How to Clear the Memory in an HP Laser Jet Printer

Updated February 21, 2017

Your Hewlett-Packard (HP) LaserJet printer accepts print jobs from a variety of programs including spreadsheet, word processing and database applications, as well as the Internet. The printer contains memory chips that store documents from your computer so you can complete other tasks on your system. When problems arise, including a document not printing or your printer only printing part of a document, it is possible to clear your HP LaserJet's memory to return the printer to a working state.

Press the “Cancel” or “Reset” button on your HP LaserJet printer repeatedly until the printer's display shows “Ready.”

Turn your HP LaserJet printer's power switch to “Off” to clear the memory, if the printer's display doesn't show “Ready.” The power switch is located on the side or back of the printer.

Turn your printer's power switch to “On.” Your HP LaserJet's display will show "Ready" after the warm-up process is complete.

Click “Start.” Type “Run” in the “Search programs and files” box, if using Windows 7. If using Windows Vista, type “Run” in the “Start Search” box.

Click “Start,” “Run,” if using Windows XP.

Type “control printers” in the “Open” box. Press the “Enter” or “Return” key on your computer's keyboard.

Right click on your HP LaserJet printer's icon. Click “Open.”

Click “Printer,” “Cancel All Documents” to clear your HP LaserJet printer's memory.

Click your Mac's hard drive icon then click “Applications,” “Utilities” and “Print Center.” The “Printer List” dialogue box will open.

Click “Printers,” “Show Queue.”

Press and hold the “Option” key on your Mac's keyboard. Click “Quit Print Center.” Click “OK” in the alert box to clear your HP LaserJet's memory.


Before resending a problematic document to your HP LaserJet printer, try to determine what characters or elements in the document caused your printer to not print the file properly--corrupt pictures or graphics, excessive amount of blank pages or other elements. If possible, copy the contents of the document to another application, like WordPad, or to a new blank document, then send the file to your printer.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.