Fixing printer lockups under Windows

If you’re like me and depend upon being able to print documents on the go, Windows can sometimes be very unaccommodating! One of my main problems is printer service lockup if I lose my connection to the printer (accidentally unplugging the USB cable for
example). When this happens, no matter how many times I try to cancel the frozen print job it just won’t go away – preventing any more documents from being printed out! Fortunately… I have a rapid solution at hand.
Three easy steps:

  1. Ctrl + Alt + Del, bring up task manager.
  2. Select ‘spoolsv.exe’ from the processes list and click End Process.
  3. Use either File->Run in task manager (or Start->Run from the taskbar) and enter ‘spoolsv.exe’.

This is a dirty (but effective) way of forcing the print spool server to reboot. You should see the document queue clear within a minute or so and then you will be able to send new documents to your printer.

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