Difference Between File Repository and Actual Driver Folder?

Hi folks,

I was trying to uninstall a print driver for a network printer for one of my users (Windows 7), and I ran into that issue where it tells you that it can't remove the drivers because they are still in use (this after stopped and restarting the spooler, rebooting, etc.). So I was looking at the "File Repository" for this print driver (C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\hpcu115u.inf_amd64_neutral_4a9d334b04ff58b2), and it has the same files as another folder that is pointed to under the "Driver" tab in the Print Server Properties dialogue (C:\Windows\system32\spool\DRIVERS\x64\3). My questions are the following:

1. What is the purpose of the File Repository folder as compared to the driver folder as listed above?

2. If I am unable to remove the print drivers through Print Management (using admin rights), should I manually delete the corresponding File Repository folder, should I delete the files in the corresponding folder as listed above (C:\Windows\system32\spool\DRIVERS\x64\3), neither, or both?

3. Why in the world does it give that message, even after having deleted that printer? Is it a matter of other users on that machine being mapped to that same network printer, or what?

I did check to make sure there are no other services started that use the printer driver.

Thanks for your help!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Windows keeps backup files for just about everything on your system.

I can't really check right now, but when you remove devices with the device manager, you will usually give you the option to remove all drivers for the device. The Devices and Printers dialogue may not work the same, but check.

If you are using the printers properties, make sure you are using the one in the middle of the context menu and not the one on the bottom.

It might help if you were to turn off the Device driver updates, which you can do in the Advanced System Properties, Hardware tab, Device Installation settings.

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