Windows Server 2008 Print Job Stuck in Queue

This tutorial will show you how to manually clear out a job stuck in the print queue in Windows Server 2008. The first thing to try is obviously restarting the printer/computer. You can also try right clicking on the job in the queue and selecting delete/cancel. If those things don’t work, then follow the directions below.

Windows Server 2008 – Clear out stuck Print Job

Step 1

Browse to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS

There are two corresponding files for each print job, a .SPL file and a .SHD file that you will want to locate.

I usually open up the .SPL files with notepad and browse to find the correct print job. They normally list the username of person who printed and the printer model. The files don’t look pretty, but with some CTRL+F you should be able to locate the specific document that is stuck in the queue.


Step 2

Now go to the Start Menu > Administrative tools and launch Services (services.msc).


Step 3

Right click on “Print Spooler” and stop it. If you don’t stop it, you will get errors in Step 4.


Step 4

Delete the .SPL file and .SHD file corresponding to the stuck document in Step 1.

Step 5

Now start the print spooler back up by right clicking on it and selecting “Start.”


Refresh the window on the print queue and it should now be gone!


If you work in a small business environment and do this quick, you can locate/delete the files + stop/restart the print spooler without any downtime. Another way people have fixed a job stuck in the queue is by setting the driver in isolation mode. That is another article. This is simply a quick way to clear out the queue.