Fix: Print Spooler Service Not Running

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A “print spooler service” error occurs when trying to install or use a printer on Windows PCs. The main error that appears reads “Operation could not be completed. The print spooler service is not running.” And, while the failure frustrates many, there are a few simple fixes to help resolve the issue.

Make Sure the Print Spooler Service is Running

  • Go to Start
  • Type run
  • In the Run dialog,  type services.msc and then click OK.
  • Scroll down and find Printer Spooler service under the Name column
  • Right click on Printer Spooler and select Properties.
  • From the drop-down menu choose Automatic for Startup type.
  • Check Service Status, if service is stopped click on Start and then the OK button.
  • However, if service is started first stop it with Stop button then click on Start and finally OK.

Check Dependencies

  • While in the Print Spooler service properties.
  • Click the Dependencies tab. The first box lists all of the system services that must be running for Print Spooler to start. These are the dependencies.
  • Make a note of each service, click OK
  • Now, go through the list and start each service upon which Print Spooler is dependent( if the service is not already started).
  • If a service was not started, right-click it, click Properties and then confirm that the Startup type is Automatic.

Change Print Spooler Start Up Type

  • Press the “Window key” + “R” to open the Run dialog
  • Type “services.msc“, then select “OK.“
  • Double-click the “Printer Spooler” service, and then change the startup type to “Automatic“.
  • Doing so sets the Spooler service to start “automatically” when you restart the computer. Select “OK.“
  • Reboot the computer and try to install the printer again.

The Print Spooler service should now function normally. However, should it display adverse behavior, you need to reinstall the drivers for your printer.

Reinstall Printer Drivers

  • Firstly, uninstall all printer and printer software from your computer
  •  Be sure to check Control Panel > Printers & Faxes
  • In Add/Remove Programs delete software for any printer
  • Visit the printer manufacturer’s website
  • Download the drivers for your printer model
  • Install these drivers on your PC
  • Restart both the printer and PC

Edit Registry

  • Start > Run > regedit
  • Located the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Spooler
  • On the right side, double-click on DependOnService. It should have only RPCSS and HTTP. Remove anything else, including LEXBCES.
  • Click OK and then exit the Registry Editor.
  • Restart your computer.

Modify DEP Settings For Spooler

  • Start – right-click on Computer and go to Properties.
  • Navigate to “Advanced” (it’s “Advanced System Settings” on the left list of newer computers).
  • Click on the first Settings (under Performance).
  • Now, click on the Data Execution Prevention tab.
  • Select “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select.”
  • Then, click the Add button and choose spoolsv.
  • Click Open and then click OK when you get the warning.
  • Lastly, click OK and restart your computer.

Are you still seeing an error similar to this: “Operation could not be completed. The print spooler service is not running.” or maybe “Windows could not start the Print Spooler service on Local Computer.” Is your list of printers gone or you get an error when trying to add a new one? Check out the YouTube video for a walkthrough of the above fixes.

For more help on the issue, contact your printer’s manufacturer. Also, be sure that you configure the printer IP address.

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