Print Spooler Keeps Stopping on Windows 7 & 10 [Solved]

April Cai, in printer issue



If you’re on Windows 7 or 10, and you’re seeing this error saying your print spooler isn’t running, you’re not alone. Many Windows users are reporting it. But the good news is you can fix it. This article gives you 5 solutions to try.

What’s the print spooler?

The print spooler is a Windows service that manages all the print jobs you send to your printer. If the service isn’t running, your printer won’t work.

How do I fix it?

Here are 5 solutions you can try to fix this problem. You may not have to try them all; just work your way down the list until you find the one that works. Note: The screens shown below are from Windows 10, but all the fixes also apply to Windows 7 too.

Method 1:  Restart the Print Spooler service
Method 2: Check if the Print Spooler service is set to Automatic
Method 3:  Change the Print Spooler Recovery options
Method 4:  Delete your print spooler files
Method 5:  Update your printer driver

Method 1: Restart the Print Spooler service

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window:

3) Click Print Spooler, then Restart.



4) Check to see if your printer works.

Method 2: Check if the Print Spooler service is set to Automatic


If the print spooler service isn’t set to automatic, it won’t turn on when Windows starts, and your printer won’t work until you manually start the service.

To set it to auto:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window:



3) Right-click Print Spooler, then click Properties.


4)  Make sure Startup type is set to Automatic, then click ApplyOK.

5) Check to see if your printer works.

Method 3: Change the Print Spooler Recovery options


If your print spooler recovery settings are incorrect, your print spooler won’t automatically restart if it fails for some reason.

To set your recovery settings correctly:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window:

3) Right-click Print Spooler, then click Properties.



4) Click Recovery, ensure all three 
failure fields are set to Restart the Service and click Apply OK.



5) Check to see if your printer works.

Method 4: Delete your print spooler files

If your pending print jobs are not few, they can cause your print spooler to stop. Deleting your print spooler files to clear pending print jobs sometimes resolve the problem.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services window:



3) Click Print Spooler, then Stop.



4) Click to minimize the Services window:


5) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and at the same time to open Windows File Explorer.

6) Go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS:

If you’re prompted about permission, click Continue.

7) Delete all the files in PRINTERS folder. You should then see This folder is empty:

8) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the Run box. 

9) Type control and press Enter to open Control Panel:

10) On the open window, choose to view by Catalog. Then click View devices and printers.

11) Right-click on your printer and click Remove device:

12) Click Services icon in your taskbar to return to Services window:

13) Click on Print Spooler then Start.

14) Click the Devices and Printers icon in your taskbar to return to the Devices and Printers window:

15) Right-click on the blank area and click Add a printer, then follow the on-screen instructions to re-add your printer:

16) Check to see if your printer works.

Method 5: Update your printer driver

This error may also be caused by an old or incorrect printer driver. You can update your printer driver manually or, if you’re not confident playing around with drivers, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.



3) Click the Update button next to a flagged printer driver to automatically download and install the correct version of this driver (you can do this with the FREE version). 

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

After you update your printer driver, restart your PC and check if your printer works.

Hopefully your printer is now working. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any problems.

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