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How to remove a printer that keeps coming back in Windows 7

I never had any trouble with the “Devices and Printers” control panel in Windows 7 before, apart from the usual difficulties when trying to connect to networks printers. So I was pretty puzzled when I got into trouble trying to disconnect from one.
Basically, I take my laptop at work, and when I changed office there was an old printer from the former office that I didn’t manage to delete: every time I deleted it, it would seem successful but it would come back whenever I restarted the computer (popping up a firewall alert in the process).

I eventually found a way to delete it manually, for good:
– go to Services (if you don’t know how, type “Services” in the start menu)
– find the Print Spooler service and stop it
– open Windows Explorer and go to the C:\Windows\System32\spool\Printers folder. That’s where things can get complicated: ideally, you should delete just the file related to the printer you want to remove (for me it was easy, I only had 2 files and the creation dates were different enough for me to be able to pick the right one). If you can’t identify the right file, I guess you can either remove them all (if you don’t mind losing your other printers’ settings), or make a backup of them and try to delete (and restore) the files one by one (NB: I didn’t try that so I’m not 100% sure making a backup of those files is enough to restore your settings – but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be).
– go back to Services and restart the Print Spooler service.

For me, that did the trick. If you still have difficulties, maybe check out this answer on Superuser, with more options like the use of printui

Posted in Windows Se7en.

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