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Why Is Your Document Stuck "In Queue"

Why do print jobs get stuck in the queue?

You have a series of documents that you need to print for an upcoming presentation or meeting. You click "Print," just to see the file bounce into the digital file, sit there, and nothing happens. When you check the status of the print job you've initiated, the computer says, "Document in queue" or something to that extent. 

While you assume that this means several other people are wanting to print to the same printer in front of you, either this isn't the case, or this printer isn't even accessible to anyone else. Ah, what gives? Before you take the printer out into a field with a baseball bat, there are a few reasons for documents in queue not printing as they should.

1. The Document is Complex

A simple Word document may take no time at all for a printing system to "digest" before it spits out a perfect copy. A graphic-heavy, color-intense report may take considerably longer. This may be the case with your documents in queue, not printing. Whether the material you want to print is graphic-heavy, color-dense, or incredibly lengthy, this may increase the wait time on its ability for the file to be processed for printing.

2. Printer or Computer Memory is Running Low

Like a computer has memory that can quickly fill up, the computing systems of many printers are susceptible to the same informational fatigue. When a computer's digital memory begins to fill up, this can cause a considerable lag in the system and encumber its ability to process documents for printing. If this becomes a repeating problem, restarting connected devices from time to time can help free up some memory used in printing. If the problem persists, you may consider an upgrade to a more robust printing system to more quickly push along documents in queue.

3. Your Print Driver Needs Maintenance

To turn a complicated file into a printable document full of sophisticated colors, dimensions, and shapes, a printer's driver works hard to communicate such information to the printer. Pixels and electrical signals become ink quantities and coordinates on a page. This is a very complicated system, one in need of regular maintenance. The printer's software manufacturers are constantly releasing new patches and system upgrades for printers. While many of us sleep on these upgrades, they provide essential information that helps print driver systems maintain themselves. By staying up to take on printer driver upgrades, you can keep your printer's ability to deliver prints in a timely fashion moving forward.

4. Your Printer is Hung Up on a Print Status

Whenever your car has an issue, the "check engine" light comes on. This occurs when the computer detects a particular problem. Once the problem is remedied, the car is reset, and that "check engine" status is turned off. Printers are quite similar, maintaining a problematic status code until cleared. Even after a printer is repaired, if its status code is not reset, this can cause communication issues between it and its associated network.

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