Automatically Restart the Windows Print Spooler

How to Keep the Windows Print Spooler Running 24/7 with Service Protector

Automatically restart the print spooler service when it crashes or stops for any reason. Clear out stuck jobs to ensure that printing continues smoothly, without interruption.


The Print Spooler is a windows service that handles printing from all applications. When it stops, no printing can occur!


To protect the Print Spooler Windows Service with Service Protector:

  1. Download and install Service Protector, if necessary.

  2. Start Service Protector.

  3. Select Protector > Add to open the Add Protector window:

    Add Protector

  4. On the General tab, in the Service to protect field, choose the Print Spooler windows service. You will probably notice a green circle on the left, which means that the print spooler service is already running, as was the case on our server.

    Print Spooler Windows Service: General Tab

  5. Occasionally jobs can get stuck in the queue, putting the brakes on all printing. If that is a concern, we recommend having Service Protector clear out the print queue folder of all .SHD and .SPL files whenever the service stops. In this tutorial, we'll move the files to another folder for later review (but you may choose to delete the files if you prefer).

    So to have Service Protector clean up the spooler when the service stops:

    1. Create a new batch file containing the following command to move all files from the spooler folder into another location:

      MOVE /Y C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\*.*
      C:\Print-Jobs-For-Review\

      (Note: Your destination will probably be different!)

    2. Switch to the Extras tab in Service Protector.

    3. Check the When the service stops... check box and enter the full path to the new batch file (which is C:\clean-print-spooler-folder.bat for this tutorial).

      Print Spooler Windows Service: Extras Tab

  6. Click the Save >> button. In a few seconds, an entry for the Print Spooler will show up in the Service Protector window. The service is probably already running but it is not yet being protected by Service Protector:

    Print Spooler Windows Service: Created

  7. To start protection, choose Protector > Start "Print Spooler". In a couple of seconds the shield icon on the right will go to green to indicate that the spooler is being monitored by Service Protector:

    Print Spooler Windows Service: Protected

  8. That's it! Next time your computer boots, the print spooler will start automatically and Service Protector will watch the service to promptly restart it if it fails for any reason.

    We encourage you to edit the spooler entry in Service Protector and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, send an email when the service fails, restart the spooler service at a safe time every day, and much more.



Trouble protecting the Print Spooler Windows Service?