My sister still has Win XP. She tried to print a document on her USB printer and now it's stuck in the printing queue. I tried the following:

  • Restart the computer
  • Restart the printer
  • Delete the entry from the printing queue
  • From the printing queue choose Printer\Cancel All Documents
  • Right click the print job and choose Pause

The status of the printing job now reads "Deleting - Paused - Printing".
Nothing I do seems to get rid of this stuck printing job.
What should I do?


The advice on this site saved me more than once:

Pull up your Run box (Windows Key+R) type in cmd and hit Enter. This will bring you to the MS DOS prompt. There type in the following:

net stop spooler

You should get a message saying the spooler stopped successfully. Now we need to clean out the spool folder. This is where windows keeps jobs that haven’t been printed yet.

Call up your Run box again (Windows Key+R) and type in the following:


This should open a new explorer window. You are likely to see bunch of files in there – some of which may be classified as “Shockwave Objects” by windows. They are actually not Shockwave files but whatever. We don’t care because we will be deleting them. Just remove everything you can see that folder and then close the window. If you can’t delete some of the files, it means that you didn’t stop the spooler properly. Go back and try it again.

This deletes all the jobs on the queue, so you might need to re-send some of the documents that got stuck there waiting. Once the folder is empty go back to your DOS prompt and type in:

net start spooler

Your printer queue should be clean now. If it’s not, you probably did something wrong.

  • This saved me several times, too.
    – Ither
    Dec 20 '10 at 12:59
  • Nearly 9 years later, and STILL a problem? Ridiculous! Just had to do this to Windows Server 2016 and its managed print queues. Sep 13 '19 at 20:56

The usual answer for this is to go into the Windows services tab and stop then restart the printer spooler.


Although the answers here seem valid, I solved the problem even before I read them.

My solution\workaround was after marking the printing job to delete, I disconnected the printer from the electricity, restarted the computer and then reconnected the printer to the electricity.

I guess that when the computer restarted without the printer it was able to remove the printing job from the queue.

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