How to Delete or Cancel a Stuck Document in Windows
Documents you are printing sometimes get stuck in Windows’s print queue, keeping more files from being printed. Here is how to troubleshoot it.
Whether you are using a shared or local network printer, occasionally printing does not go quite right. Have you tried troubleshooting printer problems, such as paper jams, no paper, low ink, or tried restarting your printer? If so, it is time to try clearing the print queue. If it does not fix it, then you may have to cancel document(s) in the queue and see whether that makes things work again.
Clear and Restart the Spooler
This will not cancel your presently printing files; instead, what it does is restart the spooler and proceed as though all those files had just been transmitted to the device for the first occasion.
To do this, you will need to stop the spooler service, get rid of the temporary cache the OS uses to spool documents, and restart the service. We will show you two methods to do this, as explained below.
Clear and Start the Spooler Again
To do this, you will first have to stop the printer spooler. For that, follow the below steps.
- Press the Windows and R keys at the same time. This will open the Run dialog box.
- In Run, type services.msc and press the Enter key.
- In the right side of the Windows Services screen, find and double-click on Print Spooler.
- In the Print Spooler Properties window, click on the General tab and choose Stop. You will be restarting it later, so leave this window open for the time being.
- Open the File Explorer, or just any folder, and navigate to the following folder location. For that, just copy the location and paste it into the address bar of the File Explorer and press Enter.
- Select all content in the folder by pressing Ctrl and A keys simultaneously, and press the Delete
- Now, go back to the Print Spooler Properties window, and click on the Start and the OK This will restart the spooler service. Once you are done, close the Services window.
When you restart the spooler, all documents in the print queue are spooled again and sent to your printer. If everything goes fine, then the Windows program should restart printing those documents.
Clear and Restart It Using a Batch File
If clearing the print queue by starting the spooler again is something you feel you will do more than once, then you can create a batch file to perform this.
- Open a Notepad, and copy the following as separate lines and paste these into the empty document.
net stop spooler
del /Q /F /S "%windir%\System32\spool\PRINTERS\*.*"
net start spooler
Now, you will save your file with a .bat extension. For that, open your document, click on the File menu at the top left-hand corner and choose Save As from the drop-down list. In the window that opens next, browse to the place you wish to save it. On the drop-down menu next to Save as type option, choose All Files. Name your file with the said file extension at the end, and click on the Save button. You have created the batch file.
You only have to double-click on the file whenever you want to clear the spooler and restart it.
Restart or Cancel a Few or All of Your Print Jobs
If clearing and starting the program again did not do the trick, then this is the next step you will need to take to see whether you can spot and cancel whatever print job is stuck. Clearing one stuck print job will sometimes get your device going again, plus any other documents in the print queue can complete printing normally. However, there are other times when you may need to cancel all printing files and retry printing these.
- Click on the Start button, and choose Devices and Printers.
- In the next window, right-click on the printer you are having an issue with, and select See what’s printing from the shortcut menu.
- The print queue shows the documents to be printed. If one document is causing this issue and you have many documents in the queue, then it is often the earliest one that is stuck. Click on the Submitted column header to have the documents arranged in the exact order these were submitted.
- Then, right-click on the print job at the top and choose Restart from the pop-up menu.
- If your printer starts printing after you restart the document, then you are good to go; or else, you will have to try canceling it. Right-click on the document once more and choose Cancel from the context menu.
- Click on Yes to confirm it.
If the document cancelation was successful, then it should go away from the queue, and your device will start to print the next file in line.