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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.
Step 1: 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 and then unplug the printer power cord from the power outlet.
  2. Save your work. After using these steps, your current print jobs are lost and will need to be printed again.
  3. Open Windows Services using one of the following methods:
    • Search Windows for services, and click Services in the list of results.
    • On your keyboard, press Windows key ( ) + R, type services.msc in the window that opens, and then click OK.
  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. Shut down your computer from Windows.
  9. Make sure you printer has been unplugged for at least 60 seconds, and then plug the power cord into a power outlet.
  10. Turn on the printer using the power button on the printer.
  11. Turn on the computer and wait for Windows to open.
  12. 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.
Read and respond to the screens in HP Print and Scan doctor to automatically find and fix any printer problem. After you have finished using HP Print and Scan Doctor, try to print.
  • If the printer prints, you are done.
  • If the print job becomes stuck again, continue to the next step.
Step 3: 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 4: 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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