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Introduction

Printing problems are some of the most frustrating problems that we experience as computer users. This article discusses what to try if you have a problem when you try to cancel a print job, or if you have a problem when you try to delete a print job from the print queue. The four step-by-step methods in this article are intended for beginning to intermediate computer users.

If you have to cancel a print job, try Methods A through D in order.

If you have to delete a print job from the queue, go straight to Method D.

Resolution

Method A: Press the cancel button or use the cancel menu command on the printer

The most obvious way to cancel a print job is to find a cancel button or a cancel menu command on the printer and to press it. So, if you have not already done this, try this method first.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the "Prevention tips" section to avoid this problem in the future.

If your printer does not have these items or if this method did not work for you, try Method B.

Method B: Turn the printer off and on

Next, try turning the printer off and then on. With certain printer models, this cancels the print job.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the "Prevention tips" section to avoid this problem in the future.

If this method did not work for you, turn your printer off, and then try Method C.

Method C: Use Control Panel to cancel printing

This method is a bit fancier. We will use Control Panel to try to cancel printing.

But what exactly are you trying to do? Are you trying to cancel printing only a single document, or are there other print jobs that you want to cancel? And are all the print job yours, or are there print jobs that other people have sent to the printer? If you have to cancel documents that other people have sent to the printer, you must have Computer Administrator status or you must have permission to cancel the print jobs. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.

To cancel one or more print jobs, follow these steps.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type control printers, and then click OK.
  3. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then click Open.
    • To cancel individual print jobs, right-click the print job that you want to cancel, and then click Cancel.
    • To cancel all print jobs, click Cancel All Documents on the Printer menu.
Note If you cancel a print job that you did want to print, make sure that you send the print job to the printer again.

If this method worked for you, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the "Prevention tips" section to avoid this problem in the future.

If this method did not work for you, make sure that your printer is turned off, and then try Method D.

Method D: Stop the print spooler and delete all spooled files

If you tried Methods A through C and you were not successful, Method D should work for you. If you came to Method D immediately only to delete a print job, some of what we say here might not apply to you, so please bear with us.

Method D is somewhat more complex and will require a bit more work than the other methods, but don't worry. Method D looks much more difficult than it really is.

First, in case that you don’t know how printing works, here is a short explanation. Print jobs are sent to the printer as spooled files. This means that the files are put in a temporary location so that the printer can access a print queue and print jobs at its own speed. If you stop the spooler and its files, most of the time, you both cancel printing and delete the print job.

Note To use this method, you must have Computer Administrator status. If you are using your own printer, you most likely have Computer Administrator status. If you are printing to a shared printer, you might have to ask the system administrator to cancel the print job for you.

Step 1: Start Notepad

To stop the print spooler and its files, we will have you create and run a script file that will automatically stop the service. This sounds difficult, but it really isn't. Just follow these steps carefully.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type notepad, and then click OK. Notice that a blank Notepad document opens.

Step 2: Copy a command script to Notepad

Now we will have you copy and paste some commands to the Notepad document.
  1. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    net stop spooler
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl
    net start spooler
  2. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy.
  3. In Notepad, right-click in the blank document, and then click Paste.
  4. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd
  5. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy.
  6. In Notepad, click Save As on the File menu.
  7. In the File Name box, right-click, and then click Paste.

    Note Notice that this file name differs from most other file names that you might have seen. That is because this file is a command script file.
  8. Click Save.

Step 3: Run the command script file

Now that you have created the command script file, you will run it. To run it, you will copy and paste the name of the command script file in the Run box.
  1. Carefully select (highlight) all the following text:
    C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd
  2. Right-click the text that you selected, and then click Copy.
  3. Click Start, and then click Run.
  4. In the Open box, right-click, and then click Paste.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Notice that the Command Prompt window opens to run the command script file that you created. Notice also that this window closes automatically when the command script file has finished running. If you do not see the Command Prompt window open, check that you saved the command script file by using the correct name and that you entered the correct command script file name in the Run box.
Note If this method does not work the first time, or if you cannot print anything after you use this method, restart your computer, and then try again.

If this method worked, you are finished with this article. However, you may want to read the "Prevention tips" section to prevent this problem from happening again.

If this method does not work, we're sorry that this article was unable to help you. For your next steps, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/

Prevention tips

To prevent this problem in the future, always make sure that you have the most recent printer driver installed on the computer. To do this, you can select from the following options:
  • Contact the printer manufacturer to obtain and install the latest printer driver. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/printxp
  • Use Windows Update to install the latest driver for your printer. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://update.microsoft.com

Properties

Article ID: 946737 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbexpertiseinter kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot KB946737

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