6 Ways to Fix Print Spooler High CPU Usage in Windows 10

Check out comprehensive solutions that are proven to work

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
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  • The Print Spooler's high CPU usage in Windows 10 can affect the computer's performance and cause several processes to stop working.
  • Clearing the print queue should be your primary approach.
  • Do not forget to update the driver, scan your PC for malware, and pause printing for new printers.
fix high CPU usage by Printer Spooler service
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The Print Spooler service’s high CPU usage issue is known to cause painfully slow processing times in Windows 10 PCs. 

The service, designed to store the print jobs for a while until the printer is ready, can often lead to issues. But these are easy to fix and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time.

What causes Print Spooler’s high CPU usage?

The Spooler service is by no means a resource-hungry process that should overwhelm your computer, and if that’s the case, it’s usually due to one of these issues:

  • Minor system glitches – If the completed tasks are still stored, the queue may get overwhelmed and lead to high CPU usage due to Print Spooler. Also, inevitable glitches cause it to create logs in the spooler.xml, which, too, could be the underlying cause.
  • Outdated or incompatible drivers – Most users reported corrupt, inconsistent, or outdated drivers that led to spoolsv.exe high CPU usage.
  • Third-party app conflicts – In a few cases, third-party apps responsible for printing jobs or managing the printer can trigger conflicts and lead the problem. Here, it’s best to uninstall the app.

Our solutions would also work for the following related issues:

  • Print Filter Pipeline host high CPU – Several users reported Print Filter Pipeline to be the reason behind the high CPU usage on the PC.
  • Spooler SubSystem app high CPU – For many, Spooler SubSystem consumed the maximum CPU, close to 30% or even more, in the Task Manager.

How can I fix the Printer Spooler’s high CPU usage?

Before we head to the relatively complex solutions, here are a few quick ones to try:

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  • Restart the computer.
  • Please install the latest version of Windows 10 since it could be a bug in the current one, and a patch may be bundled with the next update.
  • Scan your computer for malware using Windows Security. If it doesn’t find an issue, we recommend using an effective third-party antivirus to be sure.

If these didn’t work, head to the ones listed next.

1. Disable the Print Spooler service

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type services.msc in the text field, and hit Enter.services.msc
  2. Locate the Print Spooler service, right-click on it, and select Properties.properties
  3. Now, select Disable from the Startup type dropdown menu, click on the Stop button, and click on OK to save the changes.disable service to fix print spooler high cpu
  4. Once done, restart the computer.

First, if you don’t use a printer, the Print Spooler service need not be running. And disabling it will automatically fix the Print Spooler high CPU.

2. Update the printer drivers

  1. Type Device Manager in the Search bar, and click on the relevant search result.device manager
  2. Expand the Printers entry, right-click on the one connected to the PC, and select Update driver.update driver to fix print spooler high cpu
  3. Now, select Search automatically for drivers.search automatically for drivers
  4. Wait for Windows to install the best available driver.
  5. Similar, update the other ones as well.

In most cases, an incompatible printer driver led to the Print Spooler high CPU problem, and updating it did the trick. When you update the driver, it fixes all three issues: incompatibility, file corruption, or running an outdated version.

Also, some users reported that installing just the driver package from the manufacturer’s website, without any supporting applications, for instance, HP Smart App, did the trick.

Another easy way to update your drivers is by using a dedicated tool, like Outbyte Driver Updater, to scan your device and instantly choose the right driver directly from its database.

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3. Clear the printing queue

  1. Type Services in the Search bar, and click on the relevant search result.services
  2. Right-click on the Print Spooler service, and then select Stop.stop service to fix print spooler high cpu
  3. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer, paste the following path in the address bar, and hit Enter:C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERSpaste path
  4. Press Ctrl + A to select the files, and hit the Delete key.
  5. Once done, head back to Services, right-click on Print Spooler, and select Start.start service to fix print spooler high cpu

4. Pause printing for individual printers

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose Devices.devices
  2. Now, select Printers & scanners from the navigation pane, click on the printer you don’t use anymore and select Open queue.open queue
  3. Now, click on the Printer menu, and choose Pause Printing.pause printing to fix print spooler high cpu
  4. Similarly, pause the printing for other printers not currently in use.

A simple way to fix high CPU usage by Print Spooler is to pause printing for all the old printers. Often, a printer you may have used in the past remains saved and consumes resources. However, increase the number of printers, and you will have a high CPU usage issue.

5. Uninstall third-party applications

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type appwiz.cpl in the text field, and click OK.appwiz.cpl
  2. Locate the last installed app, select it, and click on Uninstall.uninstall app to fix print spooler high cpu
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Often, third-party apps installed on the PC may lead to high CPU usage by Print Spooler. Some users found DYMO Connect to be the problem, so if you have the app, uninstall it right away.

Also, look for other programs installed around the same time the problem first appeared and remove them.

6. Uninstall the latest Windows update

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, and click on Update & Security.update & security
  2. Click on View update history.view update history
  3. Now, click on Uninstall updates at the top.uninstall updates to fix print spooler high cpu
  4. Select the update last installed, and then click on Uninstall.uninstall to fix print spooler high cpu
  5. Finally, click Yes in the confirmation prompt.confirm

A few late updates have been reported to cause the problem. So here, you have two options: installing the next available version or heading to the previous stable one.

If another update has not been released yet or doesn’t carry a patch, you can quickly revert to the version that worked.

By now, you should have fixed the high CPU by Print Spooler, and the PC’s performance should have improved considerably.

And while you are at it, learn how to make Windows 10 faster than ever.

If you have any other queries regarding the information listed here, drop a comment below.

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