HOWTO: Manually delete unavailable print queues from Active Directory

Recently, I advised to disable the Print Spooler service on Domain Controllers. Concluding that blogpost, I mentioned that admins need to perform manual tasks at the end of the lifecycles of published printers if they have printers published.

Today, let’s take a look at these manual tasks in the two scenarios you need to pay attention:

  1. The printer died and will not be printed to anymore through a published printer
  2. The print server died and will not be coming online anymore

The Case of the unavailable Printer

When a printer is no longer available, but the print server is, then the best way to remove the print queue from Active Directory is to make changes on the print server. In this case, if you make changes in Active Directory directly, the print server will try to recreate the missing print queue in Active Directory.

Perform these steps:

  • Sign in interactively to the print server with a domain account that has sufficient permissions to manage printers on the server.
  • Press Start and select Run…. Type printmanagement.msc and click OK to run it. Alternatively, search for Print Management and run it.
    The Print Management window appears.
  • In the left navigation pane, expand the Print Servers node.
  • Expand the print server. Then, expand Printers.
  • Right-click the printer you wish to remove from Active Directory. Select Properties from the context menu.

    The printer’s properties window appears.
  • Navigate to the Sharing tab.
  • Uncheck the List in the directory option to remove the print queue from Active Directory.
  • Close the printer’s properties window.
  • Close the Print Management window.
  • Sign out.

The Case of the unavailable Print Server

When a print server is no longer available, then the best way to remove the print queues that were previously offered by the print server is to make changes in Active Directory. As the print server won’t attempt to recreate the print queues in Active Directory, we can manually delete the objects using Active Directory Users and Computers (dsa.msc).

Perform these steps:

  • Sign in interactively to a Domain Controller or to a domain-joined device with the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed with an account that is a member of the Domain Admins group in Active Directory.
  • Press Start and select Run…. Type dsa.msc and click
    OK to run it. Alternatively, search for Active Directory Users and Computers and run it.
    The Active Directory Users and Computers window
    appears.
  • In the action bar, click View, and then select the option for Users, Contacts, Groups, and Computers as containers from the context menu.
  • In the left navigation pane, expand the Organizational Unit (OU) structure
    to navigate to the OU or container where the print server resides.
  • In the left navigation pane, click the print server.
  • In the main navigation pane, select the print queue(s) to delete. Use Ctrl and/or Shift keys on the keyboard to select multiple print queues.
  • Press the Del key on the keyboard to delete the print queues from Active Directory. Alternatively, right-click print queues and select Delete from the context menu.
  • Close the Active Directory Users and Computers window.
  • Sign out.

You can further choose to delete the computer account for the print server or reset it.

leave your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.