[Fixed] Print Spooler Keeps Stopping Automatically on Windows 7, Windows 10 and 8.1

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.

disabled printers on Windows 8.1

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.

Print Spooler Keeps Stopping Automatically

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.

Services.msc

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

print spooler service start on Windows 8.1

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

netstop

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 latest Windows 10 and 8.1 too.

spool

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 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 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.

recoverytab

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.

depend

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.

67 thoughts on “[Fixed] Print Spooler Keeps Stopping Automatically on Windows 7, Windows 10 and 8.1”

  1. Thank you Thank you Thank you! The gal above said it best. “No other website was even remotely helpful.”
    ……and you offered several options. First Class! Again, thanks. Steve Z

  2. I can find the Windows 7 “see what’s printing” and can see my “use offline” is checked but I am unable to uncheck it. It just goes back to prior window and remains checked.

  3. Using Windows 8.1 – Word Perfect Office 7 – Cannon 6550 Printer with latest driver installed – All applications were printing fine, but now Word Perfect won’t allow me to print documents. It shows the 6550 as default printer, and ready…..but the print tab is greyed out. It worked when I first tried it…but now won’t allow me to print. Quattro Pro, and Presentation documents print fine. I’ve rebooted…cleared the print quer., uninstalled and re-installed WP Office 7….no luck. The other programs I’m using are printing fine, so I know the Printer driver is working. And…if Quattro Pro and Presentation docs are printing, and are part of the WP Office 7 package, why won’t WP documents print?
    Baffled.

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