How to Fix Printer Spooler Errors in Windows 11

Troubleshooting common issues with the printer spooler

This guide will walk you through a number of proven solutions for how to fix print spooler errors and problems in Windows 11 PCs, laptops, and Microsoft Surface devices. These tips are designed to work around or solve any Windows 11 printing problems preventing tasks from being sent to a printer.

What Causes the Print Spooler to Stop Running?

The print spooler is a part of the Windows 11 operating system that organizes printing tasks and queues them up for being sent to connected printers or printing services. Errors can occur when the print spooler is overloaded with tasks, is conflicting with other aspects of the operating system, or is simply being affected by a glitch or bug caused by an out-of-date driver, app, or version of Windows 11.

How Do I Fix the Print Spooler in Windows 11?

Here’s all of the best solutions for fixing Windows 11 print spooler errors and bugs organized from easiest and fastest to more complex.

  1. Restart Windows 11. This is common advice but it’s also advice that often works to fix bugs and glitches on Windows PCs, laptops, and Microsoft Surface devices.

  2. Download and install the latest Windows 11 update. Most print spooler errors and problems are often fixed in newer builds of the Windows 11 operating system which are released on a very regular basis.

  3. Update your Windows 11 apps. As with Windows updates, app updates can also fix a number of issues affecting the printer spooler. This is especially important if you continue to encounter errors when using a specific app for printing.

  4. Run the Printer troubleshooter. Open Settings > Troubleshoot > Other trouble-shooters and select Run next to Printer to run the Printer troubleshooter. This will scan your Windows 11 device for printer-related errors and fix them automatically.

    If you can’t find this option in Windows 11’s Settings app, open Settings, type Troubleshooter in the search bar, and select Troubleshoot other problems.

  5. Stop, start, and reset the Windows 11 Print Spooler. Ttry stopping and starting the print spooler to see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn’t, reset the print spooler and try sending your file to the printer again.

  6. Clear the print queue. The print spooler may be overloaded with too many print jobs. Try removing all the jobs and then try to print your project again.

  7. Try using another app for printing. It’s possible the Windows app you’re using is causing the problem. If you can, try opening the file in another program and printing it from there.

  8. Remove all other printers from your Windows 11 device. Sometimes having multiple printers connected to a Windows 11 device can cause conflicts and spooler errors.

    You can remove printers via Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners.

  9. Remove your printer and add it back again. This may feel like an inconvenience but it should only take a few minutes and could fix the spooler bugs you’re experiencing.

  10. Update the printer drivers. Out-of-date device drivers are a very common cause of all kinds of hardware problems.

  11. Use Windows Compatibility Mode. If you’re using an old printer that requires an equally old program or drivers to work, try running the associated app and drivers in Windows Compatibility Mode.

  12. Reset the spooler registry keys. This is a relatively advanced solution but it has been known to fix print spooler errors as it’s essentially an alternative way to reset the spooler data if none of the above options work. To do this, open the relevant registries and delete everything in its folder except for the winprint entry.

    For 32 bit Windows use:

    //HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Print/Environments/Windows NT x86/Print Processors/
    

    For 64 bit Windows use:

    //HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Print/Environments/Windows NT x64/Print Processors/
    
FAQ
  • How do I restart a printer spooler?

    From the Windows start menu, search for Services; Windows services are programs that run in the background that you usually don't interact with. Double-click Printer Spooler > select Stop under Service Control > press Start to restart the process. You can also restart the service by right-clicking Printer Spooler from the Services window or Task Manager > Services > right-clicking Printer Spooler > Restart.

  • How do I set a default printer in Windows 11?

    If you haven't already done so, first add a network printer in Windows 11 by selecting Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device. Once you've connected to the printer, select it from the printers list and choose Set as default to make it your primary printer.

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