Restart the spooler and delete it: This is how it works

Restart the spooler and delete it: This is how it works

The printer just doesn't want to print and the print jobs are piling up? This could be related to an error in the spooler. You can find out how to delete jammed print jobs and restart the spooler in this guide.

The ink cartridges are full, the printer is installed correctly, and all the cables are properly seated, but the printer just won't do any jobs. The spooler, the Windows print service, is probably causing a problem here. You can now find out exactly what the service is responsible for and how you can get it back on track.

These are the tasks of the spooler

The spooler is a system service in Windows that basically takes care of all important printing processes. It loads the printer drivers, receives the files to be printed, and also creates a queue for multiple print jobs.

The service is activated by default in Windows 10 and should usually work smoothly. However, it can sometimes happen that the spooler stops responding or crashes. The print job can then no longer be processed. Now there are several solutions that you can try to get the spooler working again and to print your documents.

Clear the print queue

Before you start the spooler yourself, you should first see whether there is a problem with the print job itself. If you order a document or photo to be printed, a small printer icon will appear in the Windows 10 taskbar at the bottom right. If you only order a single, small document, the icon disappears within a very short time. If, on the other hand, you issue several print jobs or an error occurs, the printer icon remains visible longer.

If you fail to print a document for some inexplicable reason, you can remove it from the printer queue and restart the job. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the printer queue by double-clicking the printer icon in the system tray.
  2. A window with a list of orders will now open. Check whether there are faulty print jobs in the list and delete them.
  3. If you have issued several print jobs, the printer should automatically continue to print the other documents after deleting the incorrect entries. If you had only commissioned one document, you can restart the print job using the respective program.

Exit and restart the spooler

restart-printer-spooler

You can find the spooler in the task manager either under the name "spoolsv.exe" or "spooler subsystem application". Image: © Screenshot 2021

If deleting all faulty print jobs did not work, it can help to close the spooler and restart it. After a restart, the print service should usually be fully functional again. The quickest way to restart the spooler is as follows:

  1. Close all unnecessary windows in Windows 10 and call the Task Manager with the key combination "Ctrl + Alt + Esc".
  2. In the "Processes" tab, look for the background service "spoolsv.exe" or "Spooler subsystem application".
  3. Select the service with the left mouse button and press the "Delete" key to end the service.
  4. Now switch to the "Services" tab in the Task Manager. Entering "spo" on the keyboard takes you directly to the entry "Spooler".
  5. Then call up the menu with a right click on "Spooler" and press "Start".

After the restart, the spooler should usually work again without errors and receive your print jobs.

Deactivating the spooler: is it necessary?

For most users, there is usually no reason to disable the spooler in Windows 10. Even if you never print on your PC or laptop, the process can simply run in the background with minimal consumption of resources.

Deactivate spooler due to security vulnerability "PrintNightmare"?

Did you land on this guide because you are worried about the PrintNightmare security vulnerability and therefore want to deactivate the spooler as a precaution? That is no longer necessary. Microsoft closed the vulnerability on August 10, 2021 .

However, there is one situation in which it is advisable to deactivate the spooler service: If you want to use a third-party printing service. Hirt could cause conflicts with the Windows spooler.

disable-printer-spooler

In principle, it is not necessary to deactivate the spooler, but if you want, you can switch it off completely under "Services". Image: © Screenshot 2021

For private users, however, the spoolers from third-party manufacturers are of no interest, as the Windows spooler already offers all the important functions for printing and is already firmly integrated in the system. Third-party spoolers are therefore more likely to be used by larger companies.

However, if you really want to deactivate the spooler service in Windows, this works as follows:

  1. On the desktop, press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Enter the command "services.msc" there.
  3. A new "Services" window opens. Enter "dru" there to jump directly to the entry "printer queue".
  4. Open the service with a double click and select "Deactivated" under Startup type.
  5. Then press the "Quit" button to close the print service in your current session and confirm with "OK".

Then the print service spooler is deactivated and will not be restarted when Windows 10 is restarted. As already mentioned, you no longer have the option of printing documents or displaying printers in the system. If you would like to reactivate the spooler, simply carry out the previous steps again and select "Automatic" under start type.

summary

  • The Windows service spooler takes care of all important printing processes.
  • Before you restart the spooler, first delete faulty print jobs in the queue and, if necessary, execute the print jobs again.
  • If the problem has not been solved, shut down the spooler in the "Processes" tab in the Task Manager and then restart it in the "Services" tab.
  • Most users do not need to deactivate the spooler. If you still want to deactivate it, you can do so under "Services".

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