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We have one printer in the household which is only sometimes connected to a computer (a portable).

It often happens that once the printer is finally connected, neighboring computers (in the Windows 7 home group) start sending print jobs that were requested ages ago. Obviously no one is interested in those print jobs anymore. Is there a way to make them expire automatically, or simply disable the ability to send print jobs to a printer that is offline?

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There is no easy way to accomplish this. A couple options are either that users must manually delete the jobs from their Windows 7 print queue, or you could set up a batch file that would run on windows log on that would clear the print queue whenever a user logs in or shuts down their PC. Or, using group policy (if available -- depends on versions of Windows installed) or a 3rd party utility, you could set it to run at log out or shut down. It would take a bit of effort to set up, but could be done. See more about the commands to issue in the batch file here.

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