What if printer queue won’t clear in Windows 10?

By Tobenna Nnabeze | March 11, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

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.

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.

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:

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

If the printer still doesn’t respond, go to the Printer Menu and cancel all documents. If there’s still no result, the next step would be to restart your computer and the printer. Unplug all wire connections and plug them back before the system reboot is complete.

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:

  1. Clear the print queue in Windows manually.
  2. Clear the print queue using the command prompt.
  3. Set up a batch file to clear the print queue.

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:

  • Switch the printer off.
  • Click the Windows 10 Cortana button. Type Services in the search box.
  • In the Services window, navigate to Print Spooler.
  • Double-click Print Spooler.
  • In the window, click on the Stop button to disable Print Spooler.
  • Open File Explorer on Windows 10 task bar.
  • Go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS. You’ll find the folder that contains a log of documents on the print queue.
  • Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all the files in the folder. Delete them.
  • Open the Printer Spooler dialogue box again. Click on the Start button to turn the Printer Spooler on.
  • 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:

  • Turn off your printer.
  • Press Windows key + X.
  • In the Command Prompt (Admin) window, type net stop spooler and hit enter on your keyboard. This will switch off the print spooler.
  • Type C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS and press the Return key. The printer job queue will now be erased.
  • Type net start spooler and press enter on your keyboard. This will switch the print spooler back on.
  • 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:

  • Turn off your printer.
  • In the Cortana search box, type Notepad and hit enter on your keyboard.
  • 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
  • Go to File > Save as. In the window, under the Save as type drop-down menu, select All Files.
  • 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).
  • Click on Save. Note the folder the file is saved in.
  • Open the folder that contains the batch file. To run it, click the Printer Queue batch.
  • Turn your printer on. Try printing a document.

These three quick fixes are effective on a printer queue that isn’t clearing in Windows 10.

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.

However, whatever the case may be, if you’ve tried the preliminary troubleshoots and all the three fixes as provided without result, you most likely have outdated printer drivers. Fortunately, you can fix this easily with Auslogics Driver Updater.

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.

Another option is to run the Windows printer troubleshooter. This will fix any error that may be holding up your print jobs or give you information concerning the most likely causes.

We hope you find these solutions useful…

Do leave a comment in the section below.

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