How to Clear Print Queue on Windows?

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There may be a case when you try to print a document and for some reason, it is not printing. Even though the device, printer, and ink seem ok, for your utter disbelief still it’s not working. Is the case familiar to you too? There can be many reasons behind this problem, and one of the major causes is the print queue. You have to clear the print queue from Windows to get rid of the issue. Today’s topic is about the process of clearing print queues on Windows.

How to Clear Print Queue on Windows

What is Print Queue?

When a document was given a command to print but for some reason, it did not and you just forgot about it, then the document was queued on the command list of the printer. Next time when you give the command to print another document, the printer won’t be able to because of the queued document/documents. Unless you clear those queued documents from the associated Windows, the printer will not work properly.

How to Clear Print Queue on Windows?

Now that we have a clear idea of how the print queue occurs, we can move on to how this issue can be solved. Although the figures showed below are taken from Windows 10, the process is by and large the same, and Windows 7 or Windows 8 users can also be beneficial from the post. Now, follow me closely step by step.

Step 1: Go to the Windows search bar, or Cortana and search for ‘Devices and Printers’. You can find it from the control panel too.

Go to the Windows search bar, or Cortana and search for ‘Devices and Printers’

Step 2: You will see a list of devices that your PC is using. Look for your printer from this location. The printer of mine here is the Canon MX920 series; you should be able to find yours. After selecting the printer, right-click on the mouse and choose the ‘See what’s printing option.

right-click on the mouse and choose the ‘See what’s printing option.

Step 3: You will find out the erroneous documents which are queued on the device. The properties of the documents are also visible. So, these are the files that were creating trouble and blocking the new documents from being printed. We need to get rid of these files.

these are the files that were creating trouble and blocking the new documents from being printed

Step 4: Go back to the Windows search bar and look for a tool called ‘Services’. Click on it to enter there.

look for a tool called ‘Services’

Step 5: You will see lots of program names on the ‘Services’ box. What we need here is a ‘Print Spooler’. Hence, scroll down the list until you find it. Now, after selecting the ‘Print Spooler, right-click on the mouse and choose ‘Stop’. Remember one thing, as long as it remains being stopped, the printer won’t be able to function at all.

after selecting the ‘Print Spooler, right-click on the mouse and choose ‘Stop’.

Step 6: Now, we want to command Windows to show us all the files including the hidden files because our desired files can remain ‘hidden’ on the local drive. Therefore, search for ‘Show hidden files and folders from the search bar and left-click on it. Of course, you can find this option from the ‘File Explorer’ too by navigating to ‘file’, top-left of the screen, and choosing ‘change folder and files, and then visiting the ‘view’ menu.

search for ‘Show hidden files and folders from the search bar and left-click on it.

Step 7: Choose ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives’ and then hit the apply button. Lastly, click on the ok button.

Choose ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives' and then hit the apply button

Step 8: Now, visit the ‘File Explorer’ of your Windows either directly from the bottom menu bar or the Windows start menu.

visit the ‘File Explorer’ of your Windows either directly from the bottom menu bar or the Windows start menu.

Step 9: Navigate to ‘Local Disk C’; the printer files, by default, should be on this drive. If you had changed the location previously, then you would have to find that folder by searching from quick access.

find that folder by searching from quick access

Step 10: Click on the ‘Windows’ folder.

Click on the ‘Windows’ folder

Step 11: Scroll down the files on the ‘Windows’ folder and find the folder named ‘System32’; hit it.

find the folder named ‘System32’; hit it.

Step 12: Again, you will find out a heap of folders. Now, our desired folder is ‘Spool’. Do you remember the name? Yes guys, from step 5. Enter the folder anyway.

Enter the folder anyway.

Step 13: Here, you will see the ‘Printers’ folder. Upon clicking on it, the Windows will show you a warning box; don’t get worried; click ‘Continue’ to get access. You must be the administrator of Windows in order to get access to this folder.

Windows will show you a warning box;

Step 14: Delete all the files on the ‘Printers’ folder that you see. These files were responsible for the printer queue issue.

Delete all the files on the ‘Printers’ folder that you see

Step 15: As the erroneous files are wiped out, we want to move back to the ‘Services’ tool as we have to start the spooler again for the printer to work properly.

we want to move back to the ‘Services’ tool as we have to start the spooler again for the printer to work properly.

Step 16: Scroll down to find our ‘Print Spooler’. Select it, right-click on the mouse and choose the ‘Start’ option. This ‘Start’ option is also visible just after you select the ‘Print Spooler’ on the left of the box. Anyway, by removing the problematic files and after that restarting the spooler, we can continue printing new documents.

right-click on the mouse and choose the ‘Start’ option

Conclusion

After following this post, you should be able to clear print queue and the printing operation should be smooth on your Windows. That’s it for today; hopefully, the article could assist you.

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