How To Clear Print Queue In Windows 10

The best way to fix printer not printing in Windows 10 is either to restart both Windows 10 and the printer or clear print queue from Windows 10 print spooler.

A stuck printing job on a PC can be annoying as it does not just hang the current print but also the jobs behind it. If you have tried deleting the faulty printing job and it still exists in the queue in the state “deleting” or “printing,” you can use the guide provided below to manage and clear the printer queue with a fresh start.

Clear print queue
Print job stuck in queue

2 ways to clear the print queue in Windows 10

Windows does not send a print request directly to the printer. It first goes to a spooler within Windows where it sorts and queues the request made. The print spooler service manages the list of print requests. Therefore, if one bad request chokes up the pipeline, none of the requests can make it to the printer.

If you cannot remove the bad print queues from your computer even after deleting them, you can resort to the methods below to remove them indefinitely.

Clear print queue using Command Prompt

Command Prompt is an integral part of Windows as it aids administrators and regular users manage their Windows environment using command-line.

You can use the guide below to clear all print elements in the queue.

  1. Open Command Prompt with administrative privileges. If you don’t open it with administrative privileges, you will get an access denied error.
  2. Now enter the following command in the order presented, one after the other:
    net stop spooler
    del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\* /Q
    net start spooler
    cmd commands

You can now check that the queue has been cleared. You should now be able to send fresh printing requests without facing a blockage issue.

Clear print queue using Windows Services

You can also clear any troubling print queues without using the Command Line Interface (CLI). The technique used in the previous step can also be implemented through the GUI. Here is how to do so:

  1. Open Windows Services by typing in services.msc in Run.
  2. Right-click Print spooler and click on Stop from the Context Menu.
  3. Leave the Services window open and enter the following in Run, or navigate to the destination folder “Printers” through File Explorer.
    run 2
  4. Select everything in the folder by using the shortcut keys Ctrl + A and then delete it.
  5. Now return to the Services window, right-click on Print spooler and click Start from the Context Menu.

These steps also perform the same function as with the Command Prompt. You should now be able to send fresh print requests to the spooler.

Print Management in Windows 10

Print Management is a snap-in console in Windows used to manage configured printers on a computer. It can be used further to configure a printer, such as its ports, test a print through a test page, etc. You may subsequently also manage the associated drivers for the printers.

PM 1
Print Management Console: Context menu options

Users can pause or resume ongoing printing jobs through this console but cannot clear the queue. Nonetheless, it is still a useful utility to manage printers. It is especially useful for print servers installed to handle simultaneous printing tasks in an organizational structure.

There are 3 ways to access the Print Management console in Windows 10 (Any edition except Home):

  • Type in printmanagement.msc in Run.
  • Navigate to the following through the Control Panel:
    Control Panel -> System & Security -> Administrative tools -> Print Management
  • Type in mmc in Run, click add/remove snap-in under File, select Print Management under Available snapins, then click on Add and Ok.

There is no Print Management console in Windows 10 Home edition. However, you can use the Devices and Printers option in the Control Panel to manage your printers and queues.

  1. Open Control Panel and then change View by to Large icons.
    large icons
  2. Now select Devices and printers.
    devices and printers
  3. Now right-click on the printer you wish to manage and then select the relevant option from the Context Menu.
    right click

Closing words

Continuously getting print jobs blocked can be frustrating. The user’s productivity is affected if they are not able to get the prints in time. Clearing out any choked pipelines in the print queue could clear passage for other jobs to continue.

If you are still ending up with the same printing task getting blocked, you might need to take a look at the printing settings and preferences, which can be accessed by using the Ctrl + Shift + P shortcut keys.


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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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