How to clear printer queue when document stuck in Windows

Anyone who uses the computer for work usually had a printer attached to it so they could easily print their documents. Although the printer almost always works fine, when you have a problem while printing, Windows has a bug that comes with it at times when you can not delete the items in the print queue, leaving the device temporarily unusable.

One solution that does not always work when facing this situation is restarting the computer, but fortunately, there is a manual process to be done to exclude any item that has been stuck in this queue to normalize the process. Here’s how to exclude stuck items from the print queue in Windows so you can re-use your printer without restarting the machine.

Important

The process below was done on a machine running Windows 10, however, the same steps can be done on other versions of Windows from XP, with some slightly different names or menus.

How to remove the stuck items in the print queue

In addition to the caveats above, to proceed with the step-by-step, you must have an administrator account, which will allow access to specific system folders and stop processes that are in progress. Here’s how:

  1. After you notice that some item has been stuck in the print queue, press the “Win + R” keys together to open the “Run” window and enter the command: services.msc;
  2. In the list of services, look for the “Print Spooler” and stop it with the button as indicated in the image below. Do not close this window;
  3. Now, press the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” keys to open the “Task Manager” and exit the “Print Filter Pipeline Host” process;
  4. At this point, press the “Win + R” keys again to open “Run” and enter the following folder:%SystemRoot%\System32\spool\PRINTERS;
  5. Delete all files in the folder with the “Shift + Delete” command so they do not stop in the “Recycle Bin” of Windows;
  6. Back to the list of Windows services, restart the “Print Spooler” service.

At this point, the Windows print queue is already free so that you can use the printer again. Need to say that you need to wait between one and two minutes before starting a new print after the above process because a complete reboot of the Windows print service takes a while.

Ready! Now, you already know how to remove the items that got stuck in your Windows print queue so you can reprint your documents without a headache.

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