How to Cancel a Print Job in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

In Windows 10 you need to use the print queue to cancel a print job. Just realized you sent the wrong 26-page document to the printer? So you panic and hit the printer’s Off button. Unfortunately, many printers automatically pick up where they left off when you turn them back on, leaving you or your co-workers to deal with the mess.

To purge the mistake from your printer’s memory, follow these steps:

  1. From the desktop’s taskbar, right-click your printer’s icon and choose your printer’s name from the pop-up menu.

    To see your printer’s icon, you may need to click the little upward-pointing arrow to the left of the taskbar’s icons next to the clock.

    When you choose your printer’s name, the handy print queue window appears.

    Use the print queue to cancel a print job.

    Use the print queue to cancel a print job.
  2. Right-click your mistaken document and choose Cancel to end the job. If asked to confirm, click the Yes button. Repeat with any other listed unwanted documents.

Your printer queue can take a minute or two to clear itself. (To speed things up, click the View menu and choose Refresh.) When the print queue is clear, turn your printer back on; it won’t keep printing that same darn document.

  • The print queue, also known as the print spooler, lists every document waiting patiently to reach your printer. Feel free to change the printing order by dragging and dropping documents up or down the list. (You can’t move anything in front of the currently printing document, though.)

  • Sharing your printer on the network? Print jobs sent from other PCs sometimes end up in your computer’s print queue, so youll need to cancel the botched ones. (And networked folks who share their printer may need to delete your botched print jobs, as well.)

  • If your printer runs out of paper during a job and stubbornly halts, add more paper. Then to start things flowing again, open the print queue, right-click your document, and choose Restart. (Some printers have an Online button that you push to begin printing again.)

  • You can send items to the printer even when you’re working in the coffee shop with your laptop. Later, when you connect the laptop to your printer, the print queue notices and begins sending your files. (Beware: When they’re in the print queue, documents are formatted for your specific printer model. If you subsequently connect your laptop to a different printer model, the print queue’s waiting documents won’t print correctly.)