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How to Improve the Stability of Windows Print Spooler Service

How To Restart Print Spooler

Common Printer Issues

A common gripe among printer users is regarding the stability of print spooler. It is the software, which manages print jobs on Windows. The common spooler stability issues typically manifest as follows:

  • Queued print jobs randomly get stuck from time to time. A print job has to be cleared.
  • The same happens with enqueued print jobs but they cannot be cleared.
  • The print spooler hangs, taking down print queues.

In most cases, these issues have been narrowed down to print driver bugs or driver issues. To improve the stability of the spooler service, it is worth getting an abstract idea as to how it works. If you know how to restart print spooler, you can take an action after it fails to take printouts.

Printer Spooler Service’s Architecture is Monolithic

The print spooler service works as one process. It loads the code of the driver into the address space of the spooler process. This means driver code’s crash will bring down not just the present print job, but the print spooler or pending print queue as a whole. This affects all print drivers. It is recommended to consider the below steps in order to improve printing reliability in a network environment, especially.

Turn Off Bidirectional Support

In case you isolate a problem print queue, that is, the one with print jobs jamming always, consider disabling the bidirectional support of the port. For that, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Click on the Start button on your computer, and choose Devices and Printers from the menu that appears.
  • Right-click on your printer icon, and choose Printer properties from the context menu.
  • In the new window, switch to the Ports tab, and deselect the checkbox Enable bidirectional support.

Printer Ports

  • Click Apply and OK to confirm the changes.

A printer vendor can implement a channel of communication, outside the methods of the supported OS, which can be turned on and turned off inside the interface provided with vendor-specific code.

This option will disable driver features, which are related to tasks like printer’s hardware status reporting. In case bugs or issues exist in this area of the driver code, the stability can improve.

Stick to Quality Drivers

It only takes a faulty print driver to take down rest of the drivers. In case you feel a print driver is causing issues, consider hosting the driver on a different server system so that crashes do not affect other printers. Large business environments will run more than one print server – one for most of the printers and the other for the drivers that misbehave.

Configure the Print Spooler Service to Automatic Restart upon Failure

The spooler service or the system that host it is subject to failure. Therefore, you have to implement procedures in order to monitor the print service and have a clear plan to tackle the same. Ensure the restart print spooler options are configured to automatic upon failure. This will maximize the probability of the spooler resolving its issues, and will minimize the probability of causing a crash. Follow the below steps to make these changes.

How to Restart Print Spooler Automatically on Failure

  • Press Windows and R keys at the same time on your keyboard. Type services.msc  in the Run dialog box and click OK button.
  • In the list of Local Services window, select any service and keep pressing P key until you find the Print Spooler. Double-click on it.
  • In the Print Spooler Properties window that pops up, switch to the Recovery In that, make sure the first three fields are configured to Restart the Service.

Printer Spooler Properties

  • Click on Apply and OK buttons to confirm the changes.

Also, check whether the spooler service is configured to start up automatically. This ensures that your computer receives print jobs from other systems or that it will not miss out any. Follow the steps mentioned below to configure the setting.

  • Under the General tab of the Print Spooler Properties, find the Startup type drop-down menu. If it is not configured to Automatic, then click on the menu and choose the said setting from the drop-down list.
  • Click Apply to save the change.

Printer Spooler Settings

Isolate a Single Point of Failure

Partitioning problem drivers of your printer onto a different service is one way to isolate point of failure. Bigger sites may want to consider advanced methods too like server system clustering and/or dividing load across several servers. These methods engineer out SPOF, making sure a failure in a department may not affect all users as well as services. For instance, a server that hosts printer drivers of the engineering department will not affect those of other departments.

If you come across any stability issues or print spooler crashes, get in touch with our printer service professionals through the toll-free number mentioned above. Alternatively, you can start a live chat session for quick assistance.

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