Fix for “The print spooler service is not running” Error in Windows

Some users may get a “print spooler service” error when you trying to install a printer in Windows that says:

Operation could not be completed. The print spooler service is not running.

To solve this error, try the following steps.

  1. Press “Window key” + “R” to open the Run dialog
  2. Type “services.msc“, then click “OK“.
  3. Double-click the “Printer Spooler” service, and then change the startup type to “Automatic“. This sets the Spooler service to start automatically when you restart the computer. Click OK.
  4. Restart the computer and try to install the printer again.

If the above steps don’t solve the problem for you, the problem could be related to corrupted printer drivers that are installed on the computer. Try uninstalling all printer software from the computer and start from scratch. This may include PDF writer or faxing software as well. Anything listed in the Control Panel under Printers & Faxes I would do away with. If there is any software installed for other printers in Add/Remove Programs I would uninstall it all. Obtain updated software from your printer manufacturers and reinstall only the items you need.

You can also try cleaning out everything possible that might be hanging the Printer Spooler.


  1. Alan Packer says

    Really glad I found this, have been installing and reinstalling, did what this told me to and Hay presto, printing via usb and network.
    Have portioned instructions for future reference

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