SOLVED: “Access is denied, unable to remove” when deleting printer

Apr 22, 2013 by     27 Comments    Posted under: Technology

Many organisations push out printer installations via Active Directory. If you want to tidy up those printers (removing ones you don’t use) you may find Windows 7 doesn’t let you delete them, even though you may be a local administrator and even if you use an elevated Explorer session:

Access denied error

Use the following steps to resolve this annoyance.

From an elevated command prompt:

C:\Windows\system32>net stop spooler
The Print Spooler service is stopping.
The Print Spooler service was stopped successfully.

Then fire up regedit. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\Connections and delete the offending printer:

printers regedit

Finally, restart the print spooler:

C:\Windows\system32>net start spooler
The Print Spooler service is starting.
The Print Spooler service was started successfully.

27 Comments + Add Comment

  • Rob, just found your site, really enjoying it πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Dave.

  • thanks for your hint

    it worked !

    : )

    • Great!

  • Thanks for the excellent tip. I must have visited 20 websites today. Most of them said stop the spoiler service which did not stop the error. No one made it as simple as you did.

  • Excellent, worked like a charm.
    Thank you for posting.

  • You are a star – sorted with many thanks

    • My pleasure.

  • Muchas Gracias!

  • Tnx for this.


  • This is awesome!

    Thank you so much!!

    I’ve been looking at so many threads and yours hit it right on the money. I finally got rid of that darn printer that was like a torn in shoe πŸ™‚

    Great post!

    • Glad to hear it.

  • thanks alot! very helpful

  • worked great thanks

    • Great!

  • Seems to work and then it comes back while watching the printer folders any ideas

    • The most likely explanation is that this is a domain-connected (corporate) PC and the printer is being pushed out by Group Policy. If so, there’s little you can do about it except inform your IT department you don’t need that printer.

  • Thanks for the nice tip. It was removed first but after I refreshed, it popped up again (Ouch!). I also deleted it when I found it under a different User Profile. I have not had time to check Group Policy yet but will give it a shot.

    • Good luck!

  • Thanks Rob worked for me!

    Kind Regards Edwin

    • Great! πŸ™‚

  • Good post, Rob. Thanks for the help.

    • You’re welcome!

  • Thanks! Who would’ve thought that the first google result is a simple, quick solution that actually works!

    • Hooray! πŸ˜€

  • Worked for me – quick and simple. Thanks!

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