How to remove print drivers that are not in use on Windows Server 2003

Often, after a Windows Server 2003 Print Server has been in production for a while, you might notice

that the Print Spooler service (SPoolSV.exe) might crash (access violate) or hang.

This could be due to an older print driver. 

In my opinion the less print drivers loaded into the Print Spooler process the less chances of having


Do you really need to have all the printer drivers installed?  This question can be answered by seeing

how many print drivers the actual print queues are using:


Click on Start, Printers and Faxes


In this example, I have a total of 6 print queues with 6 different drivers actually being used.

Now let’s see how many print drivers I have actually installed.


Click on File, Server Properties, Drivers tab.


On this list, you can tell that I have a lot more (30+) than 6 print drivers.


I click on the first print driver.

Hold down the Shift key

And then click on the last print driver (in this case Send to Microsoft OneNote).

Click on Remove


You will get prompted if you are sure, click on Yes.

I often get asked if I’m sure that I want to continue, yes, this will not delete print drivers that

have actual print queues.  You will get the warning below that is not able to remove the print driver.


Keep on clicking on Ok.

Once it is done, restart the Print Spooler service


I hope that this information will help you with keep your Print server stable.

Take care.


Comments (1)

  1. master.qwerty says:

    this tip can be used only on print spooler where is used 32b or 64b drivers. Example > if you do this on w2003 where are 32b and 64b drivers for the same printer, it will remove all 64b driver as well as othe 32b which are not in use.

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