How to Restart or Reset print spooler service (Fix printer problems)

The print spooler manages the print jobs sent from applications, stores them in a queue, and sends them to the printer for processing and printing.


The Print spooler or printer spooler service plays a vital role in managing print jobs on your computer. The primary function of the Print spooler service is to handle print jobs sent from applications and store them in a queue until they can be processed and printed by the printer. However, there may be instances print Spooler become dysfunctional due to errors or corrupted files. You may experience problems with printing due to Print Spooler Service Not Running, won’t stay running or Keeps Stopping on Windows 11. But you can Fix printing issues quickly with a quick restart or Reset print spooler service on Windows 11.

Why Print Spooler Service Not Running?

The print spooler is a built-in service on Windows and its primary function is print Job Management. It acts as a communication bridge between applications and printers. Such as when you send a print task, the print spooler adds it to the print queue and stores them temporarily until the printer is ready to process them. It communicates with the printer driver to convert the print job into a format that the printer can understand.

Print spooler ensures the orderly processing of print jobs and facilitates smooth printing operations.

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If the Print Spooler Service Is Not Running or keeps stopping, the problem could be Corrupted print spooler files, old printer drivers, or security suites blocking the print spooler service. Again System-wide issues, such as software conflicts, Windows updates, or problems with other system services, can impact the functionality of the Print Spooler service.

And Restart the print spooler service help resolve those issues and get your printer working properly again on Windows 11.

How to Restart Print Spooler service

When the Print Spooler service encounters issues or becomes unresponsive, restarting it can clear any temporary glitches and restore its functionality. Here is how to restart the Print Spooler service using Windows Services:

Using Windows services to restart print spooler service

  • Press Windows key + R, type services.msc and click ok
  • The Services window will open, and display a list of services running on your system.
  • Scroll down the list and locate “Print Spooler.” Right-click on it and select “Restart” from the context menu.

Or you can select stop it first from the context menu and then restart it again.

Restart print spooler service

Print spooler startup type

  • Now move to the recovery tab and select Restart the service for first, second, and subsequent failures.
  • Click apply and ok to save changes.

Restart print spooler on failure

Using the Command prompt to restart Print spooler:

Also you can quickly Restart the Print Spooler Service running a few commands.

  • Press Windows key + S and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator,
  • Run command net stop spooler to stop the Print Spooler service.
  • Next, run the command net start spooler, The Print Spooler service should now be restarted.

Command to restart print spooler

Also, you can open Taskmanager and navigate the service tab to locate the spooler service. Right-click on it and select the Restart option.

Restart spooler service

After restarting the Print Spooler service, check if the Print Spooler errors you were experiencing are resolved.

How to Reset Print spooler service

If restarting the print spooler service didn’t resolve your printing issues, you can try resetting the service. Too many pending or corrupted print jobs can trigger the print spooler service not running. And Reset Print spooler service help resolve any potential conflicts or corruption that may be affecting the Print Spooler service

Resetting the print spooler will remove all print jobs from the queue.

  • First Open Windows services using services.msc and stop the print spooler service.

Stop print spooler service

  • Now press the windows key + E to open file explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
  • Here you need to clear all the files inside the Printers folder to do so press ctrl + A to select all and hit Del key.

Return to Windows services and restart the Print Spooler service and check if your Print Spooler issues have been resolved.


Run the Printer troubleshooter

Still experiencing problems, Print job stuck in queue? You should run the built-in printer troubleshooter to Remove a Stuck Print Job in Windows 11.

  • Press the Windows key  + I to open the settings app,
  • Go to the system then Troubleshoot and click on Other troubleshooters,
  • Now Click Run next to Printer and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • It will scan your system for potential issues with the print spooler that prevents complete print jobs and try to resolve them automatically.

Printer troubleshooter windows 11

Ensure the Printer Driver is Up to Date

Again The Print Spooler service relies on the printer driver to properly process and communicate with the printer. If the installed printer driver becomes corrupted, outdated, or incompatible, it also can cause the print spooler service not to function properly and result printer problems on Windows 11.

To resolve these issues, it is recommended to update the printer driver to the latest version.

  • Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager
  • Locate and expand print queues, right-click on your printer select update driver.

Update printer driver

Select the Search automatically for drivers and Windows will scan for an updated driver and install it if available. If not, visit the printer manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer model.

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.

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