Fix Stuck Print Jobs in Windows

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Every once in a while the printer messes up a print job and documents fail to print. Unless you fix the problem quickly, it may result in a stack of documents pilled up in the print queue. There is a simple and effective method right inside Windows to fix this.

All that you need to do is to stop the Print Spooler service, delete all the stuck print jobs and then restart the Print Spooler service. This can be done from the Windows explorer or from the command prompt.

Fix via Command Prompt

The fastest solution is the command line method. Just run the following commands:

net stop spooler
del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd
del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl
net start spooler

You can even save it as a batch script and run it anytime the problem reoccur. To do so, copy the commands to notepad and save it as .bat file.

Fix via Windows Explorer interface

  1. Open Windows Services (Click the Start Button and type in: “Services” in the search box)
  2. Locate the Print Spooler Service, and stop it (Right Click > Choose STOP). This will stop the Print Spooler which will make it possible to delete the print jobs in the print queue.
  3. Print Spooler Service
    Print Spooler Service
  4. Now use Windows Explorer, and navigate to the folder: C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS or enter: %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\ in the run dialog box.
  5. Delete all files found inside the folder. You could even try to fix the error by deleting only the SPL and SHD files with the lowest number, which should be the file causing problems.
  6. Now go back to the Services Window and Start the Print Spooler Service.

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