How to Clear the Print Queue When a Document is Stuck

Is a print job stuck in the queue & won't delete in Windows 11? Learn how to fix this & clear the queue quickly!

Have you ever encountered a situation where you tried to cancel a print job, but it remained stuck in the print queue and refuses to be deleted? This can be very frustrating, as it prevents you from printing anything else until you clear the stuck print job. There are several possible reasons why your print job won’t delete in Windows 11. A communication error between your printer and your computer, the print spooler encounters errors or malfunctions, A corrupted print queue can prevent print jobs from processing, paper jams, or other hardware issues with your printer are common. This article explores how to clear the print queue if a document is stuck.

How To Clear A Stuck Print Job in Windows 11

A print job stuck in the print queue, cannot be deleted. This issue can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as power outages, Outdated or Incompatible Drivers, and Corrupted Print Queue, but always involves the print job spooling process in Windows.

  • The print spooler manages print jobs in the queue. If the spooler encounters errors or malfunctions, print jobs may get stuck.
  • Outdated, incompatible, or corrupt printer drivers can result in print job issues. If the driver cannot properly communicate with the printer or the operating system, print jobs may fail to process correctly.
  • If the printer is connected to the computer over a network, issues with network connectivity can lead to print jobs getting stuck.
  • Simultaneously sending numerous print jobs to the printer may overload the print queue, leading to congestion and potential delays.
  • Malfunctions or issues with the printer hardware itself, such as paper jams, low toner, or other mechanical problems, can cause print jobs to get stuck.

Restart the Print Spooler Service

The print spooler service manages the print queue and sends print jobs to the printer. Sometimes, this service may malfunction or get corrupted, causing print jobs to get stuck. To restart the print spooler service, follow these steps:

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  • Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type services.msc and click OK to open the Services window.
  • Find Print Spooler in the list and right-click on it. Select Restart from the context menu.
  • Wait for a few seconds and then check if the stuck print job is gone.

Restart the Print Spooler Service

Clear the Print Spooler Folder

Corruption in files within the print spooler folder can hinder the printing process. Another way to remove a stuck print job is to delete the temporary files associated with it from File Explorer. These files are stored in a folder called PRINTERS inside the System32 folder.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator and run command net stop spooler to Stop the Print Spooler service
  • Now Press Windows + E to open File Explorer and  Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS.

Clear the Print Spooler Folder

  • You may need to grant administrator permission to access this folder.
  •  Delete all the files in this folder. These are the temporary files that store the print job data.
  • Close File Explorer and restart your computer, Check if the stuck print job is gone.

This step provides a clean slate for the spooler to function properly, preventing print jobs from getting stuck.

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Cancel the Print Jobs from the Windows Printer Settings

Windows 11 also allows you to cancel the print jobs from the printer settings in the Settings app. This method is useful if you want to cancel a specific print job or all of them at once. Here are the steps to do that:

  • Press Windows + I to open Settings, Click on Devices in the left sidebar.
  • Click on Printers & scanners in the right pane, Select your printer from the list and click on Open Queue.
  • Right-click on the print job you want to cancel and select Cancel from the menu.
  • Alternatively, you can click on Printer in the menu bar and select Cancel All Documents to cancel all of them at once.
  • Close Settings and check if the print job is removed from the queue.

Cancel the Print Jobs

Use the Printer Troubleshooter

The printer troubleshooter is designed to identify and resolve common issues that may be causing printing problems. Running the printer troubleshooter is a good initial step to address a stuck print job that cannot be deleted.

  • Press Windows key + X and select Settings
  • Go to system then troubleshoot and click on other troubleshooters,
  • locate the printer, and click Run next to it to run the troubleshooter.

Printer troubleshooter

Printer Driver Problems

Outdated or corrupt printer drivers can cause communication issues with the printer. Updating or reinstalling printer drivers resolves compatibility problems.

  • Press Windows + X and select Device Manager from the menu.
  • Expand Printers or Print queues in Device Manager.
  • Right-click on your printer and select Uninstall device from the menu.
  • Check Delete driver software for this device if prompted and click Uninstall.
  • Restart your computer and reconnect your printer. Windows 11 will automatically detect your printer and install its driver.
  • Check if your printer works normally and if there are no stuck print jobs.

Also, you can Visit the printer manufacturer’s website to Download the latest drivers for your printer model. Install the updated drivers.

Check Connectivity Problems

If you are printing to network shared printer, it may be the Print job stuck and cannot be deleted due to network connectivity problems. Checking and fixing network configurations ensures a smooth flow of data between the computer and the printer.

  • Ensure the printer is properly connected to the network.
  • Troubleshoot network issues using the Windows Network Troubleshooter.
  • Restart the router if needed.

Reset the Print Spooler

If none of the above methods work, you may need to reset the print spooler service completely. Open Command Prompt as an administrator, stop the print spooler service using net stop spooler.

Next Type sc config spooler depend= RPCSS start= Auto and press Enter. This will reset the print spooler service settings.

Again restart the print spooler service net start spooler and check if this helps.

Printing large or complex documents can overwhelm the print spooler. Optimize or break down large documents for smoother processing.

Incompatibility or corruption in the document format can cause print job failures. Verify and correct the document format.

Malfunctions in physical printer components can lead to stuck print jobs. Checking and resolving physical problems like paper jams or low toner ensures the printer functions optimally.

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