Stop the Printer! Stop the Printer!

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

How do you get a printer to stop printing? Sometimes all I want to do is print one page, but if I forget to click on the right button, the whole 100-page document starts pouring out. Help!

You’re not alone. It’s a small crisis many have experienced. It’s called the Sorcerer’s Apprentice syndrome. Before I tell you how to stop it, these are the things you should not do. Do not turn off the printer. Do not open the paper drawer to remove the paper. Do not pull the plug.

While those emergency steps may work sometimes, they also can cause paper to jam in the printer. And even if it doesn’t jam, you’re still left with the print job in the printer queue when you turn the printer back on or close the paper drawer.

Here’s what you should do: Click on Start and then on Printers and Faxes . The button for it may be right there in the opening screen (see screenshot below).

If it isn’t there, go to Control Panel or Settings and then click on Printers and Faxes . Identify your printer icon (there may be several icons—each labeled by the make of the printer). Then right-click on the icon, which brings up a screen that contains the Pause Printing (or Cancel All Documents ) button; click on it.

I can imagine what you’re thinking: Are you kidding? Paper is pouring out of the printer and you want me to start searching for some tiny icon deep inside the bowels of my computer and then try to identify my printer icon? I’ll never remember all those steps.

Calm down. I’ll show you how to create a shortcut, which you can put right on your desktop as an emergency printer shutoff switch. After you’ve selected your printer icon and right-clicked on it, another option right below Pause Printing is Create Shortcut . Left-click on that and a screen will appear that gives you the option of placing the icon on your desktop (see screenshot). Click on Yes…

…and this icon (or one like it) will appear on your desktop.

One more thing: When you click on the Pause Printing button, the printing may not stop immediately. It sometimes takes a minute or so for the printer to obey.

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