Mac OS X – how to clear the print queue

Credit goes to Techie Corner for this tip:

mac, clear print queue mac

The print queue is stuck in my Mac machine. I’m not able to clear the print queue. Whenever i clear the print queue, the print job will show up again. These print jobs has stucked in my Mac machine for long time.

To clear the computer’s print queue in Mac OS X, follow the steps below:

  • Go to Finder -> Application -> Utilities -> Terminal
  • Enter the command below:-
    $ cancel -a
  • Once entered, it will clear the entire print queue in your system.

* ‘cancel’ is a command that used to clear all the print job in Mac OS X. With the parameter -a, it meas clear all the print jobs, in other words clear the print queue.

16 Replies to “Mac OS X – how to clear the print queue”

  1. Is not working for me. Any other thoughts? I’m running 10.8.3
    In the printer cue it says it’s already canceled so I can’t cancel. I can’t print anything else that becomes stacked up after this document

  2. I’m having the exact same issue as Karen Perkins (above). Have tried “cancel -a” multiple times to no avail. Haven’t tried rebooting, as I have many other processes running now and can’t shut down conveniently. Rebooting *might* clear the print cache, but not sure. In any event, “cancel -a -” (or without the trailing dash) is not working. OS X 10.8.3 on a MBP 5,5 (mid-2009 13″ with 8GB RAM)

  3. Unfortunately, I’m using Mavericks, and it looks like Apple broke it again. cancel -ax no longer works. The only thing I found that worked was deleting the printer. I seriously wish I hadn’t “upgraded” to Mavericks. It’s by far the worst Mac OS in a very long time.

  4. I agree, Mavericks is filled with more bugs and glitches than I recall past MacOS X versions having. Frustrating at times for sure.

    For printing issues, Apple’s default position is now to Reset the system.

    Control-click or right-click a print queue in the “Printers” pane.
    Choose “Reset Printing System…” from the contextual menu.
    Click “OK” in the “Are you sure…” confirmation sheet.

    But this is a tedious solution at best because you then have to re-install your custom printers.

    I’ll hunt for workarounds.

  5. Have entered “cancel -a”, and just skips to the next line. Does not indicate if it has emptied the queue. Have attempted several different ways based on comments sent in and still not corrected.

  6. I am still on 10.9 — I’ll investigate this when I upgrade in the next month to Yosemite 10.10
    Thanks for letting us all know that the command didn’t work.

  7. if it’s not working for you, go to the print queue, select one job from the list, then command+a to select all, command+d to delete all the jobs on the queue.

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