Every printer comes with a print spooler service which allows the printer to print documents. Whenever you send a document to a printer, it is saved in the printer queue, and then the printer retrieves the document from this printer queue and prints the document.
Printer Spooler Service?
The printer print spooler service stores all your printer’s queued documents in its own database file. The printer queue is a list of printer printing jobs.
When problems happen with the printer spooler service, the printer does not print any document and you may get the following printer error or warning message: “the local print spooler service is not running“. We have already posted articles about printer errors in our blog before. You can check printer errors in the printer by following printer troubleshooting posts.
The printer spooler service is the background process that manages printer print jobs, determines printer configurations etc., You can manage printer print jobs easily by opening the printer properties window.
For Windows XP: Click on Start -> Printers and Faxes to open the printer properties screen.
For Windows 7: Right-click on the printer icon and select printer properties to open the printer properties screen.
You can also use ‘services.msc’ command to access printer spool service.
Printer Spooler Error – Fix:
If you are unable to print documents due to the printer spooler service is not running in error, follow the below steps to fix the printer spooler error. There are different solutions to fix printer spooler problems.
1] Check printer queues:
First of all, check the printer queue for any error messages.
Clear all the printer print jobs by right-clicking on the printer icon and selecting the Printer properties option. If there are some documents stuck in the printer queue which you tried to delete before but failed, they will be removed now. Sometimes printer queues are full due to printer spooler service error, which will be cleared now. After checking the printer queue, you can start printing again.
2] Delete printer spooler service related files:
If the printer print spooler service is still not working properly after checking the printer queue and deleting any old documents which are stuck in the printer queue, you should delete printer spooler service related files. This error is commonly caused due to printer driver corruption or printer update failure.
To find the printer spooler service file location, follow the steps below:
- Click on Start -> Run and type services.msc in the ‘Run’ box. (If you are using Windows 7, type the command in the search box)
- Locate printer spooler service in the list of services, right-click on printer spooler service and select Properties option.
- Go to the ‘Log On‘ tab and check the username which is set to run the printer service. Normally it will be either a Local System Account or Network Service.
- Click on the Stop button to stop printer spooler service and then click ‘Start‘ to Start printer service again.
- Right-click on printer spooler service and select ‘Stop‘. If you get the option to stop printer print spooler, then do it otherwise move ahead to step 6.
- Click on printer spooler service properties again and go to the ‘Depend On‘ tab. It should be empty if the printer spooler is not running. If it has any dependency, click on the dependent services one by one and choose the ‘disable’ option for all of them.
- Now right click printer spooler service again and choose ‘start’ option to start printer spooler service.
- Delete printer spooler files located at following places:
Go to Windows/system32/spool folder, usually the printer spool folder will be present in this location where printer related print jobs are stored temporarily. If the printer is configured as network printer, printer spool files will be present in location given below: C:\Windows\system32\spools
Delete printer spooler service related printer files and restart printer spooler service and then your printer should start working fine now. Also, delete the printer drivers for this printer which you might have installed recently to fix printer spooler service error.
If you are facing printer print spooler problem in Windows Vista or Windows 7, then printer spooler services can be managed using printer spool manager (printmanagement.msc) command which is a part of printer properties window. Follow the steps mentioned above to delete printer spooler files and start printer service again.
For printer spooler service error in Windows XP, printer spool folder is found at following location:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\<printername> (Replace ‘printername’ with printer name)
These printer related files or print jobs will be deleted now and printer should start working fine. If printer spooler service is still not working, you can try printer spooler registry fix as mentioned below.
3] Clean printer spooler registry:
Read the printer spooler error message that appears and note it down. You should clean printer related registry entries using printmanagement.msc command to fix the printer spooler problem.
Let’s see printer spooler registry fix in two parts:
- Clean printer print job related registry entries
- Clean printer spooler service related registry entries.
a] Clean printer print job related registry entries: Type ‘printmanagement’ in search box/run and click on the result to open printer management window. Then click on printer names one by one to see print jobs listed under printer name. Right click on it and select delete option.
b] Clean printer spooler service related registry entries: Type ‘printmanagement.msc’ in search box/run and open printer management window again. Now right click on printer service which is shown as disabled, and select properties option. Now make sure printer spooler service is running and printer services related registry entries are cleaned using steps mentioned above.
I hope the printer spooler error will be fixed now if you followed all the printer spooler registry fix methods as mentioned in this article. If the printer print job is still not getting deleted, then it might be the printer print job stuck in the printer queue.
printer spooler problem is one of the common problem we face with printer service. When you see windows cannot connect to the printer. the server print spooler service is not running error on the printer, it’s easy to fix this. We have listed down 3 simple quick-fix ways to solve this problem.
I hope we are able to solve the Printer Spooler error. Let us know which method worked for you in the comment box below. Cheers!