Check the Print Queue

The print queue screen displays various kinds of information about the print jobs listed in the print queue. It can indicate whether the queue is working or not. It can report the status of each print job (spooled, printing, deleting, or error messages). It also lists the owner, the number of pages, and the size of each print job. The sections below tell how to check the status of a print job and how to clear jobs from the print queue when print job(s) may be "stuck."

Reporting Printer Issues

When printing problems are reported to the Help Desk, the following information is needed:

  • Your name
  • Location of the printer (including building name and room number)
  • Printer name
  • Software (program) being used to print
  • Error messages or symptoms of the problem

Step-by-step guide - Check the print job status

If a particular printer is having problems, the first thing to check is the status of the print job, which may indicate the cause of the problem. Write down the status message so as to report it accurately. Many of the print queue error messages under the Status column are described in the last section of the general printer troubleshooting page.

  1. Click the Start button, then Settings or Control panel, then Printers.
  2. Find and double-click the desired printer name listed in the Printers screen.
  3. The print queue screen will appear with the currently printing print job at the top of list and allpending print jobs listed below it.
  4. Look at the top print job's status message. (You may have to drag the column separator to the right to see all of it).

Step-by-step guide - Cancel jobs in queue

Usually the top print job (currently printing) is the culprit causing the problem, so try canceling/deleting it first if dealing with a departmental printer. However, you may have to eventually delete (purge) all the print jobs in the list to get the printer to print again. Help Desk staff can purge all public print queues to clear out any old abandoned print requests that may still be waiting to print.

The Cancel command is used to delete a single print job, while the Cancel all documents command is used to clear all jobs from the queue.

Note: Generally most users have permissions set to cancel only their own print jobs and no one else's. The Purge option is available only to users with special privileges, such as the HelpDesk staff, the Valparaiso staff, or certain individuals who manage the printers for their department.

Instructions for clearing print jobs from the queue:

  1. Pause the print queue:
    1. In the print queue screen click Printer in the menu bar.
    2. Click Pause Printing (a checkmark will appear before Pause Printing).
  2. Cancel a single print job (usually the top print document) in the queue:
    1. Highlight the top print job in the list.
    2. Click Document, then Cancel (this cancels only the one highlighted document).
    3. If you cannot get the top print job to disappear, you may have to recycle the printer once or twice to clear the memory of the printer completely.
  3. Restart the print queue:
    1. (Remember to restart the queue or the job won't print!!)
    2. Click Printer, then Pause Printing (checkmark now disappears from Pause Printing option)
    3. Exit print queue screen.
  4. Cancel All Documents in the queue: (requires special privileges)
    1. Click Printer, then Cancel all Documents.
    2. The entire list of print jobs should disappear.

Try printing a second time.

Printing Permissions

Most people on campus have permissions set to cancel only their own print jobs and no one else's. The Purge option is available only to users with special privileges, such as the Help Desk staff, other IT staff, or certain individuals who manage printers for their departments.

Still need help?

For additional assistance, contact the IT Help Desk.