FAQ

How Do I Cancel a Print Job That's Stuck in the Print Queue?

Printing problems are some of the most frustrating problems that we experience as computer users. This article discusses what to try if you have a problem when you try to cancel a print job, or if you have a problem when you try to delete a print job from the print queue. The four step-by-step methods in this article are intended for beginning to intermediate computer users.

Method A

The most obvious way to cancel a print job is to find a cancel button or a cancel menu command on the printer and to use it. So, if you have not already done this, try this method first.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article.

If your printer does not have these items or if this method did not work for you, try Method B.

Method B

Next, try turning the printer off and then on. With certain printer models, this cancels the print job.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. 

If this method did not work for you, turn your printer off, and then try Method C.

Method C

This method is a bit fancier. You will use Control Panel to try to cancel printing.

But what exactly are you trying to do? Are you trying to cancel printing only a single document, or are there other print jobs that you want to cancel? And are all the print job yours, or are there print jobs that other people have sent to the printer? If you have to cancel documents that other people have sent to the printer, you must have Computer Administrator status or you must have permission to cancel the print jobs. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.

To cancel one or more print jobs, follow these steps.

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type control printers, and then click OK.
  3. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then click Open.
    • To cancel individual print jobs, right-click the print job that you want to cancel, and then click Cancel.
    • To cancel all print jobs, click Cancel All Documents on the Printer menu. 

Note If you cancel a print job that you did want to print, make sure that you send the print job to the printer again.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. 

If this method did not work for you, make sure that your printer is turned off, and then try Method D.

Method D

If you tried Methods A through C and you were not successful, Method D should work for you. If you came to Method D immediately only to delete a print job, some of what we say here might not apply to you, so please bear with us.

Method D is simple (if you want it to be) because we can do all the work for you. What we will do is to try to stop the print spooler and delete all spooled files. And all that you will have to do is call us and we will set up a service ticket for one of our certified technicians to remote into your PC and fix it for you.  Of course, if you would rather do the work yourself, here are all the steps that you'll need.

 

First, in case you're not sure how printing works, here is a short explanation. Print jobs are sent to the printer as spooled files. This means that the files are put in a temporary location so that the printer can access a print queue and print jobs at its own speed. If you stop the spooler and delete its files, most of the time, you both cancel printing and delete the print jobs. So that's what we are going to do.

Note To use this method, you must have Computer Administrator status. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.

To stop the print spooler and delete its files, we will have you create and then run a script file that automatically stops the service. This sounds difficult, but it really isn't. Just follow these steps carefully. 

Step 1: Start Notepad

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type Notepad, and then click OK. Notice that a blank Notepad document opens. 

Step 2: Copy a command script to Notepad

Now we will have you paste some commands to the Notepad document.

  1. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    net stop spooler
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl
    net start spooler
  2. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy
  3. In Notepad, right-click in the blank document, and then click Paste.
  4. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd 
  5. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy.
  6. In Notepad, click Save As on the File menu. 
  7. In the File Name box, right-click, and then click Paste.

    Note This file name differs from most other file names that you might have seen. That is because this file is a command script file.

  8. Click Save.

Step 3: Run the command script file

Now that you have created the command script file, you will run it. To run it, you will paste the name of the command script file in the Open box.

  1. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd 
  2. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy.
  3. Click Start, and then click Run
  4. In the Open box, right-click, and then click Paste.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Notice that a Command Prompt window opens to run the command script file that you created. Notice also that this window automatically closes when the command script file has finished running. If you do not see the Command Prompt window open, check that you saved the command script file by using the correct name and that you entered the correct command script file name in the Open box. 

Did this fix the problem?

Check whether the problem is fix. If this method did not work the first time or if you cannot print anything after you use this method, restart your computer, and then try again.

If this method worked, you are finished with this content.

If this method did not work, we're sorry that this content was unable to help you. For your next steps, you might want to ask someone you know for help or schedule support by calling (210) 692-9911.