The Printer Spooler Service unexpectedly stopped

In a curious twist of technological intrigue, my recent venture into the realm of printing yielded an unexpected odyssey. It was last week when I embarked on a seemingly routine task: printing a Word document from my trusty computer. To my bewilderment, however, the Print dialog box unveiled an uncanny void – a conspicuous absence of printers.

Undeterred by this electronic enigma, I set forth on a quest for answers. My digital compass directed me to the venerable Control Panel, a bastion of computer governance, where I anticipated finding solace amidst the Printers and Faxes section. Alas, my anticipation was met with even greater astonishment as I discovered an expanse devoid of printer presence – a surreal emptiness that mirrored the void in the dialog box.

With a morsel of skepticism, I ventured to click upon the enigmatic “Add a Printer” option, half-expecting a triumphant resolution. Alas, the digital realm had other plans, and before my eyes appeared a cryptic proclamation: “The Printer Spooler Service Terminated Unexpectedly.” A labyrinthine enigma, surely.

Undaunted by this unforeseen turn, I embarked on a marathon of troubleshootery, an odyssey through the binary hinterlands that consumed an hour and a half of my temporal treasury. Finally, like a phoenix rising from the digital ashes, the triumphant chime of the printer’s mechanism resounded, and ink met paper once more.

In the spirit of benevolence, I present to you the sacred scrolls of knowledge – a chronicle of the steps I traversed to resurrect my printer from its digital slumber. Behold, fellow traveler of the digital ether, for these words may illuminate your path in times of similar tribulation:

  • Should the specter of the “Printer Spooler Service Terminated Unexpectedly” error haunt your electronic domain,
  • Should the hallowed halls of Printer and Faxes stand barren, bereft of ink-bearing apparitions,
  • Should the vexing message of printer paucity assail you whilst attempting to commune with paper through a specific program,

Fear not, for I beseech you to follow these steps with resolve and fortitude. May these sacred rituals guide you, as they have guided me, back to the realm of printed wonders. As a companion to this chronicle, I offer you the keys to purging the print queue in the Windows dominion and the arcane knowledge of manually evicting a printer from your digital realm.

Resolve Printer Spooler Service Issue

If the print spooler service isn’t already stopped, go ahead and stop it. You can do this by going to Start, Run and typing Services.msc. Then scroll down to Print Spooler service, right-click and choose Stop.

Fix print spooler

Step 2: Now you want to clear out all old print jobs that may have gotten stuck in the print queue. Sometimes a bad print job can also cause the print spooler service to fail.

In my case, it did not because the drivers for one of my printers had becomes corrupt.

Step 3: Make sure to stop the print spooler service again before continuing. First we will have to remove the corrupt drivers manually from the Windows registry. You can do that by going here:printer drivers registry

In my case, the Lexmark 7600 Series driver was the only printer I had installed, so I knew it was causing the issue. I went ahead and deleted the entire key called “Lexmark 7600 Series”.

Step 4: Now try to turn the print spooler service back on. What was happening with me earlier before I deleted the driver from the registry was that every time I turned the print spooler service on, it would simply stop whenever I tried to access Printers and Faxes or tried to print anything.

Once I had deleted the corrupt driver, I was able to start to the print spooler service and it remained running even when I went to Printers and Faxes. Now you’re basically back in business.

Step 5: Make sure you now uninstall the printer software from your PC. In my case, the Lexmark printer had installed a suite of tools, etc. I also had to uninstall this completely before I could reinstall the printer.

Step 6: Once you have deleted the corrupt driver from the registry and uninstalled the software that came with the printer, you can go ahead and reinstall the printer. In my case, I just used the CD that came with the printer to install it again. You can also download the driver from the manufacturer website.

After all of that, I was finally able to print again! Quite a process, but it works. So if you’re having issues with the print spooler service, this should fix your problem. If not, post a comment here and I will try to help! Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when the Printer Spooler Service terminates unexpectedly? A1: When the Printer Spooler Service terminates unexpectedly, it means that the software responsible for managing print jobs and communication between your computer and printer has unexpectedly stopped functioning.

How can I fix the issue of the Printer Spooler Service terminating unexpectedly? A2: To fix this issue, you can try restarting the Print Spooler Service, checking for updates, ensuring proper printer driver installation, and scanning for malware that might be affecting the service.

What steps can I take to restart the Print Spooler Service? A3: You can restart the Print Spooler Service by opening the Services window, locating the Print Spooler Service, right-clicking on it, and selecting “Restart.”Why might the Printer Spooler Service terminate unexpectedly? A4: The Printer Spooler Service can terminate unexpectedly due to software conflicts, corrupted printer drivers, malware infections, or system errors.

How do I check for updates related to the Printer Spooler Service? A5: You can check for updates by accessing the Windows Update settings and ensuring your operating system and printer drivers are up to date.

Can a faulty printer driver cause the Printer Spooler Service to terminate unexpectedly?

Yes, a corrupted or outdated printer driver can lead to issues with the Printer Spooler Service, causing it to terminate unexpectedly.

What role does the Printer Spooler Service play in printing?

The Printer Spooler Service manages the print queue, storing print jobs in a temporary location until they can be sent to the printer for processing.

Are there any third-party tools that can help fix Printer Spooler Service issues? 

Yes, there are third-party tools available that can diagnose and repair Printer Spooler Service problems, but caution should be exercised when using such tools to avoid further complications.

How can I prevent future unexpected terminations of the Printer Spooler Service? 

Regularly updating your operating system and printer drivers, performing routine malware scans, and avoiding software conflicts can help prevent unexpected terminations of the Printer Spooler Service.

 If all else fails, what should I do to resolve the Printer Spooler Service issue?

If the issue persists despite trying the above steps, you may need to seek technical support from your printer manufacturer or a professional IT service to diagnose and fix the problem.


Addressing the issue of the Printer Spooler Service terminating unexpectedly is crucial to ensuring smooth printing operations. By understanding the potential causes and following the recommended steps, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve this problem. Remember to regularly update your system, maintain updated printer drivers, and stay vigilant against malware to prevent future disruptions. In cases where the problem persists, seeking expert assistance from your printer manufacturer or IT professionals can provide the necessary expertise to overcome any challenges.

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