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HP Printers - Print Jobs Stuck in Print Queue (Windows)

This document is for HP printers and computers with Windows.
The printer cannot print from a computer because a print job is stuck in the Windows print queue. This stuck print job cannot be cancelled or deleted and prevents further print jobs from printing. Clicking Cancel on the job in the queue, does nothing.
Figure : Example of a stuck job in queue that cannot be cancelled
 The Windows print spooler window showing a document with the status of "Deleting".
This issue can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as power outages, but always involves the print job spooling process in Windows.
To resolve this problem, perform the steps in this support document to reset your printing environment and clear any corrupt jobs from the system.
Step 1: See if the printer is paused or offline
If the printer is offline, print jobs remain in queue until the printer becomes active again. Open the print queue window and make sure Pause Printing or Use Printer Offline are not selected. If a checkmark displays next to either item, select the item to clear the checkmark and try printing again. If the problem persists, continue to the next step.
Figure : Print Queue printer settings
 Print Queue/Spooler  window with the Printer menu open and Pause Printing and Use Printer Offline menu items selected
Step 2: Delete job files and restart
Whenever a print job is sent to the printer a file is created in Windows. Sometimes these files become corrupt and cause problems. To properly reset your printing environment, delete these print job files manually and restart both the computer and the printer.
  1. Turn off the printer using the power button.
  2. If you have any work open in the software you printing from, save your work. Your current print jobs will be lost and will need to be printed again later.
  3. Search Windows for services, and click Services in the list of results.
  4. Scroll through the list of services and find the name Print Spooler.
  5. Right-click Print Spooler and select Stop.
    Figure : Stop selection for Print Spooler Service
     Service window the Print Spooler service selected from the Name list and the Stop selection called out.
  6. After the service has been stopped, close the service window and use Windows Explorer to browse to C:\Windows\System32\Spool\PRINTERS.
  7. Delete all files inside the PRINTERS folder.
  8. Restart your computer.
  9. Turn on your printer.
  10. Try printing again and note what happens.
    • If the printer prints, you are done.
    • If the print job becomes stuck again, continue to the next step.
HP provides a free tool called HP Print and Scan Doctor to diagnose and resolve printing and scanning problems. Download and run HP Print and Scan Doctor to quickly and automatically perform several troubleshooting tasks known to resolve this issue. When this link is clicked, HP Print and Scan Doctor is downloaded using your Internet browser's download capabilities.
  • If the printer prints, you are done.
  • If the print job becomes stuck again, continue to the next step.
Step 4: Reinstall the print driver
If print jobs continue to get stuck when printing, reset the printing software system files by removing and reinstalling the print driver.
 note:
If your computer is using Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows, do not use these steps. Instead, uninstall your printer software using the Add/Remove Programs list in Windows Control Panel. Install your printer software from either the printer installation disc, a full feature software download from HP's Web site (if available), or by adding the printer through Window's Add hardware feature (a built-in driver).
  1. If your printer connects to the computer with a USB cable, disconnect the USB cable from the printer.
  2. Search Windows for devices and click Devices and Printers in the list of results.
  3. Right-click the icon for your printer, and click Remove Device.
    The computer uninstalls the printer software.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Go to HP Support - Software & Drivers to find and download printer software that matches your model of HP printer.
  6. Install the software according to the instructions on the HP website.
     note:
    If you are using a USB connection, only connect the cable when instructed to do so during the software installation.
  7. Try printing again and note what happens.
    • If the printer prints, you are done.
    • If the print job becomes stuck again, continue to the next step.
Step 5: Other things to try
If print jobs continue to get stuck, the following actions have been known to resolve problems related to print jobs not printing.

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