Fix Print Spooler keeps stopping # Not Running on Windows

While printing documents, or installing the printer, some of the users report “print spooler service not running” error message is displayed. If you restart the Windows “Print Spooler” service, it stops again. If you are struggling with this problem, you have reached the right place to fix this issue.

Before going into the fixes for this problem, let us first discuss the Windows print spooler service.

What is a Print Spooler Service?

A print spooler service is a software program that is known as a “service” in Microsoft Windows operating system machines. This service is used to temporarily store the print jobs on your computer’s hard disk drive or in the internal memory, till the printer is ready to print them. This service is a very important service on Windows computers for printing any files or documents. Print spooler service should be running to ‘Add a new printer’ to your computer or to print any documents to the printer.

At times, for various reasons like driver file configuration errors, corrupted driver files, etc, the print spooler service may stop. Also, if you have multiple printers installed on your computer, one of the printers may cause the print spooler service to stop.

How to Fix the Print Spooler that keeps Stopping or Not Running on Windows

Print Spooler service that keeps stopping or not running on Windows systems, can be fixed by different methods. I will explain the different methods to fix this issue.

1. Delete the Corrupted Print Spooler Files and Add Printer

Fix Print Spooler keeps stopping # Not Running on Windows

Sometimes, corrupted Print Spooler files can keep stopping the service. You can remove those files and then add the printer to fix the issue. The steps involved are explained below.

  • Press the Windows and R keys together.
  • Type “services.msc” (without the quotes) and press the Enter key or click on the “OK” button.
  • Locate and go to the “Print Spooler” service.
  • Stop the above-mentioned service.
  • Minimize the “Services” window.
  • Click on the Windows key and E keys simultaneously. This will open the Windows explorer.
  • In Windows Explorer, go to the C:\Windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS folder.
  • Click on “Continue” to grant permission to access this folder.
  • Delete all files inside this folder and then close the Windows Explorer.
  • Note: Do not delete the folder.
  • Press the Windows logo key  and R key at the same time.
  • Type “Control panel” into the box.
  • Press the Enter key or click on the “OK” button.
  • Click on “View devices and printers”, under “Hardware and Sound”.
  • Right-click on your printer.
  • Click on “Remove device”.
  • Click the previously minimized “Services” icon in your taskbar, to select the Services window.
  • Now, click on Print Spooler service and then click on the “Start” button.
  • Click on the the “Devices and Printers” icon in your taskbar, to select the Devices and Printers window.
  • Right-click on any blank area and click “Add a printer”.
  • Follow the prompts to add your printer.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Now, check if the print spooler error is fixed or not.

2. Make Sure that the Print Spooler Service is Set to Automatic

Print Spooler Service is Set to Automatic

Print spooler service should start automatically each time you start windows. This can be done as explained below.

  • Press the Windows and R keys simultaneously.
  • Type “services.msc” (without the quotation marks) and click on the “OK” button or press the Enter key.
  • Locate and go to the “Print Spooler” service.
  • Make sure the “Startup type” has a value “Automatic”, by selecting “Automatic” from the list of values.
  • Click on “Apply” button to save the changes made.
  • Restart the computer or laptop, as the case may be.
  • Check if the print spooler error is fixed or not.

3. Change the Print Spooler Recovery Options

Print Spooler Recovery Options

Changing the Print Spooler Recovery options can fix the print spooler errors in many cases. This can be done by following the instructions given below.

  • Press the Windows and R keys simultaneously.
  • Type “services.msc” (without the quotation marks) and click on the “OK” button or press the Enter key.
  • Locate and go to the “Print Spooler” service.
  • Go to the “Recovery” tab.
  • Select “Restart the Service” value from the list of values for “First failure”, “Second failure”, and “Subsequent failures”.
  • Click on “Apply” and then “OK” button.
  • Close any windows that are open.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the print spooler error is fixed or not.

4. Make Sure that the Dependency Services are Working

Make Sure that the Dependency Services for the Print Spooler are Working. This is done by following the instructions given below.

  • Press the Windows and R keys at the same time.
  • Type “services.msc” (without the quotation marks) and click on the “OK” button or press the Enter key.
  • Locate and go to the “Print Spooler” service.
  • Go to the “Dependencies” tab.
  • Make sure that the dependent services “HTTP service” and “Remote Procedure Call (RPC) are listed under the first column.
  • Click on “Apply” button.
  • Now, click on “OK” button.
  • Close any windows that are kept opened.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the print spooler issue is fixed or not.

5. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

The printer troubleshooter can automatically detect and fix most of the printer related errors. This can be run by following the instructions given below.

  • Type “troubleshoot settings” (without the quotes) into the search bar inside the taskbar.
  • Select “troubleshoot settings”.
  • Click on “troubleshoot”, located on the left-hand side menu.
  • Then, select “Printer”.
  • Click on “Run the troubleshooter”.
  • Follow the prompts and wait for the troubleshooter to complete the troubleshooting and fix any issues automatically.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the problem is fixed or it still persists.

6. Install Windows Updates

Install Windows Updates

Updating the Windows with the latest updates, keeps your computer up to date. This can be done by following the instructions given below.

  1. Type “Check for Updates” in the search bar inside the taskbar.
  2. Click on “Check for Updates” (system settings), that is displayed on the top.
  3. Click on “Windows Update”, on the left-side menu.
  4. Now, click on “Check for updates” button, on the right-hand side.
  5. Install the latest windows updates if any, by clicking on the “Update name” or “Download and install” button.
  6. Restart the computer or laptop.
  7. Check if the error is fixed or not.

7. Reinstall The Printer Driver

Outdated or corrupted printer driver files can cause print spooler error in many cases. This problem can be fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver files from the manufacturer’s web site, as explained below.

  • Press the Windows Key and X keys together.
  • Select “Device Manager”.
  • Expand the ‘Printer drivers’, by double-clicking on it.
  • Right-click on the printer driver and click on “Uninstall device” button.
  • Follow the prompts and uninstall the printer driver (or drivers if there are multiple printer drivers).
  • Now go to the web site of the printer manufacturer.
  • Download and install the latest printer drivers for Windows, from the manufacturer website.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the print spooler issue is fixed or it still persists.

8. Install the Printer Driver in Compatibility Mode

Printer driver incompatibility with Windows 10 can cause the print spooler errors. You need to install the print driver in compatibility mode, to fix this issue.

  • Right click on your printer driver executable file.
  • Select “Properties”.
  • Go to “Compatibility” tab.
  • Check “Run this program in Compatibility mode for” checkbox.
  • Select “Windows 8” “or any other previous version of the Windows from the list of given values.
  • Click on “Apply” button and then click on “OK” button.
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the error is fixed or not.

9 Registry Editing

Windows registry can be edited to fix the print spooler error. The steps involved in editing the Windows registry are given below.

Note: This method should be done by only those who are experienced with Windows registry. Any wrong doings with the Windows registry entries can cause the operating system to crash or give errors. Before editing the Windows registry, always take a backup of the Windows registry.

  • Press the Windows and R keys together.
  • Type regedit and click on “OK” button or press the Enter key.
  • Click on “Yes” button.
  • Select “Export” and take a backup of the Windows registry, by saving the registry to a file.
  • If your operating system is 32 bit, navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Print Processors.
  • If your operating system is 64 bit, navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors.
  • Delete all keys, except winprint. This can be done by right-clicking on the key you want to delete and then choosing the “Delete” from the menu.
  • Close the Windows Registry Editor, once you delete all keys (except winprint).
  • Restart the computer or laptop.
  • Check if the print spooler service is “Running”. If it is not running, start” this service.
  • Check if the print spooler error is fixed or not.

Conclusion: Print Spooler keeps stopping or not Running for some users on Windows operating system computers or laptops. Print spooler service is used temporarily store any print jobs on your computer’s hard disk drive or internal memory, till that time the printer is ready to print them. When this error occurs, even if you restart the print spooler service, again this service stops. This problem is be caused mainly due to outdated or corrupted driver files. Invalid or incorrect printer settings can also cause this error.

The print spooler error can be fixed by different methods. In a majority of cases, this error can be fixed by deleting the corrupted Print Spooler files and again adding the printer. Another fix is to make the print spooler service automatic. By making the print spooler recovery options to “Restart the Service” on failures, is another fix. You can fix the error in some cases by making sure that the dependency services for the print spooler service are also working. Built-in Windows Printer troubleshooter can also help in identifying and fixing the error in many cases. By installing the latest Windows updates, the print spooler error can be fixed in some cases. By installing the print driver in compatibility mode, this error can be resolved in a few cases. Windows registry editing can also fix the issue in many cases; tough it is recommended only for the advanced users.

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