The print spooler service keeps the print jobs organized in a queue. It ensures that you get your print-outs by sending the print jobs from your computer to the printer.
But, if the print spooler service keeps stopping, the printer may have a hard time doing its job. Reasons often cited for the print spooler issue are outdated device software, corrupted cache files, conflict among drivers, firewall blocking the printing process, and the list goes on.
Nevertheless, there are fixes to get the print spooler start working and resume the stuck printing process. So, sort it out with the solutions listed in this article.
Why Does Print Spooler Keep Stopping?
The print spooler on your computer may stop working for varied reasons as listed below:
- Out-of-date device software
- Incompatible drivers
- Corrupted cache or stuck print jobs
- Issues in print spooler services
- Misconfigured print spooler settings
- Interruption from windows firewall defender
- Unwanted printer-related keys on the registry
How to Fix Printer Spooler Keeps Stopping?
In case minor issues are stopping the print spooler to complete its tasks, you can fix them on your own. To begin with, you can update your computer, run the printer troubleshooter, get the latest printer drivers, etc.
If these solutions don’t work, you can proceed to restart the print spooler through the Services app or Command prompt. You can find even more effective fixes along with a detailed guide as you go ahead.
You have to update the Windows software on a regular basis if you don’t want the outdated software to brew problems. In case the print spooler is affected by security, incompatibility, or other issues due to the old software version of your computer, an update might help.
To update Windows software, take these steps.
- Press Windows + I key to launch settings.
- Select Update & Security.
- Then, choose Windows update.
- Click on Check for updates.
- Windows will download and install the updates on its own (if any).
- Complete the process by restarting the computer.
Troubleshoot the Printer
You can run the troubleshooter if the print spooler is stopping constantly. When you troubleshoot, it will diagnose the issues with the printing process and resolve them immediately.
The process of troubleshooting the printer looks like this.
- Press Windows + I key to launch Settings.
- Click on Update & Security.
- Then, select Troubleshoot from the left pane.
- Click on Additional troubleshooters on the bottom.
- Locate and click on the Printer.
- At last, select Run the troubleshooter.
Get the Latest Printer Drivers
To ensure the print spooler does its job efficiently, you have to get the latest printer drivers. Since printer drivers ease the flow of communication between your computer and the printer, the efficiency of the print spooler also improves.
Here’s how you can update the printer drivers.
- Open the run command with Windows + R keys.
controland hit OK to launch Control Panel.
- Choose Device Manager.
- Scroll down to Printers (or, print queues) and right-click on the printer.
- Select Update Driver.
- After that, choose Search automatically for drivers. This option will look for the new drivers and install them without having to do anything on your part.
Relaunch Print Spooler
When the print spooler stops functioning, restarting its service can help you resume printing. To do this, you need to access the Services app.
The steps to relaunch or restart the print spooler is shown right below.
- Open the run command with Windows + R keys.
services.mscin the search field and hit OK.
- Scroll down in the Services app and select Print Spooler.
- Then, click on Restart the service on the upper-left side of the screen.
Or, you can also restart the print spooler through Command Prompt. Here’s how.
- Hit Windows + R keys.
- In the run command window, type cmd and press Enter.
- After the command prompt opens, type
net stop poolerand hit Enter.
- Then, type
net start poolerand hit Enter.
Set Automatic Startup
You can set the startup type of the print spooler to Automatic if it keeps stopping. This setting ensures that the print spooler starts automatically after restarting your computer.
Here’s how you can set automatic startup of the print spooler.
- Hit Windows + R keys to access the run command.
services.mscand click on OK.
- In the services app, look for Print Spooler and right-click on it.
- Now, select Properties.
- Select the General tab.
- Next to Startup type, click the drop-down arrow and choose Automatic.
- Also, check that the Service status is running. If not, click on Start.
- Lastly, click on OK. Or, choose Apply and click on OK.
Disable Windows Firewall Defender
It is a lesser-known fact that Firewall Defender on your computer can block the printing altogether. This is especially true if the printer is connected to the network.
So, to prevent this issue, disable the Firewall Defender for a brief moment to ensure that’s not stopping the print spooler. Here’s how.
- Navigate to Settings (Windows + I keys).
- Select Update & Security.
- Choose Windows Security from the left pane.
- Now, click on Open Windows Security.
- In the left pane, choose Firewall & network protection.
- Select the network that’s currently in use.
- Disable Windows Firewall Defender by toggling the button to the left.
- Select Yes, if prompted.
Remove Other Printing Devices
If your computer is connected to multiple printers, that can be the source of conflict against the print spooler. Besides that, having more than one printer can complicate the task of the print spooler.
You can fix this issue by removing other printing devices.
- Open Settings by pressing Windows + I keys.
- Click on Devices.
- In the left pane, select Printers & scanners.
- Under Printers & scanners, click on the printer that’s not in the use.
- Then, choose Remove device.
- Repeat the same steps for the remaining printers (except for the one you’re currently using).
Empty the Print Spooler Cache
The cache files on the print spooler are the old print jobs lying around in the PRINTERS folder. These stuck files can interfere with the print spooler thereby, causing the printer to not work.
So, empty the print spooler cache in the following way.
- Open run command with Windows + R keys.
services.mscand then, click on OK.
- Once you spot Print Spooler in the Services app, right-click on it. Then, choose Stop.
- Now, open File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon from the taskbar.
- Then, follow the path
Windows or Local Disk (C:) > Windows > System32 > spool > PRINTERS.
- Remove the files present in the PRINTERS folder.
- Then, restart the computer.
Uninstall and Reinstall Printer
When the print spooler stops at random, uninstalling and reinstalling the printer can sometimes help. This fixes the errors, bugs, and other issues while ensuring utmost compatibility.
Follow the steps below to uninstall Printer:
- Navigate to Settings by hitting Windows + I keys.
- Go to Devices.
- Now, click on Printers & scanners.
- Select the printer that’s not working.
- Click on Remove device. For a complete uninstallation process, you need to get rid of the support software of the removed printer too.
- Go back to Home (on the top-left of the navigation pane).
- Then, click on Apps.
- Under Apps & features, locate and delete the printer’s support software.
- Lastly, restart the computer.
Here’re the steps to reinstall Printer:
- Open Settings.
- Select Devices.
- Then, choose Printers & scanners.
- Click on Add a printer or scanner.
- After the device searches for the nearby printers, select the printer of your choice from the list. And, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.
Delete Unwanted Printer-Related Registry Keys
The print spooler issue might resolve if you remove unwanted registry keys concerning your printer. But, there’s a reason why we kept this fix in the last spot. If something accidentally goes wrong in the Registry Editor (typo, deleting necessary keys, etc.), you may end up ruining your system.
So, don’t forget to fully back up the data before proceeding to make any change in the Registry Editor. Once you have a backup, you can remove the unwanted registry keys related to the printer.
- Press Windows + R keys.
- In the run command window, type
regeditand hit Enter.
- In the Registry Editor, follow the path accordingly.
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors
- Excluding the winprint key, right-click on the remaining keys and choose Delete from the context menu.
- At last, restart the computer.