Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to delete a print job that keeps crashing the print spooler

Say you're printing something and all of a sudden you get this error:

Ohhh noooo! What do you do now? So you click off the message and reprint your print job and this time you wait and wait and wait, but nothing prints. So you check your printers and faxes and "What the heck!! Where did my printers go?". Everything has disappeared!

Fear not, that is because you Print Spooler service has crashed. Sometimes a print job can cause your spooler to take a dump. What is Print Spooler you might ask? Well a Print Spooler is an application that manages print requests or jobs so that one job can be processed while other jobs are placed in a queue.

So now you have no printers and you need to print. You can either start the print spooler service and then try refreshing your printers and see if your printers reappears and then quickly go into the print queue to delete the print job (your print job might just sit there saying 'deleting' for a long time) or your print spooler will crash again.

Follow these steps to quickly and easily delete the corrupted job from your print queue. 
1. Make sure your print spooler is stopped (which it might already be, but make sure anyway) by going to services (click on start > run > type service.msc). Right click on print spooler and click stop.

2. Navigate to C:\windows\system32\spool\printers directory and delete the .shd and .spl files only.  Don't delete subdirectories if any present.

3. Restart print spooler service and check to make sure you printers are present.

Do a test print and you should be good to go....


Anonymous said...

this is great thanks

rebecca said...

Thanks SO much. MSFT was useless on this. You just ended 2 hours of torment!