Fix: Printer Queue Won’t Delete

Printer Queue is a list where all the documents pending for getting printed are stored temporarily. It consists of jobs for the printer. When the printer prints one document, it removes it from the list and the next in line is sent for printing.

Printer Queue

There are numerous cases where documents are stuck in the printing queue which prevents other documents from being printed. There are a lot of different reasons for your printer queue to get stuck and not get deleted. Sometimes the job gets shown as ‘pending’ while nothing is going on or sometimes the queue just gets stuck as is.

What causes the Printer Queue to get Stuck?

Like mentioned before, there are several different reasons why your printer queue might get stuck and go in a not responding state. Some of the reasons are but not limited to:

  • Printer problems: Your printer might be in an error state with low ink or pages being the primary reason. The printer queue appears to be stuck here and doesn’t entertain further documents until it is deleted.
  • Printer Spooler: Spooler is the software which prepares and manages all your documents. It maintains the very list of printable documents and passes them on to the printer. It can be in an error state or might not be configured properly.
  • Printer services: The printer services might not be running properly or their running status might be interrupted by another third-party application.

Before we dive right into the solutions, make sure that you have a valid internet connection between the printer and your computer. Also, your printer must be working properly without any errors whatsoever.

The solutions listed will help clear your printer queue but it may get stuck again if your printer is not configured properly.

Method 1: Restarting and Clearing Print Spooler

Print Spooler is the software component which manages all of your printer jobs. It has a list which contains all the documents sent to be printed. It even shows the current status of each job by fetching information from the printer. In the majority of the cases, the issue is solved by restarting and clearing the Print Spooler.

There are two ways through which you can restart and clear your print spooler. You can try out the manual one before moving on to the automatic.

Restarting Spooler Manually

Here we will first close the spooler service and then attempt at deleting all the jobs present at the spooler folder. Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator on your computer.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Locate the service “Print Spooler” present in the list of services. Double-click it to open its properties. Click the “Stop” button present underneath system status and press “Ok” to save changes.
Spooler service properties – Services
  1. Since we have disabled the service, we can now focus on deleting printer files. Press Windows + R and type the following path in the dialogue box and press Enter to navigate to it.

Permission might be needed to access the following folder. If prompted, press Continue.

  1. Once in the folder, delete all the files in the PRINTERS folder and close the window.
Spooler folder contents
  1. Now navigate back to the services and start the service After starting the service, try printing your documents and see if this fixes the issue.

Restarting Spooler Automatically (.bat file)

If clearing and restarting the spooler service fixed the issue for you and you think you have to perform this action more than one time, you can download the batch file linked below. This will automatically stop the spooler service, delete the print queue, and start the spooler service again. Make sure that you are logged in as an administrator to perform this action.

Spooler .bat file to reset Printer Spooler
  1. Download the bat file from the link and save it to an accessible location.
  2. Now right-click on it and select Run as administrator. The batch file will execute in the background and your spooler will be restart automatically.

Note: You can also kill the spooler service if the normal method doesn’t work for you. Navigate to the processes in your task manager and end the service ‘spoolsv.exe’. Press Windows + R, type ‘spoolsv.exe’ in the dialogue box and press Enter. Now try printing again.

You also may need to toggle the display of ‘hidden items’ from File explorer settings in order to see the contents of the spooler folder.

Solution 2: Power cycling your Printer

There are several instances where because of the printer being in an error state, the printer spooler fails to clear successfully. This is a very common scenario and is usually fixed with power cycling your printer. Power cycling is an act of completely shutting down a device so all its temporary configurations are erased. This helps in getting a device out of an error state.

  1. Turn off your printer properly using the power button. Once the printer is turned off, wait a few minutes.
  2. Take out the power and connection cable from the printer. Now let it sit idle for around 10 minutes.
Power cycling printer
  1. Plug everything back in and connect the printer with the computer again. Check if this solved the problem.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.