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How to clear the print spool

Is your printer frozen, and your print queue just ignoring you? You could either
kick it or try this (less expensive) trick:


[Windows users]


  1. Click "start" and go to "Run"

  2. Type "services.msc" at the prompt which will open the Services
    window (ooh, pretty...)

  3. Scroll down the alphabetical list in the right window pane until you come
    to the entry with the name "Print Spooler"

  4. Right-click this entry, then select "stop". This will stop the computer
    running the process that holds your print queues.

  5. Leaving that window open for now, click again on "Start", and then click
    "My Computer" to open a Windows Explorer window.

  6. We've stopped the queue service, now we just have to clear the jam that is
    already there. To do this we navigate to the print spool folder which is hiding
    within the Windows folders. Usually Windows is installed on C: drive, but you
    should be easily able to tell when the Explorer window opens which drive it is
    on.

    The usual path to the spool folder is
    C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\spool\\PRINTERS, but yours may be slightly
    different. Your windows drive may have another name for instance, but this would
    be uncommon. So click on your Windows drive (usually C), then double-click on
    the Windows folder, and then find the System32 folder and double-click on
    that. Windows may warn you that you are about to view system files, but click
    "View files anyway" message and search out the "spool folder". Within the
    Spool folder is your Printers folder, and you should open
    that.

  7. Delete every file within this folder to empty the jammed print queue
    (pressing the "ctrl" and "a" keys will select all files and then you can just
    hit "delete").

  8. Close the explorer window now that we have emptied the cleared spool files,
    and return to your Services window. we must re-start the Print spool
    service, and do so by right-clicking the Print Spool entry and selecting
    "Start" from the list. Close the services window and try printing again


If your print spool folder contained no files to delete, then this article will
obviously not be the appropriate solution to your issue.


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52 on 12/13/2009