How To Cancel a Print Job on a PC or Mac

Printers are the perfect way to create physical versions of electronic receipts, invoices, forms, letters, emails, and more for accurate record-keeping. Users can print documents one at a time or schedule print jobs for multi-page reports to share with others. But sometimes you discover you don’t need to print as many files as you thought. It’s best to cancel the jobs and save paper in those cases.

How To Cancel a Print Job on a PC or Mac

If you’re unsure how to cancel a print job, keep reading. In this article, you’ll learn how to clear the printer on Mac and Windows.

How to Cancel a Print Job on a Mac

When a printer is connected to your Mac, a section in the settings window lets you view any scheduled documents. While you can’t stop printing any already processed data, it’s possible to cancel a job halfway. Some pages still print, but the ones waiting in the queue after the active job get stopped indefinitely.

While smaller files are canceled quickly, large documents take a while to cancel. Therefore, it’s best to pause a massive task before stopping it.

Option 1 to Cancel a Print Job on macOS

  1. Click on the “printer” icon on the Mac Dock (the list of icons at the bottom of the screen).
  2. Select “Jobs” and “Show My Jobs.”
  3. Select the “pause” icon to stop the upcoming printing task temporarily.
  4. Click the “X” button to delete a document from the queue.

Option 2 to Cancel a Print Job on macOS

Another similar process uses a different menu to achieve the same results.

  1. Open the “Apple menu” on your Mac.
  2. Select “System Preferences.”
  3. Choose “Printer & Scanners.”
  4. Select the printer you’re currently using.
  5. Click on “Open Print Queue.”
  6. Click “Choose Jobs” followed by “Show My Jobs.”

If several other users share the same printer, deleting jobs you didn’t submit is impossible. You can only cancel your scheduled tasks, but you can always view the entire queue by selecting “Show Everyone’s Jobs” in the “Choose Jobs” section.

Depending on the app or software, you can directly cancel a print job without using the “Printer & Scanners” menu. These apps may display a small popup with a progress bar and a cancel button. In these cases, you can click the cancel button immediately to stop the printing process.

Cancel a Print Job on a Windows 10/11 PC

Windows users have similar ways to cancel a print job. They can only cancel those that the printer hasn’t completely processed.

Method 1 to Cancel a Print Job on Windows 10/11

  1. Look for the “Printer icon” on the Windows taskbar.
  2. Right-click the icon and select “Open All Active Printers.”
  3. Choose from the list of printers.
  4. Open the printer dialog box and choose the job you want to cancel.
  5. Right-click and select “Cancel.”
  6. Confirm your decision by selecting “Yes.”
  7. Wait for the printing job to vanish, then close the dialog box.

Method 2 to Cancel a Print Job on Windows 10/11

The Control Panel is also where you can cancel a print job. Here are the steps.

  1. Type “Control Panel” in the Windows search bar, then select “Open.”
  2. Select “View devices and printers” under “Hardware and Sound.”
  3. Right-click the printer and select the “See what’s printing” or “[##] document(s) in queue” option.
  4. Right-click the job to open the options.
  5. Select “Cancel.”
  6. Click on “Yes” to confirm.

Some of these options may have slightly different names across Windows versions. Nevertheless, you can expect to use the same process, even on Windows 8.

As with the Mac, users can cancel print jobs directly inside some programs after clicking a button.

Use Your Printer’s Cancel Button for Mac and Windows

If none of the instructions above work to cancel a print job, you may be too late to stop it from being processed, or there may be an error. Luckily, many printers today have a cancel button on the printer that prevents them from printing out hard copies any further. Depending on the exact model, shutting the printer down will likely reset its queue.

In closing, you might change your mind about printing a document, but printers still need human input to stop doing their job. Using Windows or Mac, you can rapidly clear the queue and cancel print jobs within minutes. If that doesn’t work, the printer’s cancel button should work. During Windows 7 and earlier eras, stopping print jobs often didn’t work well in the OS. You’d click to cancel the print job, and it wouldn’t stop, or you chose to delete the job, and it often did nothing! It has certainly gotten better over the years.

Cancelling Print Jobs FAQs

Can restarting my computer clear the print queue?

Restarting your computer may reset the print queue, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s best to shut the printer down after restarting the PC and see if any files are still in the print queue.

How do I clear the printer spool?

Follow these instructions to remove the files from the print queue via the printer spool.

1. Type “Services” in the Windows search bar.

2. Look for “Print Spooler Device.”

3. Right-click the spooler and select “Stop.”

4. Press Windows Key + E and go to this location:

• C:>Windows>System32>Spool>Printers

5. Head to the folder and press Ctrl + A.

6. Press Shift + Delete to wipe those files.

7. Go back to “Services” and right-click the spooler again.

8. Click on “Start.”

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