Print Spooler Errors

Posted Friday, November 5th, 2010 by .

A print spooler is management-oriented software designed to keep tasks in order when multiple print jobs are being sent to the same printer.  Almost serving as a levee to the printer, the spooler catches the orders and slowly sends them through to the printer one at a time.  As this is such an essential process for high-volume printers, it is important to understand the possible errors that can occur.

How do you know when to run your troubleshooting program, though?

Some of the primary symptoms short of an error message are consistent system freezing, overworked CPU and print queues that do not allow you to manually open tasks.  The two most common messages that will pop up on your computer screen when the spooler is having problems are (the words may not be exactly the same, but the message will be):

  • Spooler subsystem application has encountered a problem and needs to close.
  • Operation could not be completed.

Spooler Error

More often than not, the spooler issue can be fixed by simply restarting your computer, which clears the queue and restarts the spooler service.  If this doesn’t work, try pulling up the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and clicking Task Manager, then select Services.  From the list that pops up, select the spooler service, highlight it and click the link that says “restart the service”.

The best thing you can do for your office is to download an automatic troubleshooting program that can fix many spooler errors.  Through Microsoft, the Fix It program can be downloaded for free and is a good place to start.

In general, closing the current applications and restarting the spooler service can solve many issues.  Just make sure you have a printer driver that is up-to-date, as having one that is outdated or corrupt could cause a number of problems.

Printer spoolers are important to the successful organization and task-management of an office printer, but because of its sensitive nature and memory consumption, expect to have problems occasionally.  Download one of the automated troubleshooting programs so your office can get back to printing quickly after an error occurs.

If you are still experiencing problems, here is a more in depth tutorial video for more advanced steps:

Greg Gladman

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Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers. You can find him on .

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