Windows XP – Remove Any Network Printer via Registry Editor

   Posted April 21, 2008 by Jimmy Selix in Windows

At some point in dealing with Windows XP and printers, you’ve probably have come across a network printer that you cannot remove no matter what you do or who you login as. This recipe will explain how to remove ANY network printer from Windows XP via the Registry. This does require the user being an administrator account.

WARNING: Editing the Registry improperly can cause adverse performance of your operating system and can even cause your OS to be corrupted or non-bootable.

This will deal with network printers only.

Step 1. Login as the account that is having problems removing a printer. If the account is not an admin account, I would recommend making it one to make things easier. (Regedit requires admin rights along w/stopping and starting of services; which we will be doing).

Step 2. Open the Registry Editor. You can do this by going to your Start Menu > Run and then type “regedit” in the run box and hit Enter.

Step 3. In the Registry Editor, Expand the My Computer area. Then go to this location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Printers > Connections

Hopefully you will see the printer that you cannot delete. Click on the printer name and hit the delete button.

Now the printer will instantly disappear from the printers and faxes list.

There is also one more spot to remove the printer from in the Registry.

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Print > Providers > LanMan Print Services > Servers > Printers

hopefully you will see another folder below the Printers one that will refer to the name of the print server hosting the printer.

If you do not have any other network printers on that server, you can delete the folder of the print server. (ie my printers are on my server called my-print; i would then see a my-print folder and under that my actual printer; ). Otherwise, find the printer under the print server folder (ie my-print) and delete the printer.

To finish the registry edits, close the Registry Editor and then reboot.

Hopefully that network printer will no longer show.

Again, like most things that are done in the registry editor, BE CAREFUL on what you delete or do not. Bad registry edits can cause your XP machine not to boot or BSOD.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

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  • Anonymous

    its very nice my dear.,,..thanks for giving the solution…………i hope provide more

  • Att Comcast

    what about the SVC HOST SERVICES ??????????

  • Dgf


  • Anonymous

    Thanks for giving information about remove network printer in windows XP. It is very helpful to everyone who wants to remove network printer. This article shows nice and accurate information about it. 

  • ANON

    Thanks for the post, the information was very helpful.

  • Keith

    Problem I’m having is that it’s not even in the registry (HKCU or HKLM). Not seeing it at all. If you try to delete it in windows it gives you Access Denied. So it displays in XP’s printers but I guess the access is denied because the entry doesn’t exist in the registry. Talk about a miscomunication!

    We also tried various login scripts to rip it out and this is the error I get:
    Error: 122 The data area passed to a system call is too small.

    Any idea?

  • Workstation Optimizer

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jim Moore

    Thanks for this. I noticed my printer would not delete until I had cancelled the documents hung up in the queue. Immediately deleted after that.


  • Mary Egidio

    Tried this, but still could not find the printers.