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.