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It can be frustrating when you want to use your printer but a previous document is in the queue. You try to print several other files to see if printing would start, but they all get lined up. No error message is received, and yet the status remains “Printing” indefinitely.

If you’re experiencing this issue, follow the steps in this article to learn how to clear your printer queue.

Why Does This Happen?

In Windows, the print files are not directly sent to the printer. They arrive first in the spooler, which is a program that manages all print jobs. The spooler is useful as it enables you to change the order of pending print jobs or delete them.

When there’s a problem, the files just remain in the queue. And once the first file in can’t be printed, neither will those behind it.

A print job may also get stuck if there are background app conflicts.

In addition, the printer’s driver might be problematic and cause issues with the spooler.

How to Clear Printer Queue in Windows 10

There are different solutions to this problem, depending on its cause. We’ll be going over the different fixes one after the other, from simple to complex.

Cancel the Current Document

Sometimes, the solution would be to cancel the file that is not printing correctly.

To delete a print job in Windows 10, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and select Printers.
  2. Click on Open Queue and select the problematic file.
  3. Cancel the print job.

If the printer still doesn’t respond, go to the Printer Menu and cancel all documents.

Restart Your Devices

If there’s still no result, the next step would be to restart your computer and the printer. Sometimes, your operating system or system memory gets stuck and halts some processes. It’s also possible that your printer is no longer responding due to some system glitches.

A simple reboot can fix the problem in this case.

Shut down your system and unplug it from its power source. You should also unplug your printer from the power source. Wait for a minute or two and plug both devices in again. Turn them on and try printing the file again.

You have tried the simple fixes outlined above to no avail. Have no fear. This is a common issue. And there are easy ways to fix a print queue that isn’t clearing in Windows 10.

There are three solutions you can use:

  • Clear the print queue in Windows manually.
  • Clear the print queue using the command prompt.
  • Set up a batch file to clear the print queue.
  • Restart the printer and reinstall the driver.
  • Use Windows Troubleshooter.

Fix 1: Clear the Print Queue Manually

You have to manually disable the Print Spooler service and delete the files in the queue. The process is easy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Switch the printer off.
  2. Click the Windows 10 search button in the taskbar.
  3. Type Services in the search box.
  4. In the Services window, navigate to Print Spooler.
  5. Double-click Print Spooler.

Manually disable the Print Spooler service and delete the files in the queue

  1. In the window, click on the Stop button to disable Print Spooler.
  2. Open File Explorer on Windows 10 task bar.
  3. Go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS. You’ll find the folder that contains a log of documents on the print queue.
  4. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all the files in the folder. Delete them.
  5. Open the Printer Spooler dialogue box again.
  6. Go to the Startup Type drop-down menu and select Automatic.

Go to the Startup Type drop-down menu and select Automatic

  1. Click on the Start button to turn the Printer Spooler on.
  2. Turn your printer on and try to print a file.

Fix 2: Use the Command Prompt to Clear the Print Queue

The fastest way to clear the print queue is through the command prompt. All you have to do is enter and run a few commands:

  1. Turn off your printer.
  2. Press Windows key + X.
  3. In the Command Prompt (Admin) window, type net stop spooler and hit enter on your keyboard. This will switch off the print spooler.
  4. Type “del C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS* /Q” (without the quotes) and press the Return key. The printer job queue will now be erased.
  5. Type “net start spooler” (no quotes) and press Enter on your keyboard. This will switch the print spooler back on.
  6. Turn on your printer and print a file.

Fix 3: Set up a Batch File to Clear the Print Queue

To clear the held-up print queue with a batch file, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your printer.
  2. Open the search box, type Notepad and hit enter on your keyboard.
  3. Copy the text below and paste in Notepad:

@echo off

echo Stopping print spooler

echo

net stop spooler

echo Erasing Temporary Junk Printer Documents

echo

del /Q /F /S “%systemroot%\System32\Spool\Printers\*.*

echo Starting print spooler

echo

net start spooler

Set up a batch file to clear the Print Queue

  1. Go to File > Save as. In the window, under the Save as type drop-down menu, select All Files.
  2. In the File name box, delete *.txt and type Printer Queue.bat (You can save the file with any name. But whatever it is, .bat should be at the end).
  3. Click on Save. Note the folder the file is saved in.
  4. Open the folder that contains the batch file. To run it, click the Printer Queue batch.
  5. Turn your printer on. Try printing a document.

Fix 4: Restart the Printer or Reinstall its Driver

As we mentioned, the printer’s driver may be acting up. The driver is the piece of software that facilitates communication between the printer and the operating system. It could become corrupt, outdated, or missing and start causing problems.

To troubleshoot the driver, disable and enable the printer. If that doesn’t work, you can reinstall the driver. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows start button or press the Win + X shortcut.
  2. Click on Device Manager when you see the Power User menu.
  3. Once the Device Manager window opens, locate your printer, right-click it, and select Disable.
  4. After disabling the device, right-click the printer again and click on Enable.
  5. Try printing the file again to check if the issue has been resolved.

If the print queue is still stuck, try reinstalling the driver. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Device Manager, right-click on the printer and click on Uninstall Device.
  2. Select Uninstall in the confirmation dialog and restart your computer.
  3. Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver automatically after your system restarts.
  4. Try printing the file.

You should also consider downloading and installing the printer’s updated driver. This solution should work if your current driver is broken or outdated. Head to the printer’s manufacturer’s website and search for your operating system’s driver.

You can also get rid of driver issues automatically using a dedicated tool such as Auslogics Driver Updater. When you install and run the program, it automatically checks for outdated, corrupt, and missing drivers and installs their latest versions.

Using Auslogics Driver Updater means you won’t have to bother about downloading and installing drivers yourself. If your printer’s driver is the problem, the tool will let you know and ensure you install the correct update for your operating system.

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Use the Windows Troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can help you find and fix problems with devices like your printer. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings application using the Win + I shortcut.
  2. Click on Update & Security when you see the Settings application.
  3. Go to the left side of the Update & Security window and click on Troubleshoot.
  4. Click on Additional Troubleshooters on the Troubleshoot page and select Printer.

Use a built-in troubleshooter that can help you find and fix problems with devices like your printer

  1. Run the troubleshooter.
  2. If the program finds issues, allow it to fix them.

What if My Printer Queue Won’t Clear?

If you often get files in the printer queue that won’t print or clear, it may be a compatibility issue with the data to be printed. This is common when you try to print a web page with fonts or styles that your printer cannot identify or convert to printed text. The fixes outlined above should resolve the issue.

Configuration issues can also cause a glitch in the print job queue – for example, when you try to network print to a missing IP address. Uninstall and reinstall the printer software to fix it. You should also carry out some troubleshooting on your network or reach out to your technician for assistance.

We hope you find these solutions useful…

Do leave a comment in the section below.