What is the Windows spoolsv.exe file and process?

What is spoolsv.exe?

A Microsoft Windows file stored in the c:\windows\system32 or c:\winnt\system32 directory that has the file description: Spooler SubSystem App. This file is responsible for how Microsoft Windows handles print and fax jobs on your computer.

Is this file a spyware, trojan, or virus?

The spoolsv.exe file included with Microsoft Windows is not spyware, a trojan, or a virus. However, like any file on your computer it can become corrupted by a virus, worm, or trojan. antivirus programs can detect and clean this file if it has become infected. Because this file is part of Microsoft Windows users should never delete or remove this file if they think it is infected, let the antivirus program handle it.

There are several known trojans, viruses, and worms that take on the identity of this file. However, once again it's best you use an up-to-date antivirus program to detect viruses and clean or quarantine this file if infected.

Is it safe to remove spoolsv.exe from the Task Manager processes?

Yes. This file is not a critical process and can be safely removed from the Task Manager to free up used memory. To do this in Task Manager highlight he spoolsv.exe process and click the End Process button.

The spoolsv.exe is taking up 99%, 100% or other abnormal high amount of CPU.

This is caused when there are still printer jobs in the Windows spool. To manually remove these print jobs follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel double-click the Administrative Tools and then Services.
  3. Within services locate Print Spooler and right-click it and select Stop.
  4. Once this process has been stopped leave the windows open and open My Computer and browse the below folder.

    c:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS

    or

    c:\winnt\system32\spool\PRINTERS

     
  5. In this folder delete all the files in the PRINTERS folder. Once these have been deleted you can right-click the Print Spooler in the Services window and click Start to re-enable the service.

If this does not resolve your issue it's likely you have an issue with your printer drivers you have installed for your printers or you have a Trojan, virus, or worm infected on the computer. Make sure you have the latest printer drivers for your printer. A listing of printer drivers can be found through our printer drivers page. Additionally, make sure you have an antivirus protection program on the computer and that it is up-to-date.

Spoolsv.exe generates errors and will be closed by Windows.

Errors caused by the spoolsv.exe file are often caused by other third-party software programs installed on the computer or the printer drivers installed on the computer. Make sure you have the latest printer drivers for your printer. A listing of printer drivers can be found through our printer drivers page. Additionally, make sure you have an antivirus protection program on the computer and that it is up-to-date.

Additional information

  • See our file definition for further information and related links on this term.