How to Clear Printer Queue


A pink printer icon

There are multiple reasons why a print job is not coming out of your printer. The most typical one is a printer queue issue. Typically, when the device gets switched off or disconnected while it’s printing a document, the print job gets corrupted and stuck in the queue. The odds are you’ll completely forget about it, and only remember when you try to produce a new file but end up with the initial print job that lagged. 

Luckily, this issue can be resolved fairly quickly. If you’ve been incessantly Googling correct ways on how to clear a printer’s queue, you have landed on the right page. In this article, we’ll share step-by-step instructions and different methods to clear the printer queue for both Windows and Mac OS. 

Let’s get troubleshooting! 

How To Clear Printer Queue For Windows 

Before you turn your attention to the printer queue, check for other printer problems first, such as paper jams, lack of paper, low ink, low toner, or perhaps your device just needs a good ‘ole restart.

If none of the above seems to be the issue with your printer, then it’s time to clear and restart the print spooler. This is a highly reliable solution because it restarts the system without actually cancelling any of the documents that you are currently printing. To perform this task, you need to stop the print spooler service, delete the temporary cache Windows designated to spool print jobs, and then restart.

Follow these instructions to clear your printer queue in a Windows OS:

  1. Go to Start
  2. Click the Control Panel and look for Administrative Tools
  3. Double-click the Services icon.
  4. Scroll down and select the Print Spooler service. 
  5. Select Stop.
    Important Note: Make sure that you are logged in as the administrator.
  6. Go to the following directory: C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\PRINTERS. As an alternative option in case the C drive isn’t configured as the default Windows partition, you can also type it into the address bar on your Internet browser. 
  7. Delete all the files in this folder. This step will clear all print queues.

Important Note: If you are performing this step on a server, ensure that no other print jobs are being processed at the time.

  1. Return to the Services console and select Start for the Print Spooler service. At this point, you should be able to print without encountering any issues. 


A printer icon

How To Clear Printer Queue For Mac 

If you are using a Mac device, here are the two most effective and efficient ways to clear a printer queue.

Clear Printer Queue For Mac Method 1 

  1. On your Mac, look for the printer icon in the Dock and hover your cursor over it to reveal the printer’s name or IP address. Click it to open the Printer Utility.
  2. Select the print job that you wish to remove from the queue and click on the X button beside it. This cancels the print job and clears out the queue. As a quicker alternative, you can also select a print queue item and hit Command+Delete to remove it. 

Clear Printer Queue For Mac Method 2

Another technique you can try in this how to clear a printer queue tutorial for Mac OS is accessible via the Printer System Preferences. You can use this one if the printer icon is not visible in the OS Dock.

  1. Open the Apple Menu and go to System Preferences.  
  2. Choose Printers
  3. Select the active printer and choose the Open Print Queue icon.
  4. Select and cancel the print jobs accordingly. This will remove any unwanted print jobs from the queue.


A white printer on a desk next to a laptop

Never Deal With Printing Delays Again 

Whether you’re currently working from home or back at it in a proper workplace, there’s no arguing that multifunction printers are indispensable office equipment, and any issue can hamper your team’s productivity or affect your business’s profits. 

This highlights the importance of selecting the best printers for different types of business and having a keen eye for quality. If you invest in top-of-the-line printers, you are less likely to encounter printing delays or printing queue issues. High-quality printers render high-quality results. 

Can’t afford to purchase commercial printer units and/or worried about maintenance? Leasing a printer has never been easier!  

  Busys is a trusted commercial printer supplier that has been in the industry for decades now. Our team has witnessed the evolution of printers over the years. We have seen how industry giants, such as Konica Minolta, Toshiba, and Canon, have set the bar high and exceed their own standards every time. As a specialist in office printer leases, we can help you deck your office with the most advanced printers, copiers, and mailing machines that can dramatically improve your company’s productivity. 

Don’t waste your time looking for ways on how to clear the printer queue in your old and troublesome printers. Let our experts here at Busys take care of it for you. Learn more about our latest office printer leases and premier multifunction printers. Contact Busys today!

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