The issue of documents being stuck in the Windows print queue has a similar solution as an article I wrote a couple days ago regarding deleting Windows Printer Ports. If you are an Information Technology administrator for Windows computers you have definitely seen at one time or another documents stuck in someones print queue. You can pause the document and then delete it most of the time however in certain scenarios the document will stay in queue until you reboot. Instead of rebooting I offer another solution below to remove documents stuck in the Windows printer queue.
Word Document Stuck In Windows Printer Queue:
As you can see above the Word document is stuck in the printer queue. The above image was taken over 5 minutes after I initially attempted to delete the document from the Windows print queue. Follow the steps below to remove the document from the print queue on Windows 7. This solution should be very similar on other versions of Windows including Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Remove Documents Stuck In The Windows Printer Queue/Spool:
- Open Windows Services: In Windows 7 click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the taskbar, select Administrative Tools from the Windows Start Menu, and then click on Services to display the Windows Services management window as shown in the below image.
- Stop Print Spooler Service: Scroll down in the list of Windows services until you reach the Print Spooler service as displayed in the below image.
Right click on Print Spooler which will display a menu of various options as shown in the below image including Stop which when clicked will stop the Print Spooler Service.
Click Stop in the menu that displays to stop the Print Spooler service.
- Verify Printer Spool Clear: Now go back to the printer spool or print queue to verify that all documents have been cleared out. If not right click each document and they should delete on the first attempt to remove them from the Windows printer queue.
- Start Print Spooler: Click back on the Windows Services management window and then right click on the Print Spooler service again. This time select Start from the menu that displays to start the Print Spooler service which will display the below message while the service is starting.
I have found it much easier to restart the Print Spooler service than going through the process of restarting the computer. It will save a bunch of time if the users computer you are troubleshooting has a bunch of documents open, etc. You still need to locate the issue with the printer but at least you now have a way to easily clean the Windows Printer Queue.