Clear and Restart the Print Spooler Manually
To clear and restart the print spooler manually, you’ll first need to stop the Print Spooler service. Click Start, type “services,” and then click the Services app.
In the right-hand pane of the Services window, find and double-click the “Print Spooler” service to open its properties window.
In the properties window, on the “General” tab, click the “Stop” button. You’ll be restarting the service a bit later, so go ahead and leave this properties window open for now.
Fire up File Explorer and browse to the following location—or just copy and paste this text into your File Explorer address bar and hit Enter:
You’ll likely be asked to provide permission to access this folder. Go ahead and accept.
Delete the contents of the entire folder by pressing Ctrl+A and then the Delete key.
Now, return to that open properties window in the Services app and click “Start” to restart the Print Spooler service. Click “OK” to close the properties window and you can also go ahead and exit the Services app.
As soon as you restart the Print Spooler service, all the documents in your queue are immediately respooled and sent to the printer. If all goes well, they should start printing again right away.
Clear and Restart the Print Spooler with a Batch File
If clearing your print queue by restarting the Print Spooler service is something you think you’ll be doing more than once—or you’d just rather not go through the trouble of using the Services app—you can also create a simple batch file to do the job.
Fire up Notepad or your preferred text editor. Copy and paste the following text as separate lines into the blank document:
- net stop spooler
- del /Q /F /S "%windir%\System32\spool\PRINTERS\*.*"
- net start spooler
Next, you’ll save your document as a .bat file. Open the “File” menu and click the “Save As” command.
In the “Save As” window, browse to the location you want to save the file. On the “Save as type”
drop-down menu, choose the “All files (*.*)” entry. You can name the file anything you want, but include “.bat” at the end. Click “Save” when you’re done.
You can now double-click that batch file to clear the print spooler whenever you want.
Better yet, create a shortcut to the batch file and then place that shortcut where it makes the most sense
to you—desktop, Start menu, or taskbar—and you’ll have one-click access to clear and restart the print spooler whenever you want.
We have already created the file for you and have attached it for easy download.