Print spooler is an important service on Windows computer to send the print job to the printer. It should run smoothly in order to print/send your documents to the printer. For some reasons print spooler may stop on your Windows computer, even starting it manually may not solve the issue until the real problem fixed. This guide shows you how to fix print spooler keeps stopping automatically on Windows 10, 8.1 and Windows 7.
Normally on Windows 10 or 8.1 computers, if the print spooler service stopped automatically it will not show any errors or warning messages. Even when you print (send a print command) from MS Word, Excel or any other applications, you will not see any messages. If the printer driver or software intelligent enough to detect the print spooler service issue, it can notify you. The only indication you can view is that 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.
Though the above screenshots have been taken on older Operating Systems, they are suitable for Windows 10 and 8.1.
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 Keeps Stopping Automatically Issue on Windows 7, Windows 10 and 8.1
The 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 10 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 the print spooler keeps stopping on Windows 10,8.1 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 the printer is fine physically (No paper jam or any error indications on printer hardware). This method 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 that OS keeps the printing jobs before sending to printers. Once you deleted these files, print queue will be cleared. The same location is applicable for the latest Windows 10 and 8.1 too.
One of the above steps would have solved the print spooler keeps stopping automatically issue on your Windows desktop or laptop computer.
Additional Steps to Fix it
If the problem still exists 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 10, 8.1 or Windows 7 computers, try these additional steps.
4) Make sure you have done the earlier each step.
5) 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 can’t be the permanent solution if the spooler service keeps stopping and automatically restarting again and again for some other reasons. Better to find the real problem and fix it.
6) 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 10,8.1 and 7 too.
7) The last step which worked for me recently was wrong printer driver installation.
Yes, if you installed a completely unrelated wrong driver to any of the network or local printer, you may frequently face this print spooler stopping issue. By default Windows OS tries to communicate with all printers very often even if you don’t print on them. When printer and OS talk wrongly because of wrong driver installation, Windows stops the print spooler service automatically.
Try these two methods,
8) Delete all unwanted printers from your computer.
9) Make sure all printers are installed with proper drivers (or at least with similar model)
Once I changed to correct print driver, it solve my problem very easily.
I’m sure one of the methods will solve the print spooler keeps stopping automatically issue on Windows 10, 7 and 8.1. Additionally, updating the printer driver and installing the correct print driver also can be a solution.