What is the Windows spoolsv.exe file and process?

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope

What is spoolsv.exe?

Windows spoolsv.exe file

A Microsoft Windows file stored in the c:\windows\system32 or c:\winnt\system32 directory with a 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's 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 the spoolsv.exe process and click the End Process button.

The spoolsv.exe process using high CPU

When the spoolsv.exe process uses 99% to 100% of the CPU, it is caused by printer jobs still being in the Windows spool. To manually remove these print jobs, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools and then Services.
  3. In Services, locate Print Spooler, right-click it, and select Stop.
  4. Once this process is stopped, open My Computer and browse to the folder below.

    c:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS

    or

    c:\winnt\system32\spool\PRINTERS
  5. Delete all files in the PRINTERS folder. Once these are deleted, you can right-click the Print Spooler in the Services window and select Start to re-enable the service.

If this does not resolve your issue, there is likely an issue with your printer drivers. Make sure you have the latest printer drivers for your printer. A listing of printer drivers is on our printer drivers page.

It's also possible that a trojan horse, virus, or worm has infected your computer. Make sure you have an antivirus is up-to-date.

Spoolsv.exe generates errors and will be closed by Windows

Errors caused by the spoolsv.exe process 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 is on our printer drivers page. Additionally, make sure you have an antivirus protection program and it's up-to-date.

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