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How to Restart or Reset the Print Spooler in Windows

Document ID:HO3212

Usergroup :External


Restarting spooler via services.msc; Printer spooler service; Poor printer driver performance; Altered print queue responsiveness;



The print spooler controls print options within the Windows environment. A problem with the print spooler can affect printer driver performance and print queue responsiveness.


Recommended Action

Stop and Start the print spooler to see if observed symptoms subside or remain.



Try any of the following methods below:

Method 1: Using Administrative Tools

Step Action
1 Click on the Windows  or  button.
Click on Control Panel on the right-hand side of the start menu contents.
Click on Administrative Tools.

Click on Services.

Note: You may have to provide an administrator profile and password.


Scroll through the list and look for Print Spooler.

Note: The list is alphabetical.

6 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, or
  • Double-click on Print Spooler, and click on the Stop button followed by the Start button.

Observe the status column in the Services window to verify that the print spooler is stopped or started, as applicable.

Click here for an illustration.

Method 2: Using the Services Console

Step Action
1 Click on the Windows  or  button.

Type services.msc in the Start Search box.

Note: Windows XP users will select Run.


Click  in the Programs list.

Note: If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you can either type your password or click Continue.

Locate and right-click on Print Spooler, and then click Stop from the drop-down menu.
Right-click Print Spooler again, and then click Start from the drop down menu.
Click here for an illustration.

Method 3: 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.

Step Action
1 Click on the Windows  or  button.

Enter cmd in the Search dialog box.

Note: Windows XP users will select Run.

If not logged in as administrator, right-click on , and choose run as administrator. You will either have to give permission or supply an administrator profile and password.
To stop the spooler, type net stop spooler;  i.e., C:\windows\system32\net stop spooler.
5 Observe the following reply: 
  • The Print Spooler service is stopping.
  • The Print Spooler service was stopped successfully. 
To start the spooler, type net start spooler;  i.e., C:\windows\system32\net start spooler.
7 Observe the following reply:
  • The Print Spooler service is starting.
  • The Print Spooler service was started successfully.

Click here for an illustration.


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How to Cancel Print Jobs in Microsoft Windows Vista


Still Need Help? 

Please contact Lexmark Technical Support for additional assistance. NOTE: When calling for support, you will need to know your printer model type and serial number (SN).
Please call from near the printer and computer in case the technician asks you to perform a task involving one of these devices.


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