How to Speed Up the Print Spooler

By C.D. Crowder

Slow printing may result from issues with the print spooler and not the printer.
i George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

From time to time, the print spooler on your computer may experience errors and consequently slow down. The printer spooler service manages all print jobs sent to the printer from your computer. When a print job gets stuck in the spooler, other jobs may not print or they're processed slowly. You can speed up the print spooler in either of two ways: flush out stuck jobs or restart the spooler. In most cases, these methods will clear the spooler and restore your expected printing speed.

Clear Print Jobs

Step 1

Press “Win-R” to open the Run box.

Step 2

Type “Control Printers” and then click “OK.”

Step 3

Right-click your printer and select “See What's Printing” to see all current jobs in the queue.

Step 4

Select the “Printers” menu and choose “Cancel All Documents” to clear all current jobs. If you only want to clear a single print job, right-click the print job and click “Cancel.” The stalled job will display an error message in the Status column. Other jobs in the queue, if any, will begin printing once the stalled job is cleared.

Restart Print Spooler

Step 1

Press “Win-R” and type “Services.msc” to open a list of currently running services on your computer.

Step 2

Right-click “Print Spooler” and select “Restart.” It may take from a few seconds up to a minute for the spooler to restart. Restarting the spooler refreshes the service and will clear away any stalled print jobs.

Step 3

Restart the print spooler whenever you begin to notice frequent problems with documents hanging in the queue. The print spooler starts when your computer boots. Restarting the spooler manually and restarting your computer are the only ways to restart the service.