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How to clear the print queue

    Question

  • I have a network laser printer attached, i sent 2 documents to the printer, the first one printed fine, the second didn't print but was on the print queue as "printing....".
    I gave it 5 minutes then tried to cancel the print to start again - the status changed to "deleting...".
    15 minutes later it still hadn't gone and nothing else would print.
    I have seen this problem time again in Vista & XP before it, but i can't believe it is still there.  Is there some magic way of clearing the print queue other than restarting my computer?

    Monday, July 20, 2009 12:34 PM

Answers

  • To clear printing queue, please follow the steps below.

    1. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box and click OK.
    2. Double-click "Printer Spooler" in the Services list.
    3. Click Stop and click OK.
    4. Click Start, click Run, type "%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers" in the open window, and delete all files in this folder.
    5. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 8:37 AM

All replies

  • Restart the spooler?
    (net stop spooler ... net start spooler)
    Monday, July 20, 2009 12:46 PM
  • To clear printing queue, please follow the steps below.

    1. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box and click OK.
    2. Double-click "Printer Spooler" in the Services list.
    3. Click Stop and click OK.
    4. Click Start, click Run, type "%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers" in the open window, and delete all files in this folder.
    5. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 8:37 AM
  • Hi

    Thanks for the quick reply.  
    Can i ask why such steps have to be carried out in Windows 7 in order to clear a print queue, will this requirment be in the final release, and do Microsoft consider that acceptable for normal users in this day and age using what is supposed to be such an advanced operating system?
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 9:33 AM
  • In general situations, we could click the icon in printing queue Notification Area, and choose printer jobs to delete them. However, if the printer driver if not fully compatible with Windows 7 RC, this general way may not work properly. At this time, we need the particular way to delete printing jobs.

    If there are any printing programs that are provided by printer manufacturer, we can also try to delete printing jobs in them.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:19 AM
  • DJ Krys

    In this day and age, it’s not too labour intensive to do this:

    Click the Windows Orb (Start), type or copy and paste cmd /k net stop spooler && net start spooler (note the 8 spaces) and press Enter. Close the cmd prompt window.

    Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:48 AM
  • BurrWalnut

    I don't think you get it do you, it's not the labour involved - it's the fact you would have to do it in the first place, and more importantly, what % of Windows users would have enough knowledge to do that.  How many of them even know about command line mode?
    And remembering to get the syntax just right, cause just 1 error can stop the whole thing.

    No, i'm sorry but i feel that if you are going to develop a GUI interface, clicking on the printer icon and selecting the option to "clear queue" seems much more straight forward, after all, why spend money on Windows 7 if you still have to do things using a command prompt.

    This forum is about Windows 7 performance, and quite frankly, in this case, it's still not performing!
    Thursday, July 23, 2009 10:09 AM
  • BurrWalnut

    I don't think you get it do you,..........


    I do get it but what I don't do is ‘screw up’ the printing of documents, well not often enough to make a posting about it - life is too short.

    Sorry if I got your hackles up!

    Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:46 PM
  • By "screw up" the printing of documents, do you mean when i select "File ... Print ...".

    I think it was windows that screwed up the print of my document, then windows couldn't clear the print queue easily so i could continue printing documents.

    This is a performance forum, where people post comments about the performance of Windows 7, which is what i am doing.

    If life is too short, why are you bothering to post irrelevent comments on here in the first place.  I think you need to think about what point you are trying to make.

    My point is, when Windows screws up printing (windows not me), maybe there should be an easy and assured way of being able to clear the print queue so you can try again, whether you have a degree in computer science or are a provicial housewife, and without having to look up command line syntax anywhere.  I fail to see how that is asking too much.  And if it is asking too much, a simple "i'm sorry you are asking too much" will suffice thank you.

    Simples
    Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:45 PM
  • Blaming windows is not the answer. Print jobs get trashed for any number of reasons.

    If it was a win 7 issue, I would have seen by now, as the IT dept for a small city I have installed win 7 on number of systems
    we have about 10 ~12 network printers as well as MANY desktop  HP printers, I have not a single printing issue (and trust me those folks print out everything).

    Win 7 is about as stable of an OS as you can get, so you need to step back and look at the bigger picture (what model printer / what is the traffic like on the network / bad cable / bad port or bad luck.




    Friday, July 24, 2009 11:31 PM
  • God what is the matter with you people.

    A print job did not print FOR WHATEVER REASON - but it wasn't anything i did wrong!

    I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO CLEAR THE PRINT QUEUE EASILY - i really don't see how this is such an issue for everyone.

    Buubapcguy - i am not on a large network, i sent a document to a printer attatched to a network drive - but whatever i did to whatever printer is not really important.  Either windows can handle the job or it can't.  I am not concerned with the stabillity of Windows 7, that is not what this forum is about, i am making a comment about how to make Windows 7 better - if nobody did that, this forum would be empty so i really don't see the point in your comments.

    Arthur gave me a list of instructions to stop the printer queue etc, - here's a novel idea.

    How about Windows has a button in the print dialog that says "KILL THE PRINT QUEUE NO MATTER WHAT - JUST DO IT." and then when you click that button a macro runs that takes the steps described, rather than me having to look them up and type them out manualy.

    WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THAT????????  Isn't that what the operating system is supposed to do, or should we all go back to DOS and the command line interface?

    I am not allocating blame - I am asking that someone, somewhere, looks at this COMMON PROBLEM and devises a way of sorting it out easily for the user - that is the whole purpose of having an operating system, and if Windows 7 cannot do things easier, and better, than Vista or XP, what would be the point in upgrading.  How can Microsoft persuade people to invest in Windows 7 if it is not BETTER than the other operating systems.

    So i really do not understand why you people are getting so UPSET that i am suggesting that they make Windows 7 better than Vista or XP!!!!!!

    And before you start saying all the things that are better in Windows 7 - that is irrelevant when this post is about print queues.  I am only commenting on print queues, not the performance of Windows 7 in general.  Just print queues, and how maybe, while they are working to make Windows 7 better, and asking people for comments and suggestions on how to make Windows 7 better, then maybe they could make print queue handling better.





    Saturday, July 25, 2009 1:50 PM
  • Clearing the queue is just a troubleshoot method if there is any problem in printing queue. If printing jobs stick in the queue frequently, there are issues we need to fix. Frequently clearing the queue cannot help us to resolve the fundamental issue.

    You need to check the printer driver, upgraded it to the latest version. However, since Windows 7 RC is a test version, most hardware manufacturers do not release Windows 7 RC drivers. Currently the latest drivers are for Windows Vista. If the issue still occurs after you upgrade driver, you may need to wait for manufacturer to release new drivers.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 3:58 AM
  • Clearing the queue is just a troubleshoot method if there is any problem in printing queue. If printing jobs stick in the queue frequently, there are issues we need to fix. Frequently clearing the queue cannot help us to resolve the fundamental issue.

    You need to check the printer driver, upgraded it to the latest version. However, since Windows 7 RC is a test version, most hardware manufacturers do not release Windows 7 RC drivers. Currently the latest drivers are for Windows Vista. If the issue still occurs after you upgrade driver, you may need to wait for manufacturer to release new drivers.


    2 problems here:

    1. The program frequently fails causing the user time to learn about "cancel print jobs"
    2. The program frequently fails with "Cancel Print Jobs."
    3. Users must learn to manually enter lines of text into a commant prompt when the program fails. (the lines of text could be in a batch file and be selectable under a name such as "cancel print jobs" under the printer icon?
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:12 PM
  • Hi

    I didn't say i was having frequent problems printing.  I had a problem printing a job, and when this happened, Windows 7 appeared to do the same as Vista & XP before it when trying to solve it - NOTHING.

    I had a problem printing 1 job and am amazed what hoops have to be jumped thru in order to clear the print queue when it does all go wrong.  I just don't seem to understand why you are so reluctant to allow a user to clear the queue absolutely if all else fails without either command line instructions or restarting the computer.

    Restarting the computer should NOT be the answer, is should be the absolute last resort - if i have to restart my computer surely you have failed.  
    Monday, August 03, 2009 8:15 PM
  • Okay, now it is 2011 and Microsoft  still has not allowed it's users to clear their print queue. 

    I have installed new drivers

    I have talked to the manufacturer

    I cannot fathom why Microsoft has not fixed this function in their elite OS.

    This is such a minor however frustrating issue that I really should not be spending my time trying to correct.  Very frustrating, totally non-productive and I am certain, easily solvable.

    I was with a large firm over 18 years ago and we had a proprietary computer operating system.  With that antiquated system, the print queue was accessible to the user and the user was allowed to purge any and all print 'jobs', reallocate placement in queue and had pretty much total control of their print queue and other PRINT functions without needing to use the old DOS system to correct the programmers defiencies in writing a solution to this trifling but oh so very frustrating issue.

    Yes, there may be other issues with hardware and software, however if the print queue was accessible to the user without all the mumbo jumbo, it sure would alleviate much confusion about what the programming issue is, Don't you think?

    Oh well, I had my say..........defend MS's non-wavering stance all you want, however it cetainly doesn't make sense to me!!!

    I do know that my next operating system will not be Microsoft, as they are much too rigid and they really do not listen to their customer- that paid good money for Windows 7, which was really nothing more than an updated Windows XP and Vista combination.  How sad for the end user.  Apple here I come!  Been loyal to MS since inception.............but ENOUGH is ENOUGH

     


    Saturday, April 16, 2011 8:55 AM
  • I just had this issue of 'deleting' not going away (Win 7 Ult 64bit). It was cured by opening a cmd window with admin rights and typing:

    NET STOP "Print Spooler"

    then..

    NET START "Print Spooler"

    I must agree that when a job in the print spooler in Windows (any version) 'locks up' for whatever reason, it is somewhat frustrating that the job won't cancel immediately and the box just reports 'deleting'. After all, why have a 'delete' option if it doesn't work and we have to resort to cmd line workarounds?

    What is Windows waiting for? Why can't it assume that the printer has been unplugged and simply terminate the job when requested to by the user?

    Generally, I'm very pleased with Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit though, perish the thought of turning the Mac side!

    Mike :) 

    p.s.  In my experience, the easiest way to crash a job is have a paper jam when printing a multi sheet job or the printer failing in some other way during printing.
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:00 PM
  • what do you do after step 5?
    Tuesday, December 06, 2011 2:17 AM

  •  

    To clear printing queue, please follow the steps below.

    1. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box and click OK.
    2. Double-click "Printer Spooler" in the Services list.
    3. Click Stop and click OK.
    4. Click Start, click Run, type "%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers" in the open window, and delete all files in this folder.
    5. Click Start, click Run, type "Services.msc" (without the quotation marks) in the open box.


    Arthur Xie -
    Excellent!!  Worked perfectly - Thank you!
    Sunday, January 01, 2012 2:48 PM