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UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Cancel Print Job]

UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Cancel Print Job]

Question: How do I cancel a print job?
Author: Joseph Tam
Date: Dec. 12, 2013

You may need to cancel a print job if you've submitted a large job which you don't want, or don't need. For small jobs (small tens of pages), it's probably not worth the bother to cancel the job.

Overview of printing process

The process of printing starts with a client workstation sending a print job to the central printer server (, which does any necessary processing, then queues the job to send to the printer. When the printer is ready, the print server sends the print data to the printer, then monitors the printer for completion, before sending another print job from the queue.

If the printer does not complete a print job, the print server may send another copy to the printer. It may not be enough to just clear the job from the printer; you must also remove the job from the print queue, otherwise the print job will restart.

Cancel a print job

  1. Stop the physical printing process:
    1. Halt the printer: do not just turn the printer off -- this may cause a paper jam.. You can usually halt printing by pressing a button on the front of the printer. For HP printers, this button is labelled "Stop". If you can't find the button, you might also stop printing by pulling out the paper tray, but only do this as a last resort.
    2. Once the printer has stopped printing (i.e. no mechanical movement), you can turn off the printer. This will clear the print job from the printer memory.
  2. Remove the job from the print queue:

    For unknown reasons, the printing controls from Windows clients do not work. You'll have to do these steps using the Unix interface.

    1. Log in to one of our public Unix workstations: log in via ssh to one of our public Unix workstations e.g. You should log in using the same user account that submitted the print job.
    2. From within a command line terminal, issue this Unix command:
      lprm -Pprinter-name all
      Replace printer-name with "apple" or "pulp" or whichever printer is involved. This will remove all print jobs submitted by the user.
    3. Optional: check print queue. You can check the print queue with this command:
      lpq -Pprinter-name
  3. Restart the printer: turn the printer back on.