How to Re-install Winspool.drv

By Mike Benson

As its name implies, the Winspool.drv file is a driver component for the Windows Print Spooler. This file’s role is to provide a line of communication between print jobs and the spooler service. If this driver file is corrupted or missing, you will be prompted of an error every time the operating system needs to utilize it. Re-installing this file is generally the best solution for these kinds of problems. Re-install while in Safe Mode with the System File Checker.

Step 1

Power on or restart your PC. Hold down the “F8” key while the computer is booting. This action provides you with an Advanced Boot Options screen.

Step 2

Press the “Down-Arrow” key once to highlight “Safe Mode” and press “Enter.” Allow Windows to load in safe mode.

Step 3

Open a Run dialog by holding “Windows” + “R” consecutively. Type “System32” in its open field, and then press your “Enter” key. This simply opens an Explorer window that displays the contents of the Windows System32 folder.

Step 4

Type “Winspool” in the “Search System32” field, which is located at the top right corner of the window. This will display the Winspool.drv file if it is installed on your system.

Step 5

Right-click the “Winspool.drv” file and click “Rename.” Change “.drv” extenstion to the “.bak” extension so that the new file name is “Winspool.bak.” If you get a “Requires TrustedInstaller” error, you will need to take ownership of the file.

Step 6

Click “Start.” Type “Com Prompt” in Search. Right-click “Command Prompt” and click “Run as Administrator.”

Step 7

Type “SFC /Scanfile=C:\Windows\System32\Winspool.drv” in your prompt and press “Enter.” This action starts the System File Checker. Since you renamed the Winspool file, the utility will see that the “Winspool.drv” file is not in the System32 directory and will create a new one automatically.

Step 8

Restart your computer once you see “…found corrupt files and successfully repaired.” You have reinstalled Winspool.drv.

Take Ownership of WinSpool.drv

Step 1

Right-click “Winspool.drv” and click “Properties.”

Step 2

Click the “Security” tab, and click the “Advanced” button.

Step 3

Click the “Owner” tab, and click the “Edit” button.

Step 4

Click to select your Windows username in the Change Owner To field, and then click “Apply.”

Step 5

Click the “OK” button on the Windows Security dialog, and then click the “OK” button at the bottom of each open properties window to close them all. You can now rename the file.