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How to fix Print Spooler Service high CPU usage in Windows 10

What is Print Spooler Service? It’s a service that is used to monitor and service print jobs on your computer, be it printing from a printer or a file printing. When something goes wrong with the service, it will drain your system resources. Does that mean it is a virus? No, it is a legitimate service that accidently causes trouble for most of the people.

Although Windows 10 now includes a new feature called the “Print Spooler Service”, it doesn’t matter how good it is, because the service itself is a problem. To be more specific, the Print Spooler Service is causing a high amount of CPU activity, and killing your PC. This is because the Windows 10 Print Spooler Service is not able to handle the amount of tasks it is forced to do.

Milan Stanojevic

Co-Editor in Chief

Milan has had a passion for computers since childhood, which has led him to become interested in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more

Updated: July 9, 2021

Published: October 2017

  • The high CPU load of the print spooler in Windows 10 can lead to workflow failure and can be caused by too many pending tasks.
  • Some files may still be in the queue even though they are completed, so check them.
  • You may need to reinstall the printer and update the drivers to the latest versions.
  • Since this problem can also be caused by malware, it’s not too late to think about a good antivirus program.

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The problem of high CPU usage of the spooler is known to cause painfully slow processing on Windows 10 computers.

However, the Windows Spooler service itself is designed to do exactly the opposite. That is, if it works as intended.

The Windows Print Spooler service is part of the infrastructure of your computer’s printing process. This service allows your computer to run print jobs in the background while you perform other tasks.

The Spooler program adds each document you send to the printer to a queue, so it can be printed as soon as the printer is available.

The advantage of this service is that, as long as the printer is running, anything you do on the front end will work without interruption.

The spooler.exe process should also appear in Task Manager, indicating that a print job is running.

However, once the queued print jobs are completed, you should not see the spoolsv.exe process in Task Manager.

Thus, when such problems occur, the service should not be considered an inconvenience, but in terms of its usability. If it is defective in any way, repair it immediately.

In normal operation, even at runtime, spoolsv.exe should not use your CPU. And even if the spooler service puts print jobs in memory, it should not use too much RAM.

But sometimes it can take up to 100% of your CPU. This is not normal and it should not happen. But what are the causes and what can be done about it?

Causes of high CPU utilization problems with thespooler

The spooler service is in no way a resource-intensive process that should overload your computer, regardless of your CPU size.

If you see in Job Manager that the service is using up to 100% of the CPU, this logically means that there are too many print jobs in the queue waiting to be completed.

Finished print jobs may remain on the roll due to a system error

It is rare that the queues are so large that a coil becomes overloaded. The only possible scenario is a system error that prevents completed print jobs from being automatically removed from the queue.

This means that the computer continues to allocate memory and resources to tasks that have already completed, overloading the processor and consuming memory.

Print jobs are delayed on Microsoft Office Image Recorder

Some users were puzzled when they were confronted with a high CPU load from the spooler when in fact there were no print jobs in progress or completed that had yet to be removed from the spooler.

During their research, they discovered that there were in fact printing jobs waiting to be completed. However, they were not on the installed printer, but on the Microsoft Office Image Writer program.

Always check if this is the cause of the problem if your computer is getting slower and the Task Manager is showing a high CPU load on the spooler.

A good place to check all the print jobs in the print queue is the Print Management folder. Use the navigation bar below to get there: Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Print Management.

The Print Management folder displays all print jobs that are currently queued. The folder also shows all the printers installed on your printer and the number of print jobs queued for each printer.

Infection by virus or malware

If you can’t find the cause of the spooler’s inexplicably high CPU load, there’s always the possibility that a virus or malware is infecting your computer.

It has been discovered that the Spooler service is vulnerable to security vulnerabilities in some versions of Windows.

The worm often associated with this problem is known to cleverly disguise itself by registering under the same process name spoolsv.exe.

The easiest way to check if the process is really a worm is to check the process path. The original spooler service runs from the %System% subdirectory.

Also check the size of the source folder of the spoolersv.exe process. The size should be about 61,440 bytes.

If the process source folder is much larger than the usual size, you cannot verify the path to the spoolsv.exe process that is overloading your CPU, and you have excluded the other possible reasons we have mentioned, then you may be dealing with malware.

It is important to immediately install robust Internet security software to clean your computer and destroy this threat before it spreads and causes further damage.

Troubleshooting

The slowness of a computer is a major annoyance and a drag on performance. Fortunately, the problem is usually quite easy to solve.

As we said before, if you already have an antivirus program running on your computer, this is a sign that you need to improve your security and update it or install a better program.

However, you may consider stopping the spoolsv.exe process directly in Task Manager. While this may provide some relief, it is not a permanent solution as you will want to print some documents at some point.

And if you stop the spoolsv.exe process in Task Manager while you are printing or have yet to print, it will stop the printer itself.

If the print queue does not clear, or while trying to find the cause of the high CPU usage problem in the spooler, you can print directly to the printer as a workaround. Select this option in the print settings.

This bypasses the spooler service, but takes away all the convenience of the application. It is also not a very practical solution if you print a lot of documents from your computer.

Here are some troubleshooting methods you can try after ruling out a malware infection as a possible cause of the high CPU usage spooler problem.

How can I fix the high CPU load of the print spooler?

1. Manually remove completed print jobs from the print roll

  1. In the Windows search function, type Control and click Control Panel.
  2. Click on Administration.

  1. Now click on Services in the list.
  2. Find Pressure Coil Service,

  1. Right click on it and select Stop.
  2. Leave the Services folder window open.

Then go to Windows Explorer and open the Printers folder in the bottom navigation bar: C:WINDOWSystem32PoolPrinter

Manually delete the entire contents of the folder. As you can see, mine is already empty. Then go back to the Services folder and restart the Spooler print service.

To do this, right-click on the service and select Run. Your computer should now be working normally again.

2. Reinstall the printer and update the drivers

Sometimes removing everything in the spooler does not solve the problem of high CPU usage by the spooler, or there are no print jobs there.

At this point, you should verify that your computer is configured correctly.

The easiest way is to go to the Print Manager and remove the printers. You should also check and remove all installed Bluetooth printers.

Before reinstalling the computer, make sure all printer drivers are up to date.

You can also check with the manufacturer of your printer to see if your current drivers are compatible with the version of Windows you are using.

It is always possible that you have missed an update, especially if your computer is not set up to receive updates automatically.

3. Regularly scan and clean your computer to remove viruses and malware

The fact that malware and viruses can be disguised by hackers as a spoolsv.ex executable file to gain backdoor access to your computer is a real problem.

Since malware and viruses can be used to steal your passwords and other personal information, a high CPU load may be the least of your problems if you are attacked.

Update your anti-malware and anti-virus software regularly. And make sure you always have the latest version of all internet security software installed on your computer.

It is also advisable to invest in a good registry scan program so that you do not overlook any malicious entries in the registry files of your PC.

But in general, the best way to protect yourself is to be careful and cautious when browsing websites, opening email attachments, and connecting portable drivers to your computer.

We hope that the solutions presented here have helped you solve the problem of high CPU spooler load.

As for the PrintNightmare vulnerability, Microsoft has released a patch that fixes the problem. If you are one of the unfortunate users experiencing this issue, read our article on how to download KB5004945 and fix the problem.

If the problem persists, it is always best to consult an expert, especially before making any changes to the Windows registry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix the print spooler in Windows 10?

You can use the following steps to fix the print spooler in Windows 10. 1. Press the Windows key + X to open the Power User Menu. 2. Click on Command Prompt (Admin). 3. Type the following command and press Enter. net stop spooler 4. net start spooler 5. Close the Command Prompt window. How do I fix the print spooler in Windows 8.1? You can use the following steps to fix the print spooler in Windows 8.1

Why is my CPU usage so high Windows 10?

If your CPU usage is high, it’s likely because you have a lot of programs running. It’s also possible that your computer is over-heating and needs to be shut down.

How do I reduce 100 CPU usage Windows 10?

How do I reduce 100 CPU

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