Clearing printer spool in Vista

Have you experienced getting a print job stuck? Thus preventing you from printing subsequently. You try cancelling the print jobs, but it gets stuck on the cancelling state. Well, it has happened to me several times on Vista, specially when papers get jammed in the printer.

What I had resorted to do in the past was to shut down the printer and restarting the computer. But sometimes, you simply cannot do that because you may be in the middle of some other task, or simply it’s such an annoyance.

So today when I faced this situation, I checked to see if there is a way to clear the printer queue, when it is stuck at cancelling the print job. TypeNet Stop Spooleron the command prompt. This will stop the printer spooler service. Then go an cancel the print jobs by going into Start, Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Printers, select the printer and select “Cancel All Documents”. You can also access the printer queue by clicking on the Printer con on the Windows Task Bar. This time around you will find that the print job disappears when you cancel.

Then type Net Start Spooler to start the service again. Voila, now you should be able to continue with your printing.


  1. ralph kessler

    I did as instructed and there were no printers listed.

  2. To take care of your printer spool issues go to and download their utility! Their software gets rid of it fast and in just a few clicks of your mouse! No messy dos stuff or opening up a bunch of windows!

  3. Hi – You are a life-saver. I tried everything I could think of to get the printer to clear. I finally found your posting, and it worked like a charm. Thanks so much for the information.

  4. michael

    Thank you!! This worked perfectly! My printers disappeared as well after I stopped the spooler, but they came right back when I restarted the service. Thanks again!

  5. Mk

    You’re the man, worked for me.

  6. great, also can be done from services.msc but this is just restarting print spooler and may not be enough. Try free Print Flush from Brad Covach or Spooler Fix It from Microsoft.

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