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Turning Print Spooler Off Using Services.Msc, Regedit, Cmd, and Msconfig in Windows 7

Reset Print Spooler

Common Printer Issues

The print spooler service is one of those programs which can either function beautifully when you are trying to make prints, or do the opposite and get in the way a lot of the time. It basically manages all of the print jobs you send out from the computer to the printer, and lets you store multiple jobs inside a queue, which is where the printer or the print server can get at them. Sometimes, the running of the print spooler can affect system performance, or it can make things go haywire in such a way that your print jobs stall to annoying levels of slowness.

This is where it sometimes helps knowing how to stop or reset print spooler. Luckily, that can be done in a variety of ways based on how well you have maintained the software side of things on your PC. Following is a look at four ways you can get rid of a persistent printer spooler error.

Using Services.msc

This is essentially a shortcut in Windows that lets you see a list of all the services which are capable of running in your PC. The “msc” part stands for “management console”. Following are the steps you should take to turn the print spooler on or off.

  • Hit the Start button, and then pick the option that says Search programs and files.
  • Type in services.msc and hit Enter, and then find Print Spooler from the window that comes up, and check out the status of the service in order to see what changes need to be made.
  • The General tab of the Print Spooler Properties window should show you buttons that say Start or Stop, as well as the current Startup type. Make changes as needed and then hit the Ok Close the Services window after that.

Printer Spooler Properties

Using Regedit

Microsoft has put out a disclaimer meant for users trying to make changes in the registry, which says that even the slightest mistakes here could cause issues which require reinstalling the OS altogether. Because of that, it is wise to proceed only after you have made a backup of the current settings.

  • Type regedit in the Search programs and files field in the Start menu and hit the Enter key, and then confirm authorization at any popup that comes up from User Account Control.
  • Navigate to the Start registry key present in the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Spooler.

Registry Editor

  • Double click on this key and when the small box comes up, edit the value in order to change the startup type: 2 means Automatic, 3 means Manual, and 4 means Disabled.

When you change the startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start), that created a new key by the name of DelayedAutostart, which has a value of 1. When you change it to simply Automatic, this value turns to 0.

Using CMD

This method lets you change the print spooler’s status right from a command prompt window.

  • Head to the Start menu and in the Search programs and files field, type in cmd. Do not click on this; instead, right click and choose Run as administrator from the drop-down. Confirm authorization at any popup that comes up from User Account Control.
  • To change the startup type of the Print Spooler to Automatic, copy and paste the following in cmd: REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Spooler” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f, and then press Enter:
  • To change the startup type of the Print Spooler to Manual, copy and paste the following in cmd: REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Spooler” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f, and then press Enter.
  • To change the startup type of the Print Spooler to Disabled, copy and paste the following in cmd: REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Spooler” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f, and then press Enter.
  • To change the startup type of the Print Spooler to Automatic (Delayed Start), copy and paste the following in cmd: REG add “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Spooler” /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f, and then press Enter.
  • If you wish to stop print spooler, type in net stop Spooler, and hit Enter.

Using Msconfig

The following method shows how Print Spooler can be deterred from starting along with the OS.

  • Click on the Start button and in the Search programs and files field, type in msconfig and hit Enter. This will bring up the System Configuration
  • From here, head to the Services tab, find Print Spooler, and uncheck the box beside it so that the service does not start each time that the OS does. Hit OK to save changes.

System Configuration

  • Restart the PC for the changes to take effect.

The above are the simplest methods to turn Print Spooler on or off in your computer, as well as change its status. Again, make sure that you make and save a backup before performing any of the steps mentioned here.

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