How to fully uninstall a USB printer driver on Windows 2000 and XP



This article explains how to remove the Epson printer driver. You may require this procedure if you simply wish to remove the Epson software from your system, or you wish to remove the software to try to resolve a problem you are experiencing with the Epson printer driver or software.

If you have been experiencing difficulties printing from or scanning to your computer, there may be a communication issue. Ensure that you have followed the troubleshooting article that addresses the issue you are experiencing. If the issue remains, the printer and scanner driver may need to be fully uninstalled.

Notes Icon Note:

This procedure is more in-depth than the standard method of uninstalling and will remove all currently installed Epson printers. If you have an Epson scanner and it doesn't function after following this procedure, you should reinstall the scanner software

Important: This article assumes that your printer is operational (e.g. displaying no errors) and addresses the full uninstall process only.


Follow the steps below to fully uninstall the printer driver from Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

  1. Start with the printer powered on and connected to the computer.

  2. Open the Printers folder. Check for and cancel any queued documents for your Epson printer.

    1. Click Start > Control Panel.
    2. Open PrintersPrinters and Faxes, or Printers and Other Hardware.

    3. Double-click on the Epson printer icon to open the print queue.
    4. If documents are waiting in the print queue, click Printer then Cancel All Documents.
    5. Click Yes when prompted "Are you sure you want to cancel all documents for 'Epson xxxx'?".

      Notes Icon Note:

      If you have more than one icon for your Epson printer model, repeat this procedure for any duplicate drivers.

    6. If you have cancelled documents, restart the computer before moving on to the next step. To restart the computer, click Start > Shut Down, and click on Restart from the dialogue box that appears.

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  3. Power off the printer and disconnect the USB cable.

  4. Uninstall the printer driver from Add or Remove Programs.

    1. Click on Start, then Control Panel.

    2. Open Add or Remove Programs.

    3. Locate and click on EPSON Printer Software. A size will not be stated, this is normal.

    4. Click on the Change/Remove button.

    5. The EPSON Printer Utility window will appear.

    6. Click on the Epson printer icon that corresponds to the printer you wish to uninstall and click OK.

      Highlight printer driver and click OK

    7. Answer Yes to all prompts to complete the uninstall process.

      Uninstall Prompt dialogue Yes

      Uninstall Prompt dialogue OK

    8. Click OK to the "Uninstall complete" notification.

      Uninstall Complete notification

    9. Repeat this procedure until all Epson printer drivers are uninstalled.

    10. Once the uninstall program has finished, close Add or Remove Programs.

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  5. Browse to the inf folder using Windows Explorer, or My Computer:

    For Windows 2000c:\winnt\inf
    For Windows XP: c:\windows\inf

    1. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer.
    2. Navigate to the drive that Windows is installed on - this is normally Local Disc (C:).
    3. Open the winnt folder (Windows 2000), or windows folder (Windows XP).
    4. Open the inf folder.

      Notes Icon Note:

      If you cannot locate the inf folder open the Start menu and select Run. Type inf into the blank Open: box then press Enter.

  6. You will now need to search for the Epson 'oem' files in the Windows inf folder.

    1. Locate the files labelled OEMxx.inf (where xx is a number from 0, 1, 2, etc. upwards). The oem files you locate may not display the .inf extension.

      INF Folder

    2. There are normally two oem files that share the same number. For example with oem1 there would normally be oem1 and oem1.PNF.

      oem.inf file:   oem.PNF file:

    3. Start with the first oem.inf file (usually oem0.inf).

      Notes Icon Note:

      You cannot open a .PNF file.

    4. Double-click on the file and it will open in the Notepad program.

    5. Check for "SEIKO EPSON" or "EPSON" within the first few lines of text.

    6. If it does not say "SEIKO EPSON" or "EPSON" within the first few lines, close the file and check the next oem file. To close a file, click on the  close icon found in the top-right of the program window.

    7. If "SEIKO EPSON" is listed within the first few lines and the printer details are listed further down, close and delete the file. To delete it, right-click on the file icon then left-click on Delete from the menu.

      Caution Icon Caution:

      You MUST NOT delete any OEMxx files that do not contain "SEIKO EPSON".

    8. Click Yes to the "Confirm Delete" prompt, to send the file to the Recycle Bin. Then delete its corresponding oem.pnf file.

      In the example below, oem109.inf is a SEIKO EPSON file. This should be deleted along with oem109.PNF.

      oem109.inf example

    9. Continue to check each OEMxx.inf file in turn, following the procedure above.

    10. Once all OEMxx.inf files have been checked, close the inf folder.

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  7. Stop the Print Spooler service in Local Services.

    1. Open the Start menu, click on Run. A small window will appear.
    2. Click in the Open: field and type services.msc.
    3. Click OK. This will open the Local Services window.
    4. Scroll down the list of services until you find the Print Spooler.
    5. Click on Print Spooler to highlight it.
    6. At the top-left of the window, click on Stop the service. Windows will attempt to stop the service.
    7. Once the Print Spooler service has stopped, close the window.

  8. Remove the Epson files from the w32x86 folder.

    1. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer.
    2. Open the windows folder (windows on XP, winnt on 2000).
    3. From here, browse to: \system32\spool\drivers
    4. In the drivers folder you should find the folders Color and w32x86.
    5. Right-click on the w32x86 folder and left-click Delete.

      w32x86 folder

    Notes Icon Note:

    Deleting the w32x86 folder will remove all installed printer drivers so these will need to be reinstalled.

    If you have non-Epson printers installed and do not wish to reinstall them, do the following:

    1. Open the w32x86 folder to display the contents.
    2. Delete any Epson or EP files from the w32x86 and 3 folders.
    3. Confirm that you want to remove the files to the Recycle Bin.

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  9. Once deleted, restart the computer. This should also restart the Print Spooler.

  10. Once restarted, check that the Print Spooler service is running.

    1. Repeat Steps 7.1 - 7.5 to open the Local Services console.
    2. With Print Spooler highlighted, click on Start the service.
    3. If Start is not listed but Restart is, click on Restart the service.
    4. Windows will attempt to start the service.

    5. Once the Print Spooler status is 'Started', close the window.

  11. Remove the Epson folder from the (C:) drive.

    • Open My Computer. Open Local Disk (C:) - or the hard drive that Windows is installed on. Locate and delete the EPSON folder.

  12. Delete the PrinterDriverTemp and the Epson printer name folders from C:\Program Files\EPSON.

    1. Locate and open the Program Files folder.
    2. Locate and open the EPSON folder.
    3. Locate the folder named after your Epson printer model.
    4. Right-click on the folder icon and left-click on Delete.

      Delete Printer Folder

    5. If you have more than one Epson printer installed, delete all folders relating to the individual Epson printer models.
    6. In C:\Program Files\EPSON, locate the PrinterDriverTemp folder.
    7. Right-click on the PrinterDriverTemp folder, then left-click on Delete.

      Delete Printer Driver Temp Folder

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  13. Confirm that you want to delete the file then close all windows to the Desktop and restart the computer.

  14. Once the computer has restarted, empty the Recycle Bin.
    • Right-click the Recycle Bin icon on the Desktop. A menu will appear; left-click on Empty, or Empty Recycle Bin. Click Yes to the prompt to delete the items in the Recycle Bin.

  15. Make sure that your printer is still powered off and disconnected from the computer.

  16. The printer driver uninstall is complete.

    If you need to reinstall the driver, you can use the Epson printer software CD-ROM. Alternatively, you can download and install the latest driver from the Epson Support website.

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