No Printers Found? Windows can’t open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running.

There are times when you want to print a webpage or document and see a message like the one below even though you have all the printers and drivers installed.


Since the error says that there are no printers installed the most logical solution would be to check why it is giving you this error, so you head to the printers in control panel.


Most of the times you will see that the printers are missing from the available devices and when you try to install a printer you will see an error like the one below.


Case of the Missing Printers

As you can see from the error above the printers are missing due to the Print spooler service being disabled or stopped, you can restart your computer to get the printers back. But why waste time when you can do it without restarting the PC.

Here are the steps to get your missing printers back without having to restart the PC.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the run box and type in services.msc.


Step 2: The services window will open, in that find Print Spooler and start the service.


Once you have done that refresh or reopen the printer page from control panel and you will see that all your printers should reappear again.

While you are printing please try and save the environment use a add-in to print what you want or an excellent service that will allow you to save pages and inks by removing data and images you do not want to print. Happy Printing.

Published by

Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • steph

    thank you so much for you excellent advice..solved the problem!!!!

  • Buck

    On a scale of 1-10, you da bomb. It's funny that Microsoft directs people with this problem to use their automated troubleshooter…which doesn't actually fix this problem.

    • @Buck – Thanks for the kind words, and glad that this site could be of some help to you :-)

  • Life saver! No idea why Windows 7 would randomly disable all your printers…

  • Cyrus

    This happens everytime I try to install cute pdf, even when I restart though, my spooler is not active, thanks for the directions on how to get that up and running again. Now my pdf writer works again and I have access to all my other printers. You are a life saver!

  • Thanks, Keith!

    I noticed the problem after getting a wireless printer. I figured it was the cause. My solution was rebooting. Logging off wasn't enough. Turning the printer on/off didn't help.

    Your solution is a great workaround until Windows gets fixed. Thanks for sharing.

  • Yuri

    It is all good as far as it happens only one time. What if it happens repeatedly? My print spooler restart OK, but works for about 2 to 5 seconds and shuts duwn again.

  • BTA

    Thanks Keith, your fix as listed does work for an short time – about 5 seconds I would guess – but then the Print Spooler service is “stopped” again. Any ideas how to make the fix “stick” would be gratefully received.

    • @BTA – There might be some issues with the drivers or old printers you have added. One thing I would suggest you to do is to delete all the old printers you have set up and then trying to start the spooler, once you have done then reinstall the current printer drivers to see if it fixes your problem. If this does not work, leave a comment here and I will try to find you other methods to fix the issue of Print spooler always stopping.

  • Lulu

    when i get to step one.. and click on Print Spoolers, it wont give me the option to even click start. all the options in each menu bar, are completely grey so i cant click em. :( any suggestions on how to fix that , or why it may be happening in the first place?

  • Jo

    My printers weren’t gone in the first place. I restarted the print spooler but my Google Chrome still gives the ‘no printers found, please install printer’ message.
    Please help!

  • virginia jansen

    Thank you. I think I would have to kiss you for your help. I have been fighting this for local printer spooler..thing for 2 days.. what caused it to happen in the first place and I certianly don’t want to do it again.

    Thank you a hundred times


  • Bob

    Press Windows Key + R to open the run box and type in net start server

    Save yourself a few button clicks!

  • James

    I have re-started my print spooler numerous times as you have directed. It restarts for about a second and the stops. Over and over again, restarted and still no printers in the file. Can you really help?

  • Anna

    You are my hero! Thank you so much. I spent two hours screwing around with microsoft last night. Your fix took me 30 seconds.

  • Randy Walker

    Thank you, thank you. You are right. What a worthless post on the Microsoft site.

  • Andrew Duncan-Jones

    Hi, wish I had found you before. However, Microsoft’s automated troubleshooter seems to have learnt at last how to fix this problem – mind you, you have to go to Troubleshooting Printers from Control Panel, it’s no use just going to Devices and Printers and trying troubleshooting there. Still I’ll keep this page noted as well, you never know, Microshit will probably delete this reference ( or the facility one day. Thanks again, Andrew

  • David Ceballos

    Microsoft did nothing after all hours of searching, digging through files, and diagnostics this finally worked THANKS!

  • I had issues and have tried everything but the print spooler kept switching off. I uninstalled my anti virus (AVG) and it fixed the problem. Now I need to find an AV that doesn’t do this.

  • me

    Awesome ,works like a charm . Helped me finish my assignment on time :P . Thanks a lot

  • Still can’t open print spooler!

  • Thank you! Takes much less time than rebooting! What a pain!

  • click on Print Spoolers, all the options in each menu bar, are completely grey so i cant click them.

  • Nina

    Helps a lot! thank you


    clever and efficient

  • Kobi Hazan

    It does not work for me. I got stuck in step 2, it gives me the following error:
    “windows could not start the print spooler service on local computer. error 1053 rhe service did not respond to the start or control request in timely fasion”

  • johntate90210

    Thank you! It worked.