Clearing a Printer's Document Queue

on Thursday, June 10, 2010

You're trying to print a document. It's not printing. You check all the usual suspects. The printer has paper and toner, it's plugged in and on, there's no paper jam, etc. No dice.

You can first go to the printer icon in your taskbar (or alternately, go to Devices and Printers, go to the File menu) and cancel the job. Or right click it and delete it. If it deletes successfully, try printing the document again. You've probably already tried that too.

Here's what to do if the document stubbornly refuses to leave the Document Queue.

1 - Turn off your printer.

2 - Right click Computer (in the Windows 7 Start Menu) or My Computer (on your desktop), and click Manage.

3 - In the resulting dialog, expand Services and Applications, then click on Services. Scroll down the resulting list to find Print Spooler.

4 - Right click on Print Spooler and click on Properties

5 - Click on Stop to stop the print spooler. (You should leave this dialog box open.)

6 - Now, navigate to the folder c:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS. A quick way to do this is to click on Start then Run and then enter "c:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS" as the item to run.

7 - Delete the contents of this folder.

8 - Back at the Printer Spooler Properties dialog (you left this open in step 5), click on Start.

9 - Turn your printer back on.

10 - Print!


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