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How to Stop and Restart the Print Spooler in Windows Vista

Document ID:HO3145

Usergroup :External


Unable to cancel print jobs; Unable to print; Print queue is unresponsive; Locked print queue; Unable to print; Cannot cancel print job; Printer driver not responding


How to stop the print spooler; How to start the print spooler; How to get the print queue to respond; Microsoft Windows Vista



The print spooler controls print options within Windows.  A problem with the print spooler can affect printer driver performance and Windows print queue responsivenessStop and Start the print spooler to see if observed symptoms subside or remain.

Method 1:  Using Administrative Tools

  1Click on the Windows logo start button.
  2Click on Control Panel on the right-hand side of the start menu contents.
  3Click on Maintenance.
  4Click on Administrative Tools.
  5Click on ServicesNOTE:  You may have to provide an administrator profile and password.
  6Scroll through the list and look for Print Spooler.
The following two options are available to stop and start the print spooler: 

  • Click once on Print Spooler to highlight it, and then click on the Stop or Start links in the right-hand window pane,

  • Double-click on Print Spooler, and click on the Stop button followed by the Start button.
  8Observe the status column in the Services window to verify that the print spooler is stopped or started as applicable.

Method 2:  Using the Command Prompt

NOTE:  In order to start and stop the print spooler in the command prompt, the user must launch the command prompt as the administrator. 
  1Click on Start.
  2Enter cmd in the Search dialog box.
  3If not logged in as administrator, right-click on cmd, and choose run as administrator.  You will have to give permission or supply an administrator profile and password.
  4To stop the spooler, type net stop spooler,  i.e. C:\windows\system32\net stop spooler
Observe the following reply: 
  • The Print Spooler service is stopping.
  • The Print Spooler service was stopped successfully.

  6To start the spooler, type net start spooler
Observe the following reply:
  • The Print Spooler service is starting.
  • The Print Spooler service was started successfully.


Related Articles

How to Cancel Print Jobs in Windows Vista

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