Driver Update Software

How to Uninstall Device Drivers

Filed under: Device Drivers, Uninstall 

Once you have uninstalled a device, any device drivers left behind also need to be removed. Why? Because your system can still be losing valuable resources by having the device driver still installed.

You see, when you install a device, its corresponding drivers also get installed on your system and they get called each time you boot up your PC. So even if the device has been removed, with the device drivers still present… your system still loads the drivers at boot up. This is a waste of system resources.

How to Remove Device Drivers on Windows XP

Once a device is removed from the PC, Windows XP no longer shows the device in the Device Manager. So part of the driver uninstall process is to tell Windows XP to show non-present devices.

Follow these simple steps to remove any unwanted device drivers for Windows XP.

  • Press the Windows key and the Break key on your keyboard. Your system properties box will appear.
  • Select the Advanced tab.
  • Click Environmental Variables.
    uninstall device driver
  • Click New (under System variables).
  • Type devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices (in the variable box).
  • Type 1 in the variable value text box.
  • Click Ok to return to the System Properties box.
  • Click Ok again.
  • Select the Device Manager tab.
  • Click View / show hidden devices.

In this area, you will need to expand all the necessary branches and look for washed out icons. The washed out icon will reflect unused device drivers that need to be uninstalled.

Once you have located a device driver to uninstall, you can highlight it, right-click it and then choose Remove.

How to Uninstall Device Drivers in Windows 2000

You can use these instructions for XP as well. By following these simple steps, you can remove unwanted device drivers from your system.

  • Click Start.
  • Click Control Panel.
  • Click System.
  • Click Hardware.
  • Click Device Manager.
  • Select the unwanted device.
  • Right-click the device.
  • Choose Uninstall.
  • Click Yes.
  • Click Ok twice.

In some cases you will still have unwanted device drivers on your system. You can download a registry cleaner to help with cleaning these fragments left behind. An example of such a program is RegistryEasy, which you can download here. Once you have downloaded and installed it, do a PC performance scan so it can detect and delete orphan device drivers. Be sure to back your system up before removing anything from your machine!


9 Comments to “How to Uninstall Device Drivers”

  1. Marland Countryman says:

    would you please tell me how to get printer and faxes in the control panel
    there is no way to use my printer please help

  2. Jules says:

    @Maryland Countryman – What is your OS? Windows XP? And what Printer?

    Normally Windows either recognized the printer and installs it, or you would have a CD/DVD that came with the printer, which would need to be installed.
    If you open up Printers in the Control Panel, you do not have any printers?


  3. TUNDE says:


  4. Jules says:

    @TUNDE – Sorry, I am not quite getting your problem. You want to install a HD (High Definition) audio driver right? But instead of that you installed what?

    In any case, you can always still install the right driver, it should replace any current audio driver.

  5. How do I install a computer driver?

  6. gene landrum says:

    i have a vista 64 operating system, and a dell 966 AIO printer.
    i tried 3 times to download the updated driver from their down-
    load site with failed results…is there a way i can uninstall all
    the drivers loaded for each of these attempts, and from the cd
    rom setup, so that i can try a fresh download and maybe have
    better luck…i do think now that all these drivers stuck in my
    system prevents me from going any further..i can get no help
    from dell.

  7. Jules says:

    @gene landrum – Hope you fixed it already, but there is no easy way to clean up failed installation left-overs. I am not surprised Dell did not offer any help.
    If it is only the drivers, you could try deleting the driver files from the driver store (C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository). Look for folders that contain the names DLCQprc.inf and DLCQscan.inf and delete them.
    Regarding the applications, you would at least need to remove the “C:\Program Files\Dell Photo AIO Printer 966” folder.

  8. Tom says:

    When trying to update an outdated driver named “Printer Port Logical Interface,” I get the message “can not update, driver incorrectly installed.”

    How do I solve this problem?

  9. Ferdinand says:

    nice one!

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