How To Force Clear All Jobs From A Printer Queue

It’s not uncommon for documents that you want printed to become stuck in the printer’s queue, effectively preventing further documents from printing. This holds especially true with Windows 7 but can also occur on Windows 10 and 8. Below are the various methods you can work through to clear that pesky printing queue for both Windows and Mac OSX based operating systems.

How To Force Clear All Jobs From A Printer Queue

Clear Printing Queue in Windows 10, 8, and 7

Force-Delete Printer Queue using Command Prompt

  1. Click the “Start” icon (Win 7) or the “Cortana search bar” (Win 8 and 10) in the lower-left area of your screen.
  2. Type “Command” in the box that appears.
  3. Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as Administrator.”
  4. Next, you’ll want to type “net stop spooler” and then press “Enter.” You’ll see the prompt “The Print Spool service is stopping” followed by “The Print Spooler service was stopped successfully.”
  5. At this point, type in “del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers* /Q” and press “Enter.”
  6. To get the system rolling once again, type in “net start spooler” and press “Enter.” You’ll get prompted with “The Print Spooler service was started successfully.”
  7. You can now close the Command Prompt as your printer queue should now be clear.

Force-Delete Printer Queue using the GUI

  1. Bring up the “Run” dialog by pressing “Windows key + R,” type “services.msc” in the box, and press “Enter.”
  2. Scroll down and right-click on “Print Spooler” within the list, then select “Stop.” This function will bring the printing queue to a halt.
    Leave this window open.
  3. Press “Windows key + R” again, type “%systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\” followed by pressing “Ctrl + A” to select all files, if any, then tap “Delete” to remove them.
    If there are some entries you don’t wish to remove, for whatever reason, hold the “CTRL” key while left-clicking those entries.
  4. Go back to the “Services” window that you left open, right-click on “Print Spooler” once again, then select “Start.”
  5. Close the “Services” window, and your print queue should now be clear.

Clear Printer Queue using Task Manager

  1. To open Task Manager, simultaneously press the “CTRL + ALT + Delete” keys.
  2. Once open, click the “Services” tab found between the “Processes” and “Performance” tabs.
  3. Scroll through all of the services until you find the “Spooler” service. Right-click it and select “Stop Service.”
  4. Launch “Windows File Explorer.” In the address bar, type “C:Windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS” and press “Enter.”
  5. You may experience a pop-up box prompting you to continue as administrator. Select “Continue.”
  6. DO NOT delete the “PRINTERS” folder! Select all entries within the folder by pressing “CTRL + A” followed by “Delete.”
  7. Once all entries get removed, head back to the “Task Manager -> Services” and right-click “Spooler.” This time, select “Start Service.”
  8. You can now exit out of Task Manager. Your queue should now be clear.

Force Clear Printer Queue on MAC OSX

Before diving too deep into the different methods of clearing the printer queue for your Mac, give this a try: Launch the “Terminal” app, and type in “cancel -a” for queues that get stuck. This procedure should do the trick in most cases. If the process doesn’t help you, follow the other methods below.

Force-Delete Printer Queue using the Mac Dock

  1. Hover the mouse cursor over the “Printer” icon. Click on the “name/IP address” that pops up for the printer you’re trying to clear. This process will open up the “Printer Utility.”
  2. Select the jobs you wish to remove from the queue and remove them by clicking the “X” alongside the names. This step cancels and clears the jobs you’ve selected.
  3. You can now exit the “Printer Utility” as your queue should be clear.

Force Clear Printer Queue using Preferences

This method is for those who are unable to find the Printer icon on the Dock.

  1. Open the “Apple menu” and select “System Preferences.” Click on “Printers.”
  2. Select the printer that has the entries you wish to cancel/clear and choose “Open Print Queue.”
  3. Click the “X” icon next to each print job you wish to close.
  4. Confirm that your print queue is cleared of the deleted entries and exit the “Printer Utility.”

Force-Delete Printer Queue using Full Printer Reset

If the printer on your Mac is still giving you issues, it may be time to reset the Printing System completely. Be sure that you’ve exhausted all other options before using this procedure. This option removes all printers, scanners, and faxes you may have installed on the Mac, so it should only be a last resort.

  1. Head to the “Apple” menu and choose “System Preferences.” Click on “Printers.”
  2. Press “Control + mouse click” on the left side’s printer list and select “Reset Print System…” Once there, you’ll get prompted for the admin password and a confirmation to wipe all printers, scanners, and faxes, including their queued jobs.
  3. Click “Reset” to delete all devices and print jobs, then you can add your printers, scanners, and faxes as usual.

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