How to remove printer drivers that will not uninstall
In rare cases, a printer driver will seemingly be impossible to remove from a system. Attempting to remove Printer Driver A and install Driver B will result in Driver A still showing up even after a manual driver removal. Effectively, the old driver stays and a new driver cannot be installed.
This happens with a few varying characteristics:
- The driver installation wizard removed the old drivers.
- The old driver may have been uninstalled with Advanced/Manual uninstall options.
- Deleted the old printer from Control Panel's Printers and Devices.
- The new driver appears to install successfully.
- The old drivers still show up when checking the printer properties.
- Control Panel's Printers and Devices will still display a copy of the old printer driver despite the removal.
Seagull or manufacturer printer drivers on Windows systems.
The Windows Plug and Play service is likely re-installing the original driver as soon as the printer re-connects to the computer. Follow each of these steps to ensure complete driver removal and to keep Plug and Play from re-installing the driver.
- Download the Seagull Driver Package. Run the installer and select remove printer drivers.
- Select Use advanced printer removal options.
- Select all the relevant driver items related to the printer in the Drivers, Components, and Files pages. In this example Brother QL-820NWB is selected for removal.
- Check for the drivers using printmangement.msc (type printmanagement.msc into the start menu and hit enter). Open the All Drivers folder to see installed drivers.
- Remove the driver package if it appears here.
- Open Windows Services (type services.msc to the start menu).
- Find the Plug and Play service. Stop it and set startup type to Disabled.
- Once this is completed, restart the computer.
- Install the new driver on the computer.
- Re-enable the Plug and Play service.