“Printer spooler service not running?” – what on earth does that mean?
First, it helps to understand what a “spooler” is. It might call to mind the image of a spool of yarn, or something similar, but you couldn’t be further off. You can think of a spooler as a queue where printing and copying jobs lineup to be processed.
If you and I were in an office and sending print jobs to the same device, they would end up in the spooler. One job would get completed while the other job “spools” in the queue until the current job is finished. If you send a job to the printer with nothing else in queue, it would bypass the spooler and print out immediately.
In a busy office we’re rarely lucky enough to be the only ones using the printer or copier, which could lead to many jobs in the spooler at one time. They will be lined up in a first-come first-serve basis. Just like computers, a spooler has a capacity in terms of how much information it can store in its memory. Sometimes it gets so overloaded that it will freeze up.
That’s when you get the familiar “printer spooler service not running” message on the screen. Don’t worry, this problem can be easily fixed even if you’re not particularly tech savvy. If this message comes up on the screen there is no need to call a technician. You can fix it yourself using the instructions I’m about to give you.
How to Fix “Printer Spooler Service Not Running” Errors
If you get a message that your spooler is not running, the first thing to do is reboot both the printer and the computer it is connected to. Of course, make sure there are no jobs currently being printed out or you could end up with an unhappy coworker on your hands.
About half of the time when you get a “printer spooler service not running” error it can be fixed by restarting both the printer and the computer. When everything boots back up, the jobs should continue printing out and everything will go back to normal.
In the rare cases when a restart doesn’t work, what you have is something stuck in memory that is freezing up the machine. Until you clear out the print queue and free up the spooler memory you won’t be able to print anything. Don’t worry, you still won’t have to call a technician!
If a job is stuck in the spooler, it won’t print until you clear out the job that is causing the problem. In order to do this, go into print queue and clear out the last job in the lineup. The last job sent to the spooler is the one that is causing it to freeze up, because it will not be able to receive new jobs when this happens. If that still doesn’t work, then you have to resort to clearing out every job in the queue and sending them all back once the spooler is empty.
That should help answer your question of what to do when you see the “printer spooler service not running” error. If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below.