To cancel or delete stuck print jobs in windows, you will need to follow the steps shown below. Sometimes, documents you’re printing get stuck in the printer’s queue, preventing further documents from being printed.
Whether you’re using a local or shared network printer, sometimes printing doesn’t go quite right. If you’ve tried troubleshooting obvious printer problems paper jams, no paper, low ink or toner, or simply restarting the printer it’s time to turn your attention toward the print queue.
Often, simply clearing and restarting the print spooler the software that prepares and manages printing documents can fix the problem. If that fails, you may need to cancel one or more documents in your print queue and see if that gets things going again.
How to cancel & delete a stuck print job in windows
If clearing and restarting the print spooler didn’t do the trick, the next step you’ll want to take is to see if you can identify and cancel whatever document is stuck. Sometimes, clearing a single stuck document will get your printer going again and any other print jobs in the queue can finish printing normally. Other times, you might have to cancel all the currently printing documents and then try printing them again.
- Click Start, type “devices,” and then click the “Devices and Printers” Control Panel app.
- In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the printer you’re having trouble with and then click the “See what’s printing” command to open the print queue.
- Right-click the earliest print job and then select “Restart” from the context menu.
- If your printer cranks up and starts printing after restarting the document, you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll need to try canceling the document. Right-click the document again and select the “Cancel” command.
- Click “Yes” to confirm that you want to cancel the document.
Clear and Restart the Print Spooler
Clearing and restarting the print spooler should be your first step when trying to fix stuck print jobs because it won’t actually cancel any of your currently printing documents. Instead, it restarts things and proceeds as if all those documents had just been sent to the printer for the first time.
To do this, you’ll stop the Print Spooler service, delete the temporary cache Windows uses to spool print jobs and then start the service again. We’re going to show you two ways to do this. First, we’ll look at how to do it manually, and then we’ll look at how to create a batch script so that you can do it any time you want with just a click.
- Clear and Restart the Print Spooler Manually
To clear and restart the print spooler manually, you’ll first need to stop the Print Spooler service.
- Click Start, type “services,” and then click the Services app.
- In the right-hand pane of the Services window, find and double-click the “Print Spooler” service to open its properties window.
- In the properties window, on the “General” tab, click the “Stop” button.
- Fire up File Explorer and browse to the following location or just copy and paste this text into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter: %windir%\System32\spool\PRINTERS
- You’ll likely be asked to provide permission to access this folder. Go ahead and accept.
- Delete the contents of the entire folder by pressing Ctrl+A and then the Delete key.
- Now, return to that open properties window in the Services app and click “Start” to restart the Print Spooler service.
- Click “OK” to close the properties window and you can also go ahead and exit the Services app.
As soon as you restart the Print Spooler service, all the documents in your queue are immediately re-spooled and sent to the printer. If all goes well, they should start printing again right away.
- Clear and Restart the Print Spooler with a Batch File
If clearing your print queue by restarting the Print Spooler service is something you think you’ll be doing more than once or you’d just rather not go through the trouble of using the Services app you can also create a simple batch file to do the job.
- Fire up Notepad or your preferred text editor. Copy and paste the following text as separate lines into the blank document: net stop spooler, del /Q /F /S “%windir%\System32\spool\PRINTERS*.*”, net start spooler
- Save your document as a .bat file.
- Open the “File” menu and click the “Save As” command.
- In the “Save As” window, browse to the location you want to save the file.
- On the “Save as type” drop-down menu, choose the “All files (*.*)” entry.
- Name your file whatever you like, but include “.bat” at the end.
- Click “Save” when you’re done.
You can now double-click that batch file to clear the print spooler whenever you want. Better yet, create a shortcut to the batch file and then place that shortcut where it makes the most sense to your desktop, Start menu, or taskbar and you’ll have one-click access to clear and restart the print spooler whenever you want.