What is Spooler SubSystem App (spoolsv.exe)?

Have you noticed a process called Spooler SubSystem App in Task Manager? It might also show as spoolsv.exe or Print Spooler.

This Windows component is to do with printing, although if you notice it’s using a lot of CPU resources there might be an issue.

Spooler SubSystem App, and spoolsv.exe which is its underlying file, manages print and fax jobs. When you want to print a document, the job is sent to the print spooler which then sends it to your printer.

Spooler SubSystem App - Task Manager
Spooler SubSystem App – Task Manager

If your printer is busy or not online then the print spooler service will keep the print job and wait until the printer can accept it.

Spooler SubSystem App is also related to printer configuration. Disable it and you won’t be able to see a list of printers in your installed printer list.

If you want to print or fax using your computer you will need Spooler SubSystem App.

Why is it Using a Lot of CPU?

Although Spooler SubSystem App uses CPU resources when actually printing, it shouldn’t use a lot.

Spooler SubSystem App - High CPU
Spooler SubSystem App – High CPU

Some users say they’ve experienced high CPU usage by spoolsv.exe which can be down to an issue in the Windows printing system, such as a full print queue, a misconfigured printer or an issue with your printer driver.

If you are noticing the app using a lot of CPU even when not printing, it’s best to troubleshoot it.

How to Troubleshoot Spooler SubSystem App on Windows 10

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Than go to Updates and Security
  3. Click on Troubleshoot
  4. Run the Printer Troubleshooter
  5. If this doesn’t find any problems go back to Settings
  6. Click Devices
  7. Than click Printers and Scanners
  8. Click Open Queue to open the printer’s queue

Also read: What is AppVShNotify.exe?

How to Troubleshoot Spooler SubSystem App on Windows 7

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Tap on System and Security
  3. Click on Find and Fix Problems
  4. If this doesn’t find any problems go back to Control Panel
  5. Go to Hardware and Sound
  6. Click on Devices and Printers
  7. Double click the printer icon

Now click on any print jobs you want to cancel by right clicking on them and selecting Cancel.

You might want to remove all the printers installed and use the Add a Printer wizard to re-add and re-configure them.

It might even be necessary to uninstall the printer drivers and utilities then download the newest versions from the manufacturer’s website and install them.

Is Spooler SubSystem App (spoolsv.exe) a Virus?

This process is part of Windows and not a virus, although sometimes malware can try to disguise itself as a process.

The legitimate file should be called spoolsv.exe and found in C:\Windows\System32.

Check by right clicking the Spooler SubSystem app process using Task Manager, then click Open File Location.

If it’s legitimate you ought to see spoolsv.exe file located in C:\Windows\System32.

If it’s somewhere else it might be malware, so run a scan with your antivirus program to check.

Also read: What is QtWebEngineProcess.exe?

Can I Disable spoolsv.exe in Task Manager?

Because this process is necessary if you want to print or fax, there isn’t a reason to disable it.

Disabling this task can also lead to a specific printer error on your computer.

If you don’t have a printer and don’t fax then it shouldn’t use system resources or interfere with anything on your PC.

You can still disable the process if you choose to though.

This is how to disable it if you want to:

  1. Press the Windows key and R to open the Services app
  2. Type this and then press Enter: services.msc
  3. Find Print Spooler in the list that comes up and double click on it
  4. Click Stop to stop it
  5. The spoolsv.exe process should disappear from Task Manager
  6. You might like to set the startup type to Disabled to stop it launching when you restart your computer.

Note: Once it’s disabled you won’t be able to print, see a list of printers or fax unless you re-enable it.