How to Fix "Spooler Subsystem App Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close"

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The “Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close” error can occur on Windows when a third-party printer driver or printing service has been installed. The third-party printing software interferes with the functionality of the Windows printing system, preventing you from printing on a new printer. You can fix this error by restarting your computer into Safe Mode and removing the problematic files and registry keys.

  • Restart the computer by clicking the Windows Start button, clicking the arrow to the right of “Shut Down” and clicking “Restart.”

  • Press the “F8” key repeatedly as the computer boots until the boot menu appears on the screen.

  • Select “Safe Mode” in the boot menu using the arrow keys and press “Enter.” If you’re asked to select an operating system, select the Windows 7 system and press “Enter.”

  • Click the Start button when the desktop appears, type “C:\Windows\System32\Spool\” into the text field that appears and and press “Enter.”

  • Right-click the “Printers” folder in the Spool folder and click “Delete” to delete it.

  • Double-click the “Drivers” folder in the Spool folder, then right-click the “W32x86” folder in the Drivers folder and click “Delete” to delete it.

  • Click the Start button, type "Regedit" into the search field and press “Enter.”

  • Navigate to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86” key in the left pane of the Registry Editor.

  • Examine the subkeys under the “Windows NT x86” key in the left pane. If you see any subkeys other than the “Drivers” and “Print Processors,” right-click the “Windows NT x86” key, click “Export” and save the contents of the key to a file, then delete the other subkeys by right-clicking them and clicking “Delete” for each.

  • Navigate to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors” key in the left pane of the Registry Editor.

  • Examine the subkeys under the “Monitors” key in the left pane. If you see any subkeys other than the “BJ Language Monitor,” “Local Port,” “PJL Language Monitor,” “Standard TCP/IP Port” and “USB Monitor” keys, right-click the “Monitors” key, click “Export” and save the contents of the key to a file, then delete the other subkeys by right-clicking them and clicking “Delete” for each.

  • Unplug the printer if it’s connected to the computer. Restart the computer.

  • Reconnect the printer after the computer finishes restarting and install it normally.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you deleted any registry keys and experience problems printing, you can double-click your exported .reg files to restore the deleted registry keys.
  • Be careful when deleting files in the C:\Windows folder and editing the registry. You could damage your Windows XP installation if you delete the wrong files or registry keys.

References

  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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