Printer Troubleshooting

How To Clear A Printer Queue?

how to clear printer queue

Printers runs on a software that defines the parameters on what it can deliver. It includes a program that allows users to print series of documents one at a time, called queueing.

Even though the program is fool proof, it is not perfect and can cause the printer not to print at all. A struck print job could be behind a queueing malfunction. Although the software is provided with an escape mechanism, configured by clearing printer queue, it sometimes fails to delete the stuck document. The user is left to clear the print queue manually. And to resume printing the steps to manually clear the print queue in Windows is detailed as follows:

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button in the control panel and select Administrative Tools. Proceed down and double click on the Services icon.
  2. Log in first as the Administrator otherwise the program will not respond. Continue scrolling down up to the Print Spooler service, right click on it and select Stop. Once the Stop icon is activated, no documents will be printed at this point on. It involves all printers connected to this server.
  3. The next step is to access the following directory: C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\PRINTERS. Or can be approached differently by typing %windir%\System\spool\PRINTERS into the address bar in Explorer if the C drive is not the default in Windows partition. This should all delete the files appearing in the folder.
  4. After all files have been deleted retrace and proceed to the Service console. Right click and pick Start to activate the Print Spooler service.

At this point clearing printer queue is complete and printing can proceed without any problem. If a script is preferred for a server, create a batch file by following the commands listed below or just type it into the command prompt.

net top spooler

del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\*/Q /F /S

net start spooler

The first and third commands are self-explanatory: the command stops and start the print spooler service. The second command deletes everything in the printer’s folder. The/Q is for a quiet mode, and means prompt is no longer available when a request is made to delete each file. /F will force to delete all read-on files only. /S should delete any subdirectories included in the file. Take note that deleting content from this folder can never harm the computer.

The process of clearing printer queue is simple. The commands are clearly stated and need to be followed accurately.

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  • Reply
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    May 6, 2017 at 7:45 am

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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    national health advice
    May 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of info on your site. Im really impressed by your blog.

  • Reply
    Aloha Mercedes
    August 30, 2019 at 8:05 am

    This can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes I can manually go in and delete the print job, but sometimes I just can’t get rid of it! In this type of case, you have to clear the print queue manually. In this article it show the steps to clear the print queue and it’s a big help. Thanks

  • Reply
    Layla De
    August 30, 2019 at 8:06 am

    I’ve experienced this for a couple of times.This happen when I tried to print something a few hours back, but the printer was off. I ended up not needing the document and I forgot about it. Then I come back and try to print. The print job is added to the queue and if the previous job didn’t get removed automatically, It sucks but this article help me. Good job.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2019 at 6:01 am

    Too late to do this solutions. I already waste some papers but actually this help me a lot and get ready if it will happen again. Nice blog it super detailed any way, keep on sharing.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2019 at 7:43 am

    The third process was failed as the cancel command did not work in the process of deleting files. But good thing it finds me a great solution to it.Thank you for providing these command, it worked on my Windows 10 print issue. Nice.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2019 at 7:40 am

    my printer was very unresponsive in printing job and also in other jobs in the queue. i got rid to this problem because many programs were running in a certain single time and then its just crushed suddenly. Good thing i got the best instruction from this blog, thank you.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2019 at 7:20 am

    good thing i did not forgot to have a back up file in order to keep the files complete and ordered. what a quick and easy tips of instruction. thank goodness i fixed and follow in control panel and in the administrator i almost forgot the login infos but it works somehow. thanks for this blog.

  • Reply
    October 10, 2019 at 9:37 am

    awesome article, now I know what to do if this will happen while at work. thanks!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2019 at 7:43 am

    awesome article, now I know what to do if this will happen while at work. thanks!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2019 at 8:07 am

    When followed properly, these steps should have absolutely nothing to do with causing missing DLL files or background information. Just saying.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Superb! Many thanks for doing this, helped massively.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Just as I was about to give my printer a Viking burial, I found your post. Thank you very much.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I just want to clear the files in the queue so that it wont print next, but i don’t want to delete the files.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Whenever I encountered this type of problem, I usually ask for assistance from our IT staff. Thanks for sharing, I now know how to fix it by my own.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    I always spend my spare time to read your blog. Thanks for the information!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I just bought my very first printer and don’t have any background on printer’s troubleshooting.This will be a big help.

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