It can get annoying, when you try plugging and replugging all your cables and finally the output is the same, 'printer spooler service not running' error. Here, we will try to find out the possible solutions to this problem. Before starting off with the troubleshooting part, let us try to understand what is the printer spooler service.
What is Printer Spooler Service?
The printer spooler service is an effective way allowed by Windows, because of which your printer is able to handle a number of print requests from different applications. It does not even matter, if you shut down the application, once you put on your print request to the spooler service. This is the service that actually takes into account not only the number of print requests from different applications, but also the number of pages demanded for printing by each application. You can consider it as a mid level service, that handles the working of your computer printer. Now, what if this process suddenly stops working. Well it is obvious, you cannot use your printer when this service is not running. So, you try to find out all the possible ways to get it fixed.
Well, various forums will provide you a number of solutions to the problem. But what does printer spooler service not running mean? Either your printer's service has suddenly stopped or it has not started at all. Before starting off with the troubleshooting part, try restarting your computer once and find out if it solves the problem. If it does not, then we can of course follow any of these troubleshooting procedures.
Another possible reason, why you may face this error is that the spooler service has not started at all. In such cases, you need to follow a few simple steps, to get the service running. Click on start, and go to the control panel. Inside the 'Control Panel', you will find the icon for 'Administrative Tools'. Double click on 'Administrative Tools' and go to 'Services'. In the list of services, right click on printer spooler service and select start. Another step that you can take, so that you don't have to repeat these steps every time you switch on the computer is that, you double click on the printer spooler service and from the drop down menu on startup type, click automatic. This will cause the service to start by itself, every time you switch on the computer.
The other process is to go through the hard way. Uninstall the printer software or the drivers that came along with it and reinstall them. For uninstalling the software, click on the start button and go to control panel. Now double click on the 'Add or Remove Programs' and find the printer software and remove it. To verify if it was uninstalled properly, go back to your control panel and under 'Printers and Fax', check if it was uninstalled. Now, restart your computer and reinstall the software. Once you are done with the installation, restart your computer and try the printing services.
Sometimes, it may be the case have two or more printers connected in the network. If one of the printer's drivers starts interfering with the printer spooler service, then you can follow these steps. I am assuming that you have a Windows operating system, with access to the command prompt. Go into the command prompt of your operating system and type sc config spooler depend= RPCSS. Now, press the enter key. This will leave the printer in the network that is causing the problem to be non-functional, but your service will work for the remaining ones.
These were some ways for getting rid of the error, without creating any problem with the other computer drivers or software. These and many errors often have their root cause, that the service was not set to start automatically, hence, before going for uninstalling and reinstalling, try starting the service. Also, browse the Internet to find out if any application that you have installed recently is interfering with the service.