Basics of Spooling and Steps to Fix Printing Stuck on Spooling

Printers are built with a limited range of memory. On many occasions, this is smaller than the size of the document you want to print. Printer spooling lets you send larger documents or more than one document to the printer. Further, you will not have to wait long to finish the printing process before moving on to the next task. Below is a discussion on printer spooling and a few solutions to when print spooler keeps stopping.


Printer spooling takes place on the network server that handles printing or the computer which is connected to the printer. Printing jobs are first dispatched to the spooler which then feeds the documents one by one to the printer in the right order. As documents wait in line, you may carry on your work since all the functions are handled by the spooler in the background.


The best thing about spooling is that they allow you to continue with the multitasking. As the documents line up in the spool, you can pause, cancel, or rearrange them. In case you send a large document for printing, you will have the choice of canceling the print through the spooler interface without rebooting the printer and wasting a lot of paper.


It is possible to install the print spooler directly to your computer for your use at home. A majority of operating systems have built-in print spooling and the users will not have to worry about it. In the case of large offices, print servers are used. These receive all the print jobs and allow them to different printers around the building while controlling the print spooling. This also helps to free the resources on workers’ computers.

Steps to Fix Printing Stuck on Spooling in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Move Files and Restart the Print Spooler Service

While the printing carries on and the files are sent to the printing queue, there might be problems occurring with these files or with the Print Spooler service. In this case, you may have to move the files and start the service again. Make sure you follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Visit the Windows/system32/spool/drivers folder. Here you will find three different folders— W32X86, IA64, and x64.
  • Open every one of these folders and look for a directory called 3. It will have a large number of numbered folders like W32X8631, and W32X8632.
  • Select every one of the numbered directories within the ‘3 folder’, and cut all of them.
  • You may now paste these folders in a different directory. For instance, you can do this on your desktop or another folder.
  • Once you move these numbered folders to another location, you have to restart the Print Spooler service.
  • Press Windows Key + R and type services.msc. Now press enter or click on OK.
  • Find the Print Spooler service and see its status.
  • In case the spooler is not running, you may start it with a right click and by selecting start from the menu.

Occasionally, the Print Spooler service is unable to start due to the issues with dependent services. If this happens, you may do the following:

Locate the Print Spooler in the Services window and right click it to select Properties.

If you do not want to access it through the Services window, you can restart the print spooler through Command Prompt. This is preferred by some as it is faster, but you can use methods that are convenient for you.

In order to restart Print Spooler through Command Prompt, you can do the following.

  • Start Command Prompt as administrator. This can be done by clicking Windows Key and X simultaneously. Now choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the Win + X menu.
  • As the Command Prompt opens up, you may enter the overall stop spooler command to bring the Print Spooler to a stop. Now give the command for a net start spooler to commence the Print Spooler function.
  • Once you move the numbered folders to a separate location and then restarting the Print Spooler service, your issue would be resolved.
Solution 2 – Downgrade to the Previous Version of Office

Several users make use of the Microsoft Office for editing purposes, but sometimes printing gets stuck on spooling due to problems of the MS office. It is recommended to downgrade the Office installation to the previous version. Once you do this, the issues of the printing would be resolved.

Solution 3 – Delete the Pending Documents

All your documents are transferred to a certain folder before printing them. Sometimes, though, there might be problems with the printer spooling which prevents the printing process. In such cases, it is advisable to delete the pending files off theses folders. Make sure you stop the print spooling service before you do this.

Try one of the above methods if you face issues like print spooler service not running.

Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the Founder, Senior Editor here at PrintSpoolServices blog. Apart from being a geek, he loves playing and watching football!

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