For Windows XP, Vista:
If you keep getting the message “The print spooler service is not running” when try to print or open printer properties even after you have started the spooler service here is how you can fix that.
Try the bellow steps if you think print spooler is not responding to your print commands and print is not happening when printer is fine physically (No paper jam or any error indications on printer hardware). These methods will help to clear the pending print jobs (print queue) also.
1. We can start, stop or restart Print Spooler service by following two methods.
a. Under Services in Computer Management(For WinXP: Start – Settings – Control Panel – Administrative Tools – Services)
– Find Print Spooler Service right click it and start it
b. Open command prompt (Windows key + R will open Run and then type cmd in Run and Enter or just find Run under start menu and type cmd in it and hit Enter)( Open as Administrator in Windows Vista) and:
To stop print spooler type:
net stop spooler
To start print spooler, type:
net start spooler
After you start the printer spooler you should be able to print a document but if the next time after that you try printing a document nothing happens and you are having the same issues try starting the spooler services again and rebooting your Computer. If the problem is still there then just make sure it is the spooler service that keeps on stopping. You can do that by Ctrl + Alt + Del go into Task Manager and under Processes Tab check if spoolsv.exe is there. If it is not then follow the steps bellow:
2. Clear the print queue by:
– Open My Computer/Computer and in the address bar type: %systemroot%/System32/Spool/Printers
– Delete all files in side of the folder
Congrats you have cleared your printer queue.
Now you can repeat step 1 and if you are still having issues go to step 3.
3. In Services 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 but from system administrators side, it’s not recommended. That’s why by default it set to “Take No Action”. It will be an additional load to system to restart the service all the time whenever it fails, and may cause other system issues also.
If a service fails very frequently, better to find the reason and fix it.
4. 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.
5. If the above steps did not solve your problem then it might be faulty printer drives so just:
a. Delete all unwanted printers from your computer.
b. Make sure all printers are installed with proper drivers ( or at least with similar model)