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Deleting Windows 7 Print Drivers – The Specified Printer Driver is Currently in Use

by Chris Hall/December 1, 2016


In the past we’ve had to delete some network printers drivers on couple of Windows 7 machines.
As usual went to Print Server > [computer] > Drivers > [driver] > Remove Driver Package
After confirming removal by clicking Delete was presented with an error message:
Failed to remove driver [driver name]. The specified printer driver is currently in use.

Windows XP these kind of issues would be normally resolved by deleting printer and restarting Print Spooler service. Unfortunately in this case it didn’t work.

A quick search online revealed that often recommended solution is to delete printer from every single user profile who was ever logged on this machine. We had over 10 user profiles on this machine so we weren’t very keen to try it.

After some searching we found another, quicker way to achieve the same result. The trick is to delete the driver during the start of the print spooler service.

– Open Devices and Printers and remove device(s) which is using 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 with a Delete button shown, leave this screen open and do not click Delete at this time.

– Open the Services Dialog.

– In Services right click on Print Spooler and click Stop

– In Services right click on Print Spooler and click Start

– As soon as the print spooler is starting, click the Delete button from the Delete Printer Dialog screen.

– If you selected multiple drivers to delete, you may have to repeat this process until all printer drivers are gone.

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