Removing a “dead” printer share

A client called me regarding a previously shared printer that had been deleted and reinstalled but not reshared. When attempting to reshare the printer – the message “share already exists” was displayed. The net share command confirmed that the system believes that the previous share still exists – in the name that we want to share the printer !!

This is because remnants of the information about the share are not deleted when the previously shared printer was deleted…..So how do you get rid of this share ……

As with all fixes of this kind – I take no responsibility for editing the registry – do so at your peril !!

We need to use regedit to remove the share


and delete that entry of the existing share.

Now go to the top of the registry key and search for any incidents of the share and remove those also.

Finally – close out of printers and faxes (where you first saw the error) – restart both the server and browser services – by restarting the server service.

Then open printers and faxes and reshare the printer with the share name you want