How to Delete a Document from the Print Queue

There is a common issue with Windows when trying to cancel or delete a currently printing document from the print queue. It takes a long time, and sometimes it will get stuck and not delete at all, blocking all subsequent print jobs. In some instances, even taking the printer offline, or rebooting the machine will not clear the printing queue.

To clear the print job, simply follow these directions:

  1. Navigate to “Services” under “Administrative Tools
  2. Stop the Print Spooler service
  3. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to: C:\Windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS
  4. Delete any offending print jobs (.spl file extensions).
  5. Start the Print Spooler service again.

Note: It is also safe to delete other leftover files with an .spl, .shd, or .tmp extensions from the C:\Windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS folder.