 18, 2011 12:41 PM
  • Go to:
    1. Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\
    2. Open Print Management
    3. Click on All printers()
    4. Right click on selected printer and click Cancel all jobs
    5. After that your printer should disappear or you can select printer and try 
    Wednesday, September 18, 2013 6:07 PM
  • To delete network printers drivers on Windows 7 navigate to Devices & Printers > Click on any printer and on the top of the Window select Print Server Properties > Drivers > Change Driver settings > Remove

    After confirming removal by clicking Delete you get the error message:
    Failed to remove driver %driver name%. The specified printer driver is currently in use.

    The way to achieve the result is to delete the driver immediately after restarting print spooler service whilst logged on as admin on the client PC.

    • Open Devices and Printers and remove device(s) which are using the drivers in question.
    • Open Print Management and Services management consoles side by side.
    • In Print Management right click on the driver you want to remove and click Remove Driver Package
    • A confirmation dialog will pop up
    • In Services right click on Print Spooler and click Restart
    • While Print Spooler is restarting, quickly move your mouse cursor to the Print Management dialog Delete button and immediately after Print Spooler restarts click Delete

    You have to be very quick though, a split second can make all the difference.

    Once removed you can delete and re-add the printer if required.

    • Edited by Tony Thurogood Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:52 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Mark522010 Tuesday, January 28, 2014 5:14 PM
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:39 AM
  • This worked.  Thanks for the post.
    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:01 PM
  • Tony, thank you for this! I have been working for weeks trying to get rid of our old HP universal drivers as they interfere with the new HP universal drivers. Deleting all printers didn't work, deleting user profiles didn't work, printui didn't work, reg hacks didn't work (everything got corrupted), basically nothing else worked.

    But this worked. It's horribly tedious and time consuming (I have 23 drivers to remove on 92 laptops) but I am unable to reimage the laptops easily and at least I have a way to move forward.

    Thanks again!

    Mark

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 5:19 PM