What to do when a print job crashes your printer spooler service

Often times printers do not work the way we expect them to. Sometimes when print jobs get stuck in the queue or cause the Windows printer spooler service to crash we need to step in to help. Here are a few quick steps that will take care of most scenarios that a simple reboot won’t fix.

 

On a side note, it is usually best if your computer is running the latest driver software from your printer’s manufacturer. This can generally be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Disconnect the printer from the PC. As long as Windows sees the printer connected it will try to print any jobs in the printer’s queue, including the job causing the problem. You can accomplish this by unplugging the printer’s data cable (usually USB) from either the back of the computer or from the back of the printer.
  2. Restart the Print Spooler service. Open a command prompt (with admin rights if using Windows 7) and type the following command followed by the <Enter> key:
    net stop spooler & net start spooler

    The spooler service should restart and bring you back to the command prompt.
    NOTE: For more on this step, see my post on How to Open the Command Prompt with Admin Rights.
  3. Open the printer’s queue and delete any stuck jobs.
  4. Reconnect the printer to the PC. Windows will reconnect the printer and make it available. Try printing a test page to make sure it is working OK.

 

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