Local print spooler is not running error in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Posted on May 10th, 2012 | by admin |

Lets have a look at two similar errors that occur in Windows Vista and 7:

First one says:

“Adding the printer connection failed. The local print spooler is not running. Please, restart the print spooler or restart the machine.”

adding local print spooler error

Second one says:

“Windows can’t open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running. Please, restart the print spooler or restart the machine.”

cannot open add printer local spooler error

They look very similar but there is the certain difference between this two errors.

So lets proceed to fixing this errors.

Again, we strongly recommend you to use Print Spooler Fix Utility if you are not an experienced user.

Get it from CNET Download.com!

So what is the basic difference between this two errors? Yes, first appears on the stage of installing printer driver or connecting printer to the computer. What can cause this error? Most likely driver corruption or driver you install doesn’t apply to your configuration. Best thing in this case is search and install latest drivers from the Internet. Nearly all vendors regularly update their driver software as they got complains about different incompatibility issues and problems in certain systems.

Mention that simply restarting print spooler usually won’t work.

1) First go to Registry Editor and search for key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers

in this key you will typically see 2 sub-keys called Version-2 and Version-3 or one of them. This keys contain data about your printers driver configuration. Export those keys somewhere in the safe place on your PC by right-clicking on the key and choosing “Export”. Remove keys that named as your printers.

enviroments print key

2) Then locate following key:


Export sub-keys keys somewhere in the safe place on your PC by right-clicking on the key and choosing “Export”.

print key monitors

Here is the list of monitors you can leave:

The list of Default monitors includes:

  • AppleTalk Printing Devices
  • BJ Language Monitor
  • Local Port
  • PJL Language Monitor
  • Standard TCP/IP Port
  • USB Monitor
  • Windows NT Fax Monitor

Others should be removed.

3) Then you need to remove old drivers files. To do this go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\printers folder on your PC (If your Windows installed on other disk – change letter at the beginning).

Remove all files under this folder.

Then you can try checking if print spooler runs by restarting it from Services.

It should run properly.

4) Proceed to installing new drivers for your printer. As I have already said do not use your old driver CD and do not try to install standard windows drivers. On my experience this drivers often cause problems. Get newest from the vendors website.

Here is and example how to download and install driver for HP. But it is nearly the same for all vendors.

Alexey AbalmasovAbout Alexey Abalmasov

Post is written by Alexey Abalmasov who is a technology blogger, tech support specialist and simply an IT guy. I have 5 year expertise in solving certain problems with Windows OS as well as removing viruses. You can follow me on Twitter or on Facebook

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