How to Clear Printer Memory

By Rob Harris

Printing the wrong document can waste paper and ink.
i Patrick Ryan/Lifesize/Getty Images

Whether you sent the wrong business document to be printed or there's an error light flashing on your printer, clearing the printer memory can stop the erroneous document and get your printer back in working order. Simply turning the printer off and back on doesn't usually clear the memory; often, the print job continues once you turn the unit on again. However, there's an easy solution to clearing the memory on your printer.

Click on the Start button and select "Devices and Printers."

Right-click on the printer you're using. Select "See What's Printing" from the drop-down menu.

Click on the "Printer" menu and choose "Cancel All Documents." This should delete any documents the computer is spooling to the printer, cancelling the jobs. If you don't cancel outstanding jobs first, the computer will continue sending them to the printer's memory.

Turn off your printer and unplug it from the wall.

Wait at least one minute, then plug the printer back in and turn it on.


If you don't have administrator permissions to cancel all documents from your computer's print queue, right-click on the print items one at a time and select "Cancel."