Printer spooler keeps stopping and printer drivers keep disappearing


  • I use Windows 7 Professional 64
    bit. My problem is: Whenever I try to print something (word, pdf, or any other
    file); printer spooler stops working and when I check the “Devices and
    Printers” all the printer drivers seem to be disappeared.

    I checked the “Print Spooler” in
    the “Services” tool; and set the "
    Recovery after subsequent
    " option to “Restart the Service”.
    Therefore all the printer drives coma back after 1 minute. However the spooler
    stops immediately again when the uncompleted printing job starts; hence I can
    not print anything more than a page.

    Earlier in this forum, someone
    posted that Microsoft issued a hotfix for this problem ( hotfix 2388142) which
    can be downloaded from article:;en-US;2388142.

    I downloaded this hotfix and tried
    to install, however it gives an error message of: “
    The update is not
    applicable to your computer
    ” and quits installation.

    I did uninstall and reinstall all
    the printer drives, but this did not help either.

    Any suggestion?


    Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:28 PM


All replies

  • Hi,

    Please refer the following picture and select the hotfix for 64-bit.

    If the issue still occurs, you could test this issue in Clean Boot:

    Note: Clean Boot is a step of troubleshooting, we can go back to normal by running MSCONIFG

    Also you could check the Event log. If there any spooler related message, please post it here.

    William Tan

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:01 AM

  • Hi,

    Thank youfor the recommendation. But I had selected the x64. As a matter of fact IE
    explorer smart enough to choose the right one for me.

    However that one did not work me giving the error message of: “The
    update is not applicable to your computer

    By the way, The problem started after I reinstalled windows from a clean formatting.
    I tried to restore back to that date but it also did not work...

    I also tried Clean Boot as explained in:

    The problem is still there even when all the services (except the Microsoft
    services) are disabled. Apparently a Microsoft service causes it.  

    Any other suggestion?

    • Edited by p33174 Tuesday, April 03, 2012 4:54 PM
    Tuesday, April 03, 2012 4:11 PM
  • Same issue here. I've been using MS FixIt. It's not a permanent and use it about once every two weeks. MS is well aware of the problem and said they are hard at work on windows 8 which will fix the problem.

    MS FixIt:

    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 7:22 PM
    • Edited by Jinish KG Monday, May 07, 2012 11:00 AM
    • Proposed as answer by pnaeroneer Sunday, June 17, 2012 4:10 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by pnaeroneer Sunday, June 17, 2012 4:10 AM
    Monday, May 07, 2012 11:00 AM
  • Over many years I have come through Windows 3.1, Win95, Win98, XP, and Vista, but this print spooler problem only began occurring when I upgraded to a new laptop + Vista. After a period the problem ceased, then it began again just this week. I searched through my notes and found the cure I had used previously. It's very SIMPLE, a novice could deal with it. Here it is:

    Step 1. Use Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS. After clicking on PRINTERS you will see a number of files displayed. DELETE THEM ALL (but not the PRINTERS folder). Don't worry - they are only temporary files anyway.

    Step 2. Click START / Run  and type: net start spooler

    That's all there is to it.

    The printers are restored and work normally again.

    It works every time for me!!

    • Edited by pnaeroneer Sunday, June 17, 2012 4:19 AM
    Sunday, June 17, 2012 4:11 AM
  • I followed the directions  above but what I noticed was these files were Flash files in my case.  Uninstalling Flash,  seemed to fix the problem, otherwise it just kept occurring.  Will likely update Flash eventually, however, not impressed with flash technology so far.  This was a pretty annoying issue.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:34 PM
  • I had this problem:  When users would print from their brand new (August 2012) Windows 7 Desktop to their brand new HP LJ P2035 printer all of a sudden the printers (local & network) would all disappear.  We were told to do a few things and this is what FINALLY worked:

    (NOTE:  Also, check the event viewer,  check application,  locate the print spooler error or warning and try to identify the problem for the date/time you had this problem)

    Press the start

    type Windows Features

    select turn windows features on or off (wait a few seconds)

    expand print services

    Check ON/Select ALL options under print services

    press OK and wait approx. 5 minutes



    Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:59 PM
  • I had a similar problem on my Win 7 pro 64 system: all printers disappeared and none could be added becasue the print spooler service had stopped and wouldn't start. The msft fix-it tool identified the situation but couldn't restart the spooler or send details to msft for analysis.  I discovered that removing my eSata drive and restarting without the eSata drive connected the printers were restored.  I suppose some recent Windows update doesn't get along with my eSata drive which was working fine for months?
    Sunday, February 24, 2013 7:59 PM
  • This fix worked for me with the same problem as the rest of you.  Thanks SLH2000
    • Edited by yesguy1713 Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:47 PM
    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:47 PM
  • SLH2000 You are a Genius!!! IT WORKED!!! Thanks :-)
    Monday, July 22, 2013 3:15 AM