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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage Printers
I recently installed a small free utility called Cee Pee You on my MacBook Pro that posts your CPU usage in the menu bar. Much to my surprise, my CPU usage was very high, more often then not pegging at over 90%, regardless of what I was doing -- idle or not.

Confused, intrigued and a bit nervous, I opened Terminal and opened a process list -- ps aux --- to see what the culrpit was. To my surprise, I had a printmanager job running and hogging the CPU, even though I was not currently printing anything. To delete the print job, I opened Printer Setup Utility, looked at my list of printers, and found that a print job that I had accidently sent to my Canon i960 while at work instead of to the Xerox printer was the culprit. I deleted the print job, and the CPU monitor immediately dropped to low numbers, under 20%, almost all of the time.

The lessons I learned from this that might be helpful are:
  1. Active (in the menu bar or elsewhere within the finder environment) CPU monitoring is very helpful.
  2. Choosing the wrong printer and not deleting the job immediately will kidnap your CPU until you delete the job, if you send it to a Canon inkjet printer that is not connected (I do not know if this effects other printers).
  3. I am going to write/find an AppleScript or Automator script that checks for print queues and deletes them through a cron job. If anyone has anything like this that they want to share, even if it needs additional work, please post a link and I will take a look, add to it as I see fit, and post it back.
[robg adds: The similarly-free MenuMeters also puts CPU usage (among many other useful indicators) in your menu bar.]
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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: happyjaxx on Aug 30, '06 08:47:34AM

:-) Hi there...

I just want to underline that all Canon printing drivers, at least for the InkJet families (Pixma iP4200 in my case) PPC and Intel, all eat CPU, as long as the job isn't finished... And it has been pretty long lasting...


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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: sjk on Aug 30, '06 11:59:19AM

I underline your underline about Canon inkjet drivers having an insatiable CPU appetite.

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: eagle on Aug 30, '06 08:51:55AM

The utility Activity Monitor, which comes with OS X, shows the same thing -- and more -- in the Dock.

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: davidlfoster on Aug 30, '06 09:21:38AM

Wow... that dock icon feature of activity monitor is neat. I did not know that. Even cooler is the CPU history, which if you have a Quad, is almost worth the cost of getting a Quad. I definitely prefer eating up dock space for this use versus taking up valuable menubar space.

A nice add-on for this feature would be if you could alternate multiple read-outs on the dock icon, like say rotate through them once every 10-60 sec.

It seems to me that app writers could find new ways to convey info to users with this kind of approach (anything but jumping or otherwise obnoxious animated dock icons).

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 30, '06 01:36:58PM

Activity Monitor also offers to display a small, floating window that is a CPU usage meter, which you can drag where you choose, so you need not take up space in the Dock *or* menu bar. See its Window menu for the choices available.

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: sjk on Aug 31, '06 01:12:32AM
Re: #3 in the original hint.

Maybe Cancel Print Jobs would be useful to you?

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: cp420 on Aug 31, '06 08:57:32AM

I prefer menu meters as I do a lot of development (and i hide my dock). It's nice to see when something is really munchin my CPU as soon as it happens.

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MenuMeters + AppStop
Authored by: mag on Sep 03, '06 07:40:50AM
I use a combination of MenuMeters (shows real-time CPU usage) and AppStop (, which gives the CPU usage per application. That way I can see quickly if the CPU usage climbs, and I can check which app is the reason.

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Forgotten print job maxes CPU usage
Authored by: jfaughnan on Sep 08, '06 10:02:48PM

canon drivers are notorious for this. I once had a G5 iMac that seemed to have an overheating problem. Roaring fans, max temp, bad news. Turned out ONE of the user accounts on the system had a stuck print job, but the user didn't realize it. (FUS enabled). Clearing the queue fixed the heat problem immediately.

John Faughnan

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