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How to cancel a stuck print job from the print queue in Windows 10

Printers can be very finicky devices, especially when it comes to the print queue. Have you ever set a few items to print only to check the queue and see that a failed or stuck print job is holding up the entire process? Not only that, you can't delete or cancel the stuck print job from the queue, which is seriously frustrating.

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How to remove a stuck print job in Windows 10

How to remove a stuck print job in Windows 10

Printers can be very finicky devices, especially when it comes to the print queue. Have you ever set a few items to print only to check the queue and see that a failed or stuck print job is holding up the entire process? Not only that, you can’t delete or cancel the stuck print job from the queue, which is seriously frustrating.

To get the queue unglued and your documents printing again, here’s how to cancel a stuck print job in Windows 10 when conventional methods won’t work.

Before you begin

This doesn't always work.When you can’t remove a print job from the printing queue window by right-clicking the stuck job and clicking Cancel, you can try restarting your PC. This will sometimes remove offending items from the queue. If conventional methods and restarting your PC doesn’t clear the stuck job, move on to the next steps.

How to remove a stuck print job from the print queue

There are a couple of ways that you can stop and start the print spooler.

How to remove a stuck print job with Command Prompt

Using the Command Prompt to stop and start the Print Spooler should no doubt be the quickest way to get things done, though I will show you how to use the Services portion following these steps.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Search.
  3. Type Command prompt.

    Click Search. Type Command Prompt.

  4. Right-click Command prompt.
  5. Click Run as administrator.
  6. Type net stop spooler and hit Enter on your keyboard.

    Right-click Command Prompt. Click Run as administrator. Type net stop spooler and hit Enter.

  7. Launch File Explorer from your Start menu, taskbar, or desktop.
  8. Click the address bar in the File Explorer window.

    Launch File Explorer. Click the address bar.

  9. Type C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  10. Click and drag to highlight the files.

    Type the directory. Click and drag to highlight the files.

  11. Right-click the selected files.
  12. Click Delete.

    Right-click the selected files. Click Delete.

    • You can now return to the Command Prompt to restart the Print Spooler.
  13. Type net start spooler and hit Enter on your keyboard.

    Type net start spooler and hit Enter.

How to remove a stuck print job with Services

The Print Spooler can also be stopped and started in the Services window, though the underlying method stays basically the same.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type services.msc and hit Enter on your keyboard.

    Click Run. Type services.msc

  4. Right-click Print Spooler — you might have to scroll down to find it.
  5. Click Stop.

    Right-click Print Spooler. Click Stop.

    • Leave the Services window open. Now that the Print Spooler service is stopped, you can navigate to the Printers directory and delete the files within. This will effectively remove the stuck print job, but it will also remove any other print jobs you have pending in the queue.
  6. Launch File Explorer from your Start menu, taskbar, or desktop.
  7. Click the address bar in the File Explorer window.

    Launch File Explorer. Click the address bar.

  8. Type C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  9. Click and drag to highlight the files.

    Type the directory. Click and drag to highlight the files.

  10. Right-click the selected files.
  11. Click Delete.

    Right-click the selected files. Click Delete.

    • You can now return to the Services window and complete the process by restarting the Print Spooler service.
  12. Right-click the Print Spooler service.
  13. Click Start.

    Right-click the Print Spooler service. Click Start.

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