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How To Clear All Jobs from the Print Queue

Posted by Arch on December 6, 2018

Clearing the queue on your printer may be needed more often than you think. Not all printers automatically delete old jobs that haven’t gone through. These are sometimes referred to as stuck print jobs.

These types of situations occur for various reasons including power outages, mechanical failures, printers going offline, etc. The trouble is that the print queue can become so large that you won’t be able to print a new file.

Whatever you send to the printer will be placed in a queue behind the stuck print job. Most of the time, you should be able to manually delete the stuck job from the printer or from your computer. However, when that doesn’t work you may need to resort to a more drastic solution – deleting the entire printer queue.

Deleting Your Print Queue in Windows

You can delete print queue for individual printers as well as for the entire network of printers if you have one connected to the server.

Here are the steps you need to take to make it happen.

1. Administrative Tools

Go to the Start menu and click on Control Panel. Find the Administrative Tools link and access it. Click on the icon titled Services.

2. Print Spooler

After you reach the list of services, you can scroll down until you locate the Print Spooler. Alternatively, you can click any service on the list and hit P to automatically go down the list to services starting with P and scroll down from there.

Right-click on the Print Spooler service to open up its menu. Click on the Stop action. Keep in mind that for any of this to work, you should be logged in as the Administrator of your computer. Either that or your user account should have Administrator privileges.

3. Clearing the Queues

For this action, you’ll need to locate the printer directory. The default path should be C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\Printers. You may also use the address bar in your Windows Explorer and type %windir%\ System32\spool\Printers.

Using the command in the address bar is your best bet because not everyone has their operating system installed on the default C drive. The command will locate the Printers folder no matter what drive it’s located on.

Now you can select the files you want and delete them or you can just select them all with Ctrl + A and hit Delete.

By doing this, you will have effectively cleared all the jobs from the print queue. You might want to be cautious when doing this on a server so as not to interfere with other people’s queues. Deleting all the files in the Printers folder will delete all the jobs scheduled for your entire network of printers.

Once you’ve cleared your printer queue, the Printers folder should be empty.

4. Restarting Print Spooler

After you’ve deleted the files you wanted gone, you can go back to the Services list. Find the Print Spooler icon again and right-click on it. This time hit the Start action.

Deleting Your Print Queue in Windows 10

There’s another method you can use in Windows 10. It involves clearing the print cache from individual printers, which should come in handy if you have multiple printers connected to the same PC.

1. Devices and Printers

To access the Devices and Printers window, you must first open Control Panel. You can do this by typing it in the Windows search bar or by right clicking the Windows icon on the toolbar and selecting Control Panel from the menu.

If you haven’t altered the standard hotkeys, then holding down the Windows key and pressing X should also open the menu.

When you’re in the Control Panel, you’ll need to select the Devices and Printers link. Use the View feature to change to small or large icons, whichever gives you the best visibility. Alternatively, you can type Devices and Printers in the search bar of the Control Panel to filter the results.

2. Selecting the Printer

Once you’re in the Devices and Printers section, you should see a list of all the devices available. The second row should contain all the printers and fax machines.

Select the printer you want to clear, right-click it, and hit the ‘See what’s printing’ option.

This will open up a properties window. Select the printer menu from the top left corner. This will open up a list of options. Near the bottom of the list, you should see an option titled ‘Cancel All Documents’.

Click on it and this will clear the entire queue for just that printer. The next document you’ll see will be the first one you send to the printer next.

The Final Word

If your printer is taking longer than usual to print out documents or if it gets stuck as soon as you hit Print, you may have to delete your print queue. This is fairly easy to do if you follow the tips provided in this article. If this doesn’t resolve your problems, you may have to take your printer to a repair shop to have it checked for hardware issues.

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