How to clear print queue

This allows you to clear the print queue

The print queue is not noticed by many users. After the print jobs have been sent, everyone waits eagerly for their printout. As a rule, this also works without any problems. Most printers, however, use a queue and usually print unnoticed in the order of the job being sent. In a certain way, this establishes a kind of sequence.

However, there may be printing problems. In this case, the print queue will prevent some printouts from being able to be printed. Below you can find out how to delete your printer queue and thus ensure a reliable printer again.

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What is a printer queue anyway?

In English, the print queue is also known as spooling. Depending on the operating system used, print jobs, for example, are temporarily stored in a buffer memory or on an external data memory before the actual processing begins. Processing in a printer queue is based on the tried and tested principle of batch processing. The order is chosen so that the print job sent first is also processed first. In this case, we are talking about the FIFO principle or the first-in-first-out principle.

The storage of the print jobs in a buffer memory serves to improve the utilization of a computer system. For example, you can easily continue to work with your computer while the printer queue takes care of the output of the documents. However, it should be noted here that the actual processing of the application programs has priority and the printout always takes place if no calculation is made during the idle times. However, you as a user usually do not notice this. While the print queue collects the print jobs to be processed and processes them one after the other, there is a similar way of working with an e-mail server. Here, too, the outgoing e-mails are first collected in a spool directory and then sent one after the other.

Spooling offers a higher and more efficient speed. In many cases, large print jobs are written to the hard disk and sent from there to the printer. Hard drives are faster here than the output devices. In addition, spooling offers the possibility that many print jobs can also be temporarily stored by different users. Sometimes the printer refuses to print. Only after extensive troubleshooting , such as replacing printer cartridges in an inkjet printer or changing the toner in a laser printer, will it work properly again.

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Delete print queue under Windows 10, 8 and 7

If you want to print something under Windows, the printing process first goes to the spooler service, which is also known as the queue. If there are printing problems here, they can usually be resolved by deleting the queue. Proceed as follows under the current operating systems Windows 10, 8 and 7: Cancel the printing process

  • If the print job has started, please click on the small printer symbol, which is located in the lower right corner of the task bar.
  • All print jobs that have not yet been printed are then listed in the queue.
  • Right-click on the desired print file.
  • Then select ‚ÄúStop‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúCancel‚ÄĚ in the context menu that opens.

The relevant print job is then terminated and removed from the queue. It may well be the case that the displayed print job cannot be deleted from the queue. In this case, the printer queue must be cleared in another way.

  • Go to the control panel and there in the service administration.
  • The service “print queue” can be terminated here.
  • Now go to the folder “c: \ windows \ system32 \ spool \ printers”.
  • In this directory, delete all files listed with the extensions .dhd or .spl.
  • Then you have to start the service for the print queue again.
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Delete open print jobs under Windows 10

Many ways lead to the goal.¬†Under¬†Windows 10¬†you can also delete open print jobs via the “Services” dialog.¬†You start the “services.msc” service by entering it in the run dialog and entering “Windows + R”.¬†In this service window you will again find the aforementioned service ‚ÄúPrinter queue‚ÄĚ.¬†To stop and restart a service here,¬†a¬†green play button¬†and a¬†black end button¬†are available¬†in the¬†top menu line.¬†Similar to a CD player, the displayed services can be started, paused or completely stopped here.

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Delete the printer queue using the cmd command line

The Windows operating system can also be operated via the traditional command line. The prerequisite is that you have administrator rights. This is usually the case with home PCs.

  • Use the Windows start button to enter the command line.
  • Enter cmd.exe there and right-click to open it as administrator.
  • Now enter ‚Äúnet stop spooler‚ÄĚ to stop the printer queue.
  • Delete the print jobs with “del% systemroot% \ System32 \ spool \ printers \ * / Q”.
  • To start the service again, enter “net start spooler”.

Tip: In many cases, faulty printer drivers can be responsible for blocking the printout. In this case you should delete the printer queue and install the latest printer driver first.

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Delete the printer queue on Ubuntu and iOS

It doesn’t always have to be a Windows PC.¬†There¬†are also different solutions¬†for an¬†Apple Macintosh¬†or a computer with a¬†Linux / Ubuntu¬†operating system.

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Clear the print queue on a Macintosh

If you want to delete the printer queue on your Macintosh with the iOS operating system, proceed as follows:

  • Go to System Preferences and open it.
  • Select ‚ÄúPrinters & Scanners‚ÄĚ.
  • Here you can click on “Open printer waiting list …‚ÄĚ
  • The desired print job is clicked with the right mouse button.
  • Now select “Delete” so that the print job will be deleted.

You can also delete the queue using the Terminal program.

  • Start the ‚ÄúTerminal‚ÄĚ program.
  • Enter ‚Äúcancel ‚Äďa‚ÄĚ here.
  • The print job should then be deleted.

Tip: If the print job was still not deleted, you must first¬†enter¬†your¬†administrator password¬†and then the command “sudo cancel ‚Äďa”.¬†Then it should work.¬†Especially for Macintosh, there is also the option of¬†deleting¬†the queue via the so-called¬†CUPS interface.¬†Here you have to do the following:

  • You can call up the CUPs interface via “http: // localhost: 631 / jobs /”.
  • If this interface is deactivated, you will receive an error message about this.
  • Otherwise activate the interface with the command “cupsctl WebInterface = yes”.
  • You can now delete the queue under Jobs.
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Delete the printer queue on Linux / Ubuntu

With¬†Linux or Ubuntu¬†you can cancel your print jobs with the command “lprm”.¬†To do this, you must first¬†start¬†the¬†terminal.¬†With “lpq ‚Äďan” all available print jobs are displayed.¬†The corresponding¬†print job can be deleted¬†with “lprm print job number‚ÄĚ.¬†It is also possible to¬†select the appropriate printer¬†via the¬†system settings¬†with a right click.¬†This can be used to display the printer queue and also to cancel the jobs individually.

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When should you clear the print queue?

In the event of a printer error, it may be necessary to delete a print job. Ideally, you should also delete the printer queue completely. Such an error can occur, for example, when the toner or the printer cartridges are empty.

Here at Copiac, you can¬†order the right consumables¬†for your laser printer or inkjet printer and the corresponding multifunctional devices at low¬†prices.¬†After that, your printer should actually print properly again.¬†Be careful not to accidentally take your printer¬†offline.¬†Take a¬†close look at¬†the¬†printer¬†settings.¬†These can also be¬†printed out.¬†Printer problems can also occur if you¬†are using¬†an¬†outdated printer driver.¬†If none of the measures help, you can also contact the printer manufacturer’s support.

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Batch delete the printer queue

Batch files are mostly used for server operations. You may want to delete a queue on the network. In this case, several printers can be connected to one server at the same time. It should be noted that in companies with many printers these are not used every day. Many printers are offline and still accept incoming print jobs. Understandably, these are stored in a queue. If you as the administrator are responsible for this server and want to do a backup at the end of the day, the not executed print jobs on the unused printers can lead to errors. You should therefore do a data backup at the end of the day delete all print jobs or the print queues.

This can be done easily in the network with the command ‚ÄúDel / F / S c: \ winnt \ system32 \ spool \ printer‚Äôs \ *. S??¬†> NUL “.¬†This command can also easily be placed in a¬†batch file.¬†Another possibility for a common batch file could look like this: net stop spooler Del ‚Äú% systemroot% \ system32 \ spool \ printer‚Äôs \ *. Shd‚ÄĚ del ‚Äú% systemroot% \ system32 \ spool \ printers \ *. Spl‚ÄĚ net start spooler
with this script you can easily delete stuck print jobs. A slightly more convenient batch filecould look like this: @echo off rem service stoppem net stop spooler rem wait 3 seconds ping -n 3 localhost> null rem empty queue del / Q /FC:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS\*.* ping -n 3 localhost > null rem restart service net start spooler
Copy this code into a text file without formatting. With the ending .BAT this is automatically executable after calling. The individual command lines are processed one after the other. Even in DOS times, this approach was very popular with the operating systems of the time.

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What to do if the printer refuses

Under Windows it can happen that the printer refuses to print. This is not always due to the print queue. The following measures can help:

  • If you do not have the necessary rights, log in as an administrator.
  • Go to the Control Panel and go to ‚ÄúDevices and Printers‚ÄĚ.
  • Click the print server settings.
  • Under the item “Security” click on “Advanced”.
  • For permissions, enter “Full Control” under Administrator.
  • If an error occurs with a network printer, disable the anti-virus program and the firewall.
  • Activate printer sharing in the “Network and Sharing Center” in the Control Panel.
  • Also, always keep the printer driver up to date.
  • Sometimes it helps if you create a new user account and use it for printing.
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How does the printer queue look like under Windows?

If printing hangs, double-click the printer icon in the lower right corner of the taskbar. A new window will open showing the printer queue. The printer used is displayed in the upper status line. Below you will find the queue menu, which consists of the items Printer, Document and View.

The respective print jobs are listed in the main window. The full file name is displayed here. The column with the heading State is interesting. There the printer queue shows you whether the document is being printed, has been paused or has an error. The next column shows the user who sent the print under the term Owner. This is followed by the number of pages of the document to be printed under Pages. In addition, you will find the usual file information, such as the size in MB or GB and another column with the time.

The second column is always important, in which possible obstacles to printing are displayed. You can stop and delete a print file by right-clicking on it. This should be removed from the queue after a short time. In the footer of the printer queue window you will find a note about the number of files to be printed. Use the print queue to delete one or more jobs.

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How can I still delete print jobs?

Of course, you can delete unwanted print jobs from the print queue. If you only print one document, it will be printed out immediately despite the queue. It then disappears from the list relatively quickly. In most cases, you do not have time to click on the document to be printed out beforehand to cancel the process. The above solutions relate to the fact that the print is stuck in the queue and the printer does not continue to print. This problem affects inkjet printers as well as laser printers.

A brutal solution is if you simply unplug the printer cable during operation and switch off the printer. Avoid pulling the power plug, however, as this will prevent the printhead of an inkjet printer from returning to its rest position. In the worst case, the pressure nozzles dry out if they are not used for a long time. After turning off your printer, you should wait around 10 minutes. During this time, the printer loses its print data and the printer queue is also deleted. The reason for this is that the printer is de-energized in this case and data can no longer be saved. This procedure only works with locally connected printers. 

With network printers, the print data can still be located within the network. If you reconnect your locally connected printer with the printer cable and switch it on, you will have to wait until the device has synchronized with your PC and initialized itself again. The print queue should now be empty. Then try to resubmit the print job.


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