How to Clear a Printer Spool

By KellyB

When you send a document to the printer but it doesn't print, your computer may be experiencing a printer spool problem. You cannot solve these problems by clicking the print button several times--this may make the problem worse. Printer spool problems can be frustrating, but you can clear the printer spool queue in just a few steps.

Step 1

Check the connections between your printer and computer. If the cables are connected properly, turn on your computer, and click the "Start" button.

Step 2

Type "services.msc" in the "Start Search" box and press "Enter." This will open the Services window.

Step 3

Right-click on the "Print Spooler" file. In the list of options that appears, select "Stop." This will stop the printing queue.

Step 4

Minimize the "Services" window by clicking on the "Minimize" button on the upper-right corner of the window. The "Minimize" button is the third button from the right with a white underscore (_).

Step 5

Click the "Start" button and open the "Computer" window. Open the local drive (often the "C" drive) by clicking it twice. Then go to the "Windows" folder.

Step 6

Open the "System 32" folder by double-clicking it. Open the "Spool" folder, then the "Printers" folder.

Step 7

Delete all the files in the "Printers" folder. Hold the "CTRL" button and press the "A" key. This will select or highlight all the files in the folder. Press the "Delete" key in your keyboard to erase all the files. Close the window by clicking on the "X" button at the top-right corner of the window.

Step 8

Go back to the "Services" window, and right-click on the "Print Spooler" file. Select "Start" from the list of options. Close the Services window, and print your document again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use only printers that are compatible with your computer.