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

Updated July 20, 2017

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.

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

  2. Type these commands into the Notepad window:

  3. net stop spooler

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

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

  6. net start spooler

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. Tip

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

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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Shaun Helsom is a tech-savvy writer who has experience in many fields such as PC repair, Web design and iPhone programming. He is also a full-time veterinary technician at a small animal veterinary hospital. He received his Bachelor of Science in business administration in 2009.

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