From time to time, you may need to stop or start the Print Spooler Service in Microsoft Windows to clear up print jobs, delete printer ports or perform other admin tasks. Sometimes the Print Spooler Service is a brat though, and won’t do what it’s told.
There are many things that might cause the Windows Print Spooler to stop on its own. Here is a list of common fixes.
Fix 1 – Stop and Start From CMD
- From the Windows Desktop, select “Start“, and type “cmd“.
- Right-click “cmd.exe” and select “Run as administrator“.
- To stop the Print Spooler Service, type “net stop spooler“.
- Start it, by typing “net start spooler“.
Fix 2 – Clear Print Queue
A corrupted item may be stuck in the print queue. Use one of these methods to clear the print queue, then restart the Print Spooler.
Fix 3 – Clean Up Printers
Printer software that is corrupted may be installed and causing the Print Spooler to crash. Follow these steps.
- Open “Control Panel” and choose “Devices and Printers“.
- Right-click and select “Remove device” on any printers you don’t use anymore. After they are removed, start the Print Spooler and see how it works.
- If the Print Spooler still crashes, delete the rest of your printers, then reinstall the ones you still use using the latest version of the printer driver software.
Fix 4 – Obliterate Printer References
If the above steps don’t work, you will want to try to manually clean any references to your printers by removing keys from the registry. Use steps in this Microsoft post to clean everything, then attempt to reinstall the printer.
Fix 5 – Scan for Malware and Viruses
Fix 6 – Start Anew
I once had a computer where I continued to get print spooler errors after trying all of the above steps. I tried logging in as a different Windows user and was able to install the printer fine. I ended up deleting the user’s profile on the computer and starting them anew.