How to Fix Printer Spooler Errors in Windows 10

Many things can cause these errors, including settings and driver issues

Print spooler errors can occur in Windows 10, regardless of the application you're printing from, and may appear in many ways:

  • Print spooler keeps stopping
  • Printing service stops running
  • Print jobs get hung up in the print queue
  • Deleted Print jobs don't disappear
  • The printer doesn't work at all

These issues usually appear just after you try to send the print job to the printer and then realize the printer isn't responding. Figuring out printer spooler errors is a smaller subset of printer troubleshooting.

These print spool errors may occur on Windows 10, 8, 7, & Vista. The solutions below should work for all of these versions of Windows. We have separate instructions for Windows 11.

Cause of Print Spooler Errors in Windows 10

Several issues can cause print spooler errors, including print spooler settings, one failed print job, other non-working printers, and printer driver issues.

It's good practice to start with the more straightforward, more common causes and work your way toward the most complicated ones to isolate the cause.

How to Fix Print Spooler Errors in Windows 10, 8, 7 & Vista

It's best to start with the automatic printer troubleshooter and then systematically work through the printing process on the computer to isolate and fix the cause of print spooler errors

  1. Run the printer troubleshooter. You'll find this if you search for Troubleshooting Settings and selecting Additional troubleshooters. It will walk you through a wizard that may potentially isolate and fix the print spooler error.

    Printer Troubleshooter in Windows Troubleshoot Settings
  2. If you see an actual error code from your print spooler, make sure to look up what that specific error code means. The error code can explain what the issue is and let you skip to the appropriate step below to fix it.

  3. Stopping and restarting the print spooler typically resolves many printing issues or print jobs stuck in the print spooler. Try this before moving on to any of the more complicated steps below. You can use the Net command at the command prompt to stop and start drivers. To do this, navigate in the command prompt to C:\Windows\System32 and use the commands net stop spooler followed by net start spooler.

    Screenshot of the net command in Windows 10
    Net Command (Windows 10).
  4. Set the Print Spooler service to Automatic. The Print Spooler service is a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service, which you can find by running services.msc. You'll see the "Print Spooler" service in the process list. Make sure to set it to Automatic rather than Manual.

    Services.msc in the Windows Run box
  5. Clear the Printer Queue. If the issue causing the print spooler to fail is a stuck print job, you may need to cancel it and clear the printer queue. You can stop the print spooler service using the net command before clearing the queue. You can also manually delete print spooler files in C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS or C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS (depending on your operating system).

    Canceling a print job from the printer queue
  6. Remove all printers and install only the ones you use. Having a clutter of old printers installed on your computer can sometimes cause print spooler conflicts and other issues. It also makes it confusing to know which is the correct printer to select. You can do this in Windows Settings by selecting Devices > Printers & Scanners.

    Remove device in Printers & Scanners in Windows 10
  7. Update or reinstall printer drivers. Many times, print spooler issues are caused by missing or corrupt driver files. First, try updating your existing printer drivers. If that doesn't work, then download the latest printer drivers from the manufacturer's website and install those latest drivers.

    If you're using an older printer (and older printer drivers), those drivers may not be compatible with Windows 10. In this case, you'll need to run the drivers using Windows Compatibility mode.

    Update Printer Driver in Device Manager
  8. Reset print spooler registry keys. The registry contains important information to make the print spooler connect to your printer properly. By deleting old information there, it can reset the spooler and fix any issues. To do this, first back up the existing registry, and then open the registry and delete all folders inside the following registry directory except for the winprint entry. Use //HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Print/Environments/Windows NT x86/Print Processors/ for 32 bit Windows or //HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Print/Environments/Windows NT x64/Print Processors/ for 64 bit Windows.

  9. If you're still having problems with print spooler errors, try installing the latest Windows Updates and performing a scan with your antivirus software to clean out any malware or virus infections that may be causing issues with the print spooler.

  • How do I get a printer spooler error off my phone?

    Android phones have a print function, but you might see a printer spooler error when the system process fails. To fix it, reset and clear the Android OS Print Spooler cache. Go to Settings > Apps > Show System Apps > Print Spooler >Clear Cache and Data.

  • How do you fix printer spooler error 1068?

    To resolve this specific error, you must resolve the dependency for the spooler service. Open an elevated Command Prompt (run Command Prompt as administrator) and enter this command: SC CONFIG SPOOLER DEPEND= RPCSS. When you exit the Command Prompt window, the spooler should start properly.

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