Disabling the print spooler service in windows 10 and 11

How to

To mitigate the PrintNightmare vulnerability, the Print Spooler service must be completely disabled in Windows 10 and 11.

To manage print jobs, Windows has a special service called Print Spooler. The Print Spooler service, as the name implies, stores all active print jobs in memory until they are ready to print or until printing is complete. Typically, most Windows users do not need to worry about the Print Spooler service. After all, like many other Windows services, it just runs in the background and quietly does its job. However, there are times when you may need to manually disable the Print Spooler service.

Recently, for example, Microsoft has announced a serious vulnerability called PrintNightmare that spreads unchecked, i.e., an attacker can use it to compromise your system. Microsoft has released security patch KB5004945 for the corresponding system, but the vulnerability persists even after the update is installed.

To mitigate the vulnerability, Microsoft recommends temporarily disabling the Print Spooler service. If you are not actively using the printer, disabling the Print Spooler service will have no side effects. It can be turned back on when the appropriate patch becomes available.

This quick and simple guide will show you how to turn off Print Spooler in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Disabling Print Spooler with PowerShell Commands

The easiest way to turn Print Spooler on and off is to use a simple PowerShell command. The following is a description of how to do this.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Request “PowerShell.”
  3. Right click on the result and select “Run as administrator”.
  4. Insert the following command and press Enter.
    Stop-Service -Name Spooler -Force
  5. Then type the following command and press Enter.
    Set-Service -Name Spooler -StartupType Disabled
  6. Close the PowerShell window.
  7. Restart the computer.

First, PowerShell must be opened as an administrator. From the Start menu, search for “Windows PowerShell” and select “Run as administrator”.

In the PowerShell window, paste the following command and press Enter. Stop the Print Spooler service from running.

Stop-Service -Name Spooler -Force

Next, paste the command below and press Enter. This command disables the Print Spooler service.

Set-Service -Name Spooler -StartupType Disabled

Finally, close the PowerShell window and reboot the system. To enable the Print Spooler service, execute the following commands in sequence. The first cmdlet changes the startup type from Disabled to Automatic, and the second cmdlet starts the Print Spooler service.

Set-Service -Name Spooler -StartupType Automatic
Start-Service -Name Spooler

Disabling the Print Spooler service via Group Policy (GPO)

The Print Spooler service can be disabled from the Group Policy Editor.

First, press the “Windows key + R” key combination to display the “Run” dialog box. Type “gpedit.msc” in the space provided and press the Enter key.

Once the Group Policy Editor is open, navigate to the “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Printers” folder.

Double click on the “Allow client connections for print spoolers” policy, select the “Disabled” option and click the “Apply” and “OK” buttons to save your changes.

Finally, close the Group Policy Editor and restart the computer to apply the policy changes.

The Print Spooler service is now successfully disabled. To enable it again, select the “Not configured” option in the policy’s properties window and save the changes.

Disabling Print Spooler from System Configuration

The System Configuration tool provides an easy way to stop the Print Spooler service from running from Windows. The method is as follows.

  1. Press the “Windows key + R” shortcut.
  2. Type “msconfig” in the space provided and click “OK”.
  3. Go to the “Services” tab.
  4. Uncheck “Print Spooler.”
  5. Click the “OK” button.
  6. Restart the computer.

After restarting, the Print Spooler service will not start automatically. However, since the service is not completely disabled, some programs may start the service automatically. This is especially true when a printer is connected to the system.

To turn the service back on, follow the same procedure, but check the “Print Spooler” box and click “OK”. It is as easy as disabling the Print Spooler service in Windows.

If you are stuck or need help, comment below.

YouTube video: Disabling the Print Spooler Service in Windows 10 and 11

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