How to cancel printing or to delete a print job that is stuck in the print queue in Windows XP
Printing problems are some of the most frustrating problems that we experience as computer users. This article discusses what to try if you have a problem when you try to cancel a print job, or if you have a problem when you try to delete a print job from the print queue. The four step-by-step methods in this article are intended for beginning to intermediate computer users.
If you have to cancel a print job, try Methods A through D in order.
If you have to delete a print job from the queue, go straight to Method D.
Method A: Press the cancel button or use the cancel menu command on the printer
Method B: Turn the printer off and on
Method C: Use Control Panel to cancel printing
This method is a bit fancier. We will use Control Panel to try to cancel printing.
But what exactly are you trying to do? Are you trying to cancel printing only a single document, or are there other print jobs that you want to cancel? And are all the print job yours, or are there print jobs that other people have sent to the printer? If you have to cancel documents that other people have sent to the printer, you must have Computer Administrator status or you must have permission to cancel the print jobs. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.
Note: If you cancel a print job that you did want to print, make sure that you send the print job to the printer again.
If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the “Prevention tips” section to avoid this problem in the future.
If this method did not work for you, make sure that your printer is turned off, and then try Method D.
Method D: Stop the print spooler and delete all spooled files
If you tried Methods A through C and you were not successful, Method D should work for you. If you came to Method D immediately only to delete a print job, some of what we say here might not apply to you, so please bear with us.
Method D is somewhat more complex and will require a bit more work than the other methods, but don’t worry. Method D looks much more difficult than it really is.
First, in case that you don?t know how printing works, here is a short explanation. Print jobs are sent to the printer as spooled files. This means that the files are put in a temporary location so that the printer can access a print queue and print jobs at its own speed. If you stop the spooler and its files, most of the time, you both cancel printing and delete the print job.
Note: To use this method, you must have Computer Administrator status. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.
Step 1: Start Notepad
Step 2: Copy a command script to Notepad
Step 3: Run the command script file
Notice that the Command Prompt window opens to run the command script file that you created. Notice also that this window closes automatically when the command script file has finished running. If you do not see the Command Prompt window open, check that you saved the command script file by using the correct name and that you entered the correct command script file name in the Run box.
If this method does not work the first time, or if you cannot print anything after you use this method, restart your computer, and then try again.
If this method worked, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the “Prevention tips” section to prevent this problem from happening again.
If this method does not work, we’re sorry that this article was unable to help you. For your next steps, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
To prevent this problem in the future, always make sure that you have the most recent printer driver installed on the computer. To do this, you can select from the following options:
Contact the printer manufacturer to obtain and install the latest printer driver. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Use Windows Update to install the latest driver for your printer. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site: