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Print spooler


A misbehaving print spooler can consume your RAM causing your computer to appear to slow down.

Verify the symptoms

Click on your Start menu
Select the Run box
In the Run box type Task Manager and select OK

Sort by Memory by clicking on the Memory tab

We need to sort the programs by which uses the most memory. Click on the memory tab so you can see a down arrow on the left. In the example above we can see that Google Chrome is using 1,120.6 Mb. We can also see that 38% of the ram is in use.

If your PC runs close to or over 80%, then something may be using more memory than it should. Look for the print spooler and if it is constantly using more than say 500Mb, then the print spooler may be causing your computer to slow down.


Step 1 – Stop the Print Spooler service

Click on your Start menu
Select the Run box
In the Run box type services.msc and select OK
When the Services window opens scroll down until you see Print Spooler. Click on Print Spooler once just to highlight it.
In the top left hand corner select Stop. Minimize the Services window but do not close it as you will need to re start the Print Spooler when finished.

Step 2 – Clear out the unwanted TMP files from the print spool folder

Click on your Start menu
Select My Computer
Select the C Drive
Select Windows
Select System32
Select Spool
Select PRINTERS. If you get an Administrator pop up, just allow this window to ‘continue’.
This PRINTERS folder should be empty. If there are any files in this folder, right click and ‘delete’ them. These files are corrupt print jobs.
Once the files are deleted, close this folder.

Step 3 – Restart the Print Spooler service

Reopen the Services window. Click Start in the top left hand corner to Start your Print Spooler service.

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