Clearing the Printer Spool

by Pete on December 23, 2009

Free Pictures | acobox.comEveryone has done it. Just when your day seemed to be going well, you accidentally hit print when you intended to hit close. Suddenly a 12,000 page color document has been sent to the print cue and is coughing out documents faster than you can hit control-alt-delete. Do not panic. You can clear the print spool on your computer and stop the printing process midstream.

First, go to the start menu and click on “run.” Type in the phrase “services.msc.” This prompt will open another window called services. The display shows an alphabetical list of features and you will need to choose “print spooler.” To stop printing, right click on “print spooler” and choose “stop.” Everything in the print que will stop printing. Next, open an Explorer window and find the spool folder so you can delete everything in it. There will not be no folders in the jammed print que. Close the Explorer window once the folder is cleared, and return to the services menu. You can click start on the print spooler screen and everything will be set to run again.

In some cases, you will need to head to the printer and stop the documents there. Most printers feature a cancel option but it may require some searching. Find the menu option and look for an option that says “end” or cancel.” This should solve the problem, but if anyone else has sent materials to the printer in the meantime, they will need to resend. It can be an inconvenience to let co-workers know you canceled their job, and you may be a bit embarrassed, but the alternative for them was waiting for those tens of thousands of pages to print! If this should happen to you, relax and just let them know what you did. Everyone has done it and most co-workers will understand your mistake was not intentional.

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