How to Fix "Spooler Subsystem App Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close"

Written by chris hoffman Google
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How to Fix "Spooler Subsystem App Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close"
Remove interfering third-party printer services to restore printer functionality. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

The “Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close” error can occur on Windows when a third-party printer driver or printing service has been installed. The third-party printing software interferes with the functionality of the Windows printing system, preventing you from printing on a new printer. You can fix this error by restarting your computer into Safe Mode and removing the problematic files and registry keys.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Restart the computer by clicking the Windows Start button, clicking the arrow to the right of “Shut Down” and clicking “Restart.”

  2. 2

    Press the “F8” key repeatedly as the computer boots until the boot menu appears on the screen.

  3. 3

    Select “Safe Mode” in the boot menu using the arrow keys and press “Enter.” If you’re asked to select an operating system, select the Windows 7 system and press “Enter.”

  4. 4

    Click the Start button when the desktop appears, type “C:\Windows\System32\Spool\” into the text field that appears and press “Enter.”

  5. 5

    Right-click the “Printers” folder in the Spool folder and click “Delete” to delete it.

  6. 6

    Double-click the “Drivers” folder in the Spool folder, then right-click the “W32x86” folder in the Drivers folder and click “Delete” to delete it.

  7. 7

    Click the Start button, type "Regedit" into the search field and press “Enter.”

  8. 8

    Navigate to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86” key in the left pane of the Registry Editor.

  9. 9

    Examine the subkeys under the “Windows NT x86” key in the left pane. If you see any subkeys other than the “Drivers” and “Print Processors,” right-click the “Windows NT x86” key, click “Export” and save the contents of the key to a file, then delete the other subkeys by right-clicking them and clicking “Delete” for each.

  10. 10

    Navigate to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors” key in the left pane of the Registry Editor.

  11. 11

    Examine the subkeys under the “Monitors” key in the left pane. If you see any subkeys other than the “BJ Language Monitor,” “Local Port,” “PJL Language Monitor,” “Standard TCP/IP Port” and “USB Monitor” keys, right-click the “Monitors” key, click “Export” and save the contents of the key to a file, then delete the other subkeys by right-clicking them and clicking “Delete” for each.

  12. 12

    Unplug the printer if it’s connected to the computer. Restart the computer.

  13. 13

    Reconnect the printer after the computer finishes restarting and install it normally.

Tips and warnings

  • If you deleted any registry keys and experience problems printing, you can double-click your exported .reg files to restore the deleted registry keys.
  • Be careful when deleting files in the C:\Windows folder and editing the registry. You could damage your Windows XP installation if you delete the wrong files or registry keys.

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