Fix Print Spooler

Print Spooler Keeps Stopping

Print spooler is an important service for Windows computer when printing is in use. It should run smoothly to print/send your documents to the printer. For some reasons print spooler may stop in a Windows computer, even starting it manually will not solve the issue until real issue is fixed. This guide shows how to fix print spooler keeps stopping automatically in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 7 issue.

Normally on Windows 8 or 8.1, if the print spooler service has been stopped it will not show any errors or warning messages. When you print (send a print command) from MS Word, Excel or any other applications, you will not see any popup screen with printing options to select the printer or in control panel all the installed printers will be shown as disabled/inactive as shown below. You can’t view the properties of these printers while print spooler is not running.

Previous Windows Operating Systems will return following error message “The print spooler service is not running” when you try to print or open printer properties, which means something wrong with the print spooler service on the computer.

Steps to Fix Print Spooler

Simple step you can do straightaway is, starting the print spooler service from Services (or in command prompt as on step 2) manually.

1) ‘Services’ can be found under Computer Management, but to access it easily on Windows 8 or 8.1, type ‘Services.msc’ on search.

Open services and locate Print Spooler, I’m sure it will be in the stopped state, so you can start it now.

2) If you like commands, then use this method to start/stop print spooler in command prompt. Make sure to open command prompt with administrator privilege (Run as Administrator).

To start print spooler, type;

Net start spooler

To stop print spooler, type;

Net stop spooler

If print spooler keeps stopping in Windows 8,8.1 or 7 even after starting the print spooler as mentioned earlier, then follow below steps.

3) You can try below steps if you think print spooler is not responding to your print commands and print is not happening when printer is fine physically (No paper jam or any error indications on printer hardware). These methods will help to clear the pending print jobs (print queue) and hanging spooler service.

Clear the print spooler files where the Operating Systems store printing jobs temporarily, deleting these file will allow the print spooler to start freshly and run smoothly next time.

Go to C -> Windows -> System32 -> Spool -> Printers and delete all files inside this folder. This is the location OS keeps the printing jobs before sending to printers. Once you delete these files, print queue will be cleared. The same location is applicable for latest Windows 8 and 8.1 too.

Most of the times these steps will solve the print spooler keeps stopping automatically issue.

Additional Steps to Fix

If the problem still exist even after trying earlier steps (if the physical printer connectivity is fine and physically there are no issues on the printer, cartridges and out of papers) on your Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 7 computers, try these additional steps.

1) Make sure you have already done mentioned earlier methods.

2) Go to services (as on step 1) under Computer Management, Double click Print Spooler service and go to Recovery tab. Here we can set what that service should do when it fails.

Select ‘Restart the Service’ in Subsequent Failures field. So, it will try restarting print spooler service whenever it fails.

This will not be the permanent solution if the spooler service keeps stopping and automatically restarting again and again. Better find out the real problem and fix it.

3) Go to ‘Dependencies’ tab and make sure all depending services are started. Luckily, only one dependency service for print spooler service which is Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.

So, check the RPC service in services and make sure it’s already started, these methods are applicable for Windows 8,8.1 and 7 too.

4) Last step which worked for me recently, wrong printer driver installation. Yes, if you installed completely unrelated wrong driver to any of the network or local printer, you may face this print spooler stopping frequently problem. By default, Windows OS tries to communicate with all printers very often even if you don’t print on theme. When printer and OS talk wrongly because of wrong driver installation, Windows stops the print spooler service automatically.

Try these two methods,

a) Delete all unwanted printers from your computer.

b) Make sure all printers are installed with proper drivers (or at least with similar model)

Once I changed to correct print driver, it solves my problem very easily.

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