How to Delete Print Jobs That Will Not Print

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Article ID: 162365 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q162365
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A print job is stuck in the printer queue of the Windows NT print server and cannot be deleted.


To remove the print job, follow these steps. On the print server:
  1. Close Print Manager in Windows NT 3.5x. Close the Printers Folder in Windows NT 4.0.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click the Services icon, click the Spooler Service, and then click Stop. If you are using TCP/IP Printing Services, click it and then click Stop.
  3. Delete the *.spl and *.shd files that show the approximate time and date of the print job causing the problem. They are in the %Winroot%\System32\Spool\Printers directory.

    NOTE: In some cases, Windows NT may not allow the *.spl file(s) to be deleted or renamed. Renaming the *.shd file and restarting the spooler service may be enough to clear the problem.
  4. Restart the services stopped in step 2.


With corrupt or too many .spl and .shd files, a Dr. Watson or Application Error in Spools may also occur.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 147347
TITLE : Application Error in SPOOLSS.EXE When Printing


Article ID: 162365 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
kbprb kbprint KB162365

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