I am facing tough time with this print spooler. Don't know what is wrong with it.

Attached is the screenshot 1:

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The above error message makes you feel that print spooler is not running but I already have it setup run automatically. This is the 2nd screenshot:

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The thing that is strange is I start the print spooler and then click "Add Printer" and I again get the 1st screenshot and when I check back in services.msc it is stopped!! I have all dependendent services running like RPC etc.

This is the 3rd screenshot. I don't have any printer installed on my machine. All I want to do is install Bullzip PDF on my machine which can act as virtual printer.

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I also tried running cccleaner to see if I have any corrupted keys but nothing seems to work out.

I also tried going into control panel into "Turn windows features on and off" in Program and features and uninstall document and print services. Still nothing works. The last option that comes to my mind due to this silly issue is format my machine but it is not at all viable. Print spooler brought tears in my eyes!! I need to get it working anyhow.

EDIT: I just found that print spooler service every few seconds. It has got nothing to do with "Add Printer" but it just stops every 10 seconds or so after starting.


If you have a problem with Windows 7’s print spooler service automatically stopping it’s likely that it’s caused by a corrupt printer driver.

To fix the problem with Windows 7’s print spooler automatically stopping do the following:

  1. Browse to C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers
  2. Rename the “drivers” folder to: drivers.old
  3. Create a new folder called: "drivers"
  4. Navigate to “Start” (Windows Logo on task bar) and type in the search programs and files box: services.msc
  5. Scroll down to “Print Spooler” right click on it.
  6. In the context menu click on start to start the print spooler service and check that the “Startup Type” is set to “Automatic”.
  7. Close the “Services” window.
  8. Navigate to “Start” (Windows Logo) then left click on “Devices and Printers” now re-install your printer drivers and the print spooler shouldn't keep stopping automatically.
  • I had this problem - the culprit was a LexMark printer. After I uninstalled it and all it's components from Windows' Uninstall Programs panel, the problem was solved. – bgmCoder Dec 18 '16 at 18:04

I had the same problem recently. There was a corrupt document in the spool. Go to the folder C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS and delete any files in that folder. Do not delete any subfolders or files in those subfolders. Then try starting the service again and see it it stays running for a minute or more.

  • I also tried that solution. Nothing worked. I have empty IA64, w32x86, x64 folders. But a folder named "color" has files in it. Do I need to delete that also? – TCM Dec 22 '11 at 3:58
  • My mistake! Edited my answer for a different folder. – Hand-E-Food Dec 22 '11 at 4:08
  • Doesn't work :( – TCM Dec 22 '11 at 15:12

Finally I am replying to my own answer in case someone drops on this thread in future.

"Nothing" worked out in my case as suggested on this thread or any other thread on forums. I had to install "Registry Mechanic" and clean registry. Make sure you install the latest version. It found 2100 corrupted keys in registry. After it fixed everything is working smooth and fine. However I still don't know which key it was :p but I'm glad now that it is fixed :-)

  • Maybe it's fixed, but you'll never know why! – bgmCoder Dec 18 '16 at 18:03

I'm facing similar problems on someones computer I support. It looks like this is a known issue with Windows7.

It's happened more than once, even after replacing the print drivers more than once. To work around the issue I've created the user a batch file. I'm more comfortable on Mac Unix or Linux, so Powershell isn't my thing.

or follow these steps:

  1. Open Notepad ("Start" -> then type notepad)
  2. Copy and paste this code:

    cd c:\windows\system32  
    NET stop spooler  
    Echo "Restarting print spooler"  
    NET start spooler  
  3. Select Save as on the desktop and give it an extension "restartPrintSpooler.bat" (Note sometimes .txt is appended. It won't work with that extension.

  4. To execute the code: "right-click" > "Run as administrator".

You'll need to run the batch file in Administrator mode, if the code is going to execute without errors.

BTW: Don't run batch code unless you are truly confident about the file. Malicious code can gain access to a Windows machine.

You could just run:

NET stop spooler
NET start spooler

In the command prompt as administrator Windows Start -> type command -> press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.


Very simple solution:

  1. Go to the search and type in "CMD" and run as an admin

  2. Type in "sfc/scannow" and enter

  3. Wait for the process completion

  4. Go to the the "Printer Spooler" option and run from the administrative tool

  5. Start the spooler and and check the printer list from the control panel

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