How to fix print spooler errors

If you have ever seen this error (or any other printer or spooler error) and don’t know what to do about it, fear no more.

Windows cannot connect to the printer. the local print spooler service is not running. please restart the spooler or restart the machine.

Also, I have seen a printer magically disappear from the computer even though it is connected and powered on.

There is a great little fix for both of these scenarios. It is called PrintFlush. The utility is a simple batch file that you download and then run. Download it here:

Download PrintFlush from Brad Kovach.

If you are really interested in what the batch file does, keep reading.

First, it stops the print spooler

net stop spooler

Next, configures the spooler (very important for Lexmark printers)

sc config spooler depend= RPCSS

Then it flushes the spooler

del /Q /F /S “%systemroot%\System32\Spool\Printers\*.*”

Lastly, it restarts the spooler

net start spooler

I have used this utility many times has gotten me out of multiple printer jams.

This entry was posted in Windows XP and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to How to fix print spooler errors

  1. Robert says:

    Worked Great! and only took a small amount of time to download, extract and run.


  2. Michael C says:

    Your the best thanks so much, saved me lots of time:)

  3. Rizwan says:

    Thanks, works great.

  4. Carrie says:

    It’s a miracle! I’ve tried a million things, including Microsoft support, and this was the only thing that worked. Thank you!!

  5. VIJAY ARBOLE says:

    The scenario, which has been metioned above exactly is happening to my machine and even i run the batch file yet it is not rectified the problem.
    pls giv a solution for the same. the os is server 2003

  6. Mimi says:

    thank you so much…you’re a genius!

  7. David says:

    Struggled for hours with this!!!

    Well done mate – it worked a treat.

    So simple, yet nobody could help – not even HP Cutomer Support who insisted I uninstall and reinstall drivers.

    Give that man a drink!

  8. Satish Kumar says:

    Satish Kumar : Its really great solution. It fixed my issue which I was facing for last 2 months. Thanks a lot.

  9. Jason says:

    Brad, I have been doing this for years but never needed to include the service config command for RPC, it has always been there as a dependency. Have you found it missing lots? Any idea what caused it?

    My print icon in the task bar insists on the fact that there are 3 docs in the queue, yet these are no where to be found including the spool/printers dir. This happened after connecting to an RDP session over VPN, the problem was the tunnels were closed for the VPN session and the printer was a NW printer so while the VPN was active the printer could not be reached. After closing the VPN some documents printed. Each item printed resulted in three items in the print queue.

    This is a bit esoteric but since you have posted I figured I would check as I am guessing even the MS MVPs would have trouble with this one.



  10. Sonja says:

    This is great!! Thank you so much!! It took only minutes to fix something I had been trying to fix for 3 months!

  11. Jeanine says:

    THANK YOU! I have been out of a printer for weeks and this is the only thing that worked for me!!! :)

  12. Chris says:

    This is the greatest thing I have ever found. I work in a school and running into print spooler problems all the time. Thanks for making my life easier.

  13. Micheal Hamberg says:

    If you can’t solve the problem print spooler error for USB port printing (Old PC), try change USB mouse to PS/2 Mouse (Or using USB to PS/2 Converter Adapter).

  14. kishore reddy says:

    Its working fine..thanks for your help

  15. Miguel says:

    Great, thanks so much!

  16. Mohammed Islam says:

    It’s great. I have solved my problem by downloading the software “PrintFlush” of Mr. Brad Kovach. Many thanks to Mr. Kovach.

  17. kailasan says:

    hey man thanks a lots…..but plz tell me,what caused this problem?Possible Reasons

    Anywayz u rock dude

  18. rishi kumar says:

    Dear Sir,

    This is great utility ……………

    Thanks & Regards
    Rishi Kumar

  19. Big Hill says:

    Great fix! You da Man!!!!

  20. Mike says:

    Excellent – it fixed the problem so quickly I didn’t think it had worked!

  21. val says:

    wonderful! ended my frustrations

  22. susan says:

    Wow, I was getting printer spooler error for 3 days. I tried everything, uninstalling and re-installing printers, buying a registry cleaner (24$ wasted money), etc…
    Printflush took 3 seconds to download and 3 seconds to run, problem resolved. Thank you so much!

  23. Roger says:

    Worked! Thank you very much!

  24. manobik says:

    its working fine. awesome tool.

  25. Zoe says:

    AMAZING!!! It works. Thank you. Kisses and hugs for you.

  26. Hina Aziz says:

    This isn’t workign for me, I downloaded the file and double clicked on it and a black window popped up and closed on its own, i tried printing again but it is still not working. Someone please help me, my spooler hasn’t been working for weeks now.

  27. Jnskie420 says:

    Just wanted to say thanx, this has solved my problem and a lot of hassle. Thank you!!!

  28. Manesh says:

    thanks man its works great

  29. lisa says:

    damnn didnt work for mee =/
    same happened like hina ^^^^^^^
    it says need to install printer drivers and it wont let me because printer spooler is not running
    its connected and everything.. really doubt i have a virus..

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