Fix: Printing stuck on spooling on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
10 minute read

Home » Fix: Printing stuck on spooling on Windows 10

Many users frequently print documents on Windows 10, but unfortunately certain problems can occur from time to time. Users reported that printing is stuck on spooling on Windows 10, and today we’re going to show you how to fix this problem.

Printing stuck on spooling on Windows 10, how to fix it?

Fix – Printing stuck on spooling on Windows 10

Solution 1 – Move files and restart the Print Spooler service

During the printing process files will be sent to the printing queue, but sometimes there can be a problem with those files or with the Print Spooler service, so you’ll need to move those files and restart the service. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Windows\system32\spool\drivers\ folder. You should see three folders available: IA64, W32X86 and x64.
  2. Open each of these folders and search for a directory called 3. This directory should have a large number of number folders inside it. For example, \W32X86\3\1, \W32X86\3\2, etc.
  3. Select all the numbered directories inside the 3 folder, right click them and choose Cut.
  4. Now paste those folders to a different directory. For example, you can move them to your Desktop or any other folder.

After moving the numbered folders to a different location, you’ll need to restart the Print Spooler service. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-1
  2. Locate Print Spooler service and check its status.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-2
  3. If the Print Spooler service isn’t running, you can start it by right clicking it and choosing Start from the menu.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-3

Sometimes Print Spooler service can’t start due to problems with dependent services, and if that happens, you need to do the following:

  1. In the Services window locate Print Spooler, right click it and choose Properties.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-4
  2. Look for available services in This service depends on the following system components field. Print Spooler service is dependant on those services and in order to start it you need to enable those services first. In addition to enabling the services, you need to set their Startup Type as Automatic. After the depending services are enabled, try to start Print Spooler again.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-5

If you don’t want to use Services window, you can easily restart the Print Spooler service by using Command Prompt. Some users prefer this approach since it’s faster, but you can use any method that works for you. To restart Print Spooler using Command Prompt, do the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator. You can do that by pressing Windows Key + X and choosing Command Prompt (Admin) from the Win + X menu.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-6
  2. When Command Prompt opens, you can enter net stop spooler command to stop Print Spooler and net start spooler to start Print Spooler service.

After moving the numbered folders to a different location and restarting the Print Spooler service, the issue should be completely resolved.

Solution 2 – Downgrade to the older version of Office

Many users use Microsoft Office to edit and print their documents, but according to some users, printing can get stuck on spooling due to problems with Office. One suggested solution that worked for some users is to downgrade their Office installation to the previous version. After doing that, the issues with printing were completely resolved.

Solution 3 – Delete all pending documents

All your documents are moved to a specific folder before they are printed, but sometimes certain issues can occur with Print Spooler that can prevent the printing process on your PC. One suggested solution is to delete the pending documents from their folder, but before you can do that, you’ll need to stop the Print Spooling service. To do that, simply open Services window, locate Print Spooler service, right click it and choose Stop from the menu. In addition, be sure to set Startup Type for Print Spooler to Automatic. After doing that, you need to delete all queued printing jobs. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Go to C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS directory.
  2. You should see all pending print jobs inside the PRINTERS folder. Delete all the files inside it and restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, navigate to the Services window and check if Print Spooler service is running. If everything is working correctly and if its Startup Type is set to Automatic, Print Spooler service should start automatically with your Windows 10. After removing the pending documents and checking the status of the Print Spooler service, try to print your documents again.

Solution 4 – Disable Bidirectional support for your printer

If you have a local network in your home or in your office, you’re probably sharing a printer with other users. This is usually the most convenient way to print documents because it allows users to print documents from their PC remotely. Although printer sharing feature is convenient, certain issues with it can appear. If printing gets stuck on spooling while using a shared printer, you might want to check the printer’s properties and disable Bidirectional support. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter printers. Choose Devices and Printers from the menu.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-printers-1
  2. When Devices and Printers window opens, locate your printer in the Printers section. Right click your printer and choose Printer properties from the menu.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-printers-2
  3. Go to Ports tab and at the bottom of the window you’ll see Enable bidirectional support option. Uncheck it and click Apply and OK.

After disabling Bidirectional support, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 5 – Reinstall the printer driver

Sometimes problems with printing stuck on spooling can occur due to your drivers, and one way to fix that problem is to reinstall your printer driver. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager from the list.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-device-1
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your printer. If you can’t find it, go to View tab and check Show hidden devices.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-device-2
  3. Locate your printer, right click it and choose Uninstall.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-device-3
  4. Check Delete driver software for this device and click OK.
  5. After the uninstall process is completed, restart your PC.

Now that the printer driver is uninstalled, go to your printer manufacturer’s website, locate your printer model and download the latest driver for it. Run the setup file and wait until the driver is installed. After that, check if the error is resolved.

Update drivers automatically (suggested)

After you have uninstalled your drivers, we recommend to reinstall/update them automatically. Downloading and installing drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions of your system.

We strongly recommend Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. It automatically identifies each device on your computer and matches it with the latest driver version from an extensive online database. Drivers can then be updated in batches or one at a time, without requiring the user to make any complex decisions in the process.

Here is how it works:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      tweakbit's driver updater scanning drivers
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

Solution 6 – Disable your antivirus / firewall

Security software is important, but sometimes these tools can interfere with your printer and cause printing to get stuck on spooling. To fix this problem you need to temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall software. Keep in mind that Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender that works as a default antivirus, so even if you disable your third-party antivirus software your PC won’t be completely defenseless. After disabling your antivirus or firewall, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 7 – Try using a different Windows account

Sometimes printing can get stuck on spooling due to problems with your Windows account. To see if your account is the problem we advise that you switch to a different Windows account and check if printing works on that account. If that fixes the problem, you need to check if your account has the necessary permissions to print.

Solution 8 – Perform an sfc scan

Your files and your Windows installation can sometimes get corrupted, and that can cause issues with printing. If you have problems with printing stuck on spooling, you might be able to fix them simply by performing an sfc scan. Sfc scan will scan your PC for any corrupted files and try to fix them. To perform an sfc scan on your PC, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  3. Wait until the scanning process is completed.
  4. After the scanning process finishes, check if the problem is resolved.

If the issue still persist, we also recommend you to download this tool  (100% safe and tested by us) to scan and fix various PC problems, such as file loss, malware and hardware failure.

Solution 9 – Disable Allow the service to interact with desktop option

Few users reported that the problem with printing stuck on spooling can be resolved simply by disabling Allow the service to interact with desktop option. To disable this option, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the Services window, locate Print Spooler service and double click it. For more information on how to open Services window be sure to check Solution 1.
  2. When Print Spooler Properties window opens, go to Log On tab. Locate Allow the service to interact with desktop option and make sure that it’s disabled.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-allow-1
  3. Click Apply and OK.

After disabling this option, check if the printing issues are resolved.

Solution 10 – Disable printer status notification

According to few users, you can fix this problem simply by disabling printer status notification. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Devices and Printers section. For more information on how to do that be sure to check Solution 4.
  2. When Devices and Printers window opens, select your printer and choose Print server properties from the menu on the top.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-print-server-1
  3. Go to Advanced tab and uncheck Show informational notifications for local printers and Show informational notifications for network printers.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-print-server-2
  4. After that, select Apply and OK to save changes.

We’re not sure if this method completely fixes the problem, but few users reported that it works for them, so feel free to try it out.

Solution 11 – Print PDF files as images

Users reported that printing gets stuck on spooling on their PC whenever they try to print a PDF file. Apparently this issue affects only low-end and personal printers, and if you’re having this problem we advise you to try to print your PDF documents as images. To do that, simply try to print a PDF document and look for Print as image option. Sometimes this option can be hidden in advanced settings section, so you’ll have to look for it. After choosing this option simply click the Print button and your document will be printed without any problems.

Solution 12 – Try to print PDF files from Adobe Acrobat

According to users, this issue can occur if you try to print a PDF document from Chrome. Apparently there’s an issue with the built-in PDF viewer in Chrome, and in order to circumvent this issue you need to download the PDF file first and try to print it from Adobe Acrobat or any other PDF viewer. This is just a workaround, but it works according to users, so be sure to try it out. Apparently this is an issue related to Google Chrome, and until Google addresses this issue you’ll have to rely on this workaround.

Solution 13 – Restart Chrome

As we already mentioned in our previous solution, sometimes printing process can get stuck on spooling if you try to print a PDF document from Chrome. In addition to downloading the PDF file and printing it from a PDF viewer software, you can simply fix this problem by restarting your browser. Users reported that after restarting Chrome the issue with printing was completely resolved, so be sure to try it out. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent solution so you’ll have to repeat it every time this issue occurs.

Solution 14 – Modify your registry

Printing can get stuck on spooling if you’re sharing your printer on a local network, but you should be able to fix it simply by deleting one value from your registry. Keep in mind that you need to modify the registry on the PC that has the printer connected to it. We have to warn you that modifying your registry can lead to certain issues if you don’t do it properly, so use extra caution. In order to prevent damage, it’s advised that you create a backup of your registry and use it in case anything goes wrong. To modify your registry, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-services-1
  2. When Registry Editor opens in left pane navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors key.
  3. Expand the Monitors key and locate your printer. Right click it and choose Delete from the menu.
    printing-stuck-on-spooling-regedit-2
  4. After deleting your printer key from the registry, close Registry Editor.

If you encounter any problems on your PC after removing this key from your registry, be sure to restore your registry by using its backup file.

Printing stuck on spooling can prevent you from printing documents on your PC, but we hope that you managed to fix this issue by using one of our solutions.

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