How to Quickly Stop a Print Job on Your Computer

Accidentally printing the wrong document or needing to urgently print something else? Here is how to quickly stop or cancel a print job from your computer.

Methods to Stop a Print Job

There are several ways to stop a print job on your computer:

  • From the printer: Most printers have a Stop, Cancel, or Reset button right on the printer that will stop the current print job.
  • From the print queue: You can access the print queue in Windows and macOS to view print jobs and cancel specific ones.
  • From the application: While the document is printing, most applications briefly show a print dialog box with a Cancel button.
  • Turn the printer off and back on: As a last resort, turning the printer off will stop all print jobs. Just be careful not to damage the printer.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these detailed steps to cancel print jobs using the print queue in Windows and macOS.

Cancel a Print Job in Windows

From the Taskbar

  • Right-click the printer icon in the taskbar notification area and select your printer.
  • Right-click the print job you want to cancel and select Cancel. Confirm by selecting Yes.

From Control Panel

  • Open Control Panel and select View devices and printers (or Devices and Printers).
  • Double click your printer, click See what’s printing, right-click the print job, and select Cancel.

Cancel a Print Job on Mac

From the Dock

  • Click the print job icon in the Dock to open the print queue.
  • Click Hold Job to pause the print job, then click Delete Job.

From Printers & Scanners

  • Go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners.
  • Select your printer > Open Print Queue > Cancel icon.

Clearing the Print Queue

If canceling the print job doesn’t work, try clearing the entire print queue:


  • Open the print queue, right-click the printer icon, and select Cancel All Documents.


  • Open the print queue, click Printer in the menu bar, and select Cancel All Jobs.

What to Do If Unable to Cancel

If you still can’t cancel the print job:

  • Try pausing the printer to stop printing temporarily while troubleshooting.
  • Carefully remove paper from the input tray so printing stops due to no paper.
  • As a last resort, turn off the printer, wait 30 seconds, and turn it back on.

Preventing Print Mishaps

Here are some tips to avoid unwanted print jobs in the future:

  • Preview documents before printing: Use the print preview feature to confirm you are printing the right file.
  • Check settings before printing: Glance at the printer name, number of copies, page range, etc. to ensure the settings are correct.
  • Print one test page first: For large or important documents, print only the first page to confirm everything prints as expected before printing the entire document.
  • Use secure print release features: Require a passcode at the printer before documents are printed to prevent forgotten print jobs.

FAQs About Stopping Print Jobs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Why does my print job get stuck and not cancel?

Large print jobs or corrupted files in the queue can prevent jobs from canceling right away. Try clearing the queue or turning the printer off and on again.

Will stopping a print job damage my printer?

Modern printers are designed to safely handle paused and canceled print jobs. Just don’t forcibly remove paper from the printer.

Can I restart a print job after canceling?

Most print jobs can be restarted right from the queue. Just re-open the document you canceled and hit print again.

What happens if I cancel someone else’s print job accidentally?

If you share a printer, be careful when canceling print jobs. Talk to the person whose job you canceled and ask them to reprint the document.

Stopping runaway print jobs is easy once you know the various methods to cancel printing on both Windows and Mac computers. With the right technique, you can halt unwanted documents in seconds without damaging your printer.