How to Delete a Pending Print Job That Says 'Deleting'

Written by shaun helsom
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How to Delete a Pending Print Job That Says 'Deleting'
Printer queues can often become unresponsive when a print job is stuck in a "Deleting" status. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

When you create a print job in Windows, temporary files called the "print spool" are created. Printers read these files as the document prints so they don't have to be stored on the printer. If you cancel a print job, these files should be deleted. Sometimes Windows encounters problems deleting these files, keeping a status of "Deleting" indefinitely. A custom fix is available from Windows to help delete these files and restore functionality to your printer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Notepad by clicking on "Start," navigating to "Accessories," then clicking on "Notepad."

  2. 2

    Type these commands into the Notepad window:

    net stop spooler

    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers*.shd

    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers*.spl

    net start spooler

    These are the system commands that are necessary to manually delete the print spool files.

  3. 3

    Click on "File," then choose "Save As." Save the name of the newly created file as "C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd." Be sure not to use the standard ".txt" file type as the file you are creating is a system command, not a text file.

  4. 4

    Run the command file by clicking on "Start," "Run," type "C:\DeletePrintJobs.cmd" and click OK. The program will run in a black window in a matter of seconds and close automatically when finished.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 5 to run the saved command file for future "stuck" print jobs.

Tips and warnings

  • More difficult print jobs may also require you to restart your computer.

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