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What Does Printer Spooling Mean? Learn Here

If you are new to printing, certain messages can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know what they mean.

One of the common status updates is “spooling”, which may pop up when the printer appears to be doing nothing.

A print spooler assigns multiple jobs to a printer without affecting the system or underlying application.

In this article, we will learn all about what does printer spooling mean and how it is important.

A printer has a limited memory, often even less than the size of a document.

Printer spooling allows you to handle printing large documents or multiple documents without affecting the performance of your PC or slowing it down.

The spooling can also be referred to as batch processing.

Think of it is as a queue where documents are waiting to be processed for printing one by one.

What is spooling?

SPOOL is short for simultaneous peripheral operations on-line.

It’s basically buffering mechanism in which data is stored temporarily to be used and executed later by any device, program, or application.

Related: What Is The Duty Cycle For A Printer?

How Does Spooling Work?

Data is sent to and stored in a volatile storage.

Compared to the rest of the PC, printers have a a very small memory.

Spooling works like the requests in a queue.

It follows the FIFO format which stands for first in first out.

Spool can be maintained on either the peripheral devices itself or on PC’s memory.

Printers are not the only peripheral devices that use the spooling mechanism. Other devices like keyboards and mice can also use it.


Why is Spooling Important?

Spooling is a mechanism that manages the printing process.

It becomes all the more important if different computers are connected to the printer.

It makes networking less problematic as it tracks which devices are connected to which port and regulating the printing jobs of various computers.

Related: What Is Screen Printing?

Benefits of Spooling

Printer spooling is more important than you might think. Here are some of its benefits.

1. Schedule Printing

Spooling manages your printing process. It schedules the data for printing and lines it up for the printer.

print queue

You can check your print queue in Windows

2. Enhance Efficiency

Spooling enhance the efficiency of your printer. The data is organized, and there are fewer chances of system being congested.

3. Does Not Put Your Application on Hold

Printing may take time. Especially if multiple computers are connected to the printer.

Printing data is stored in the spooling, and it does not have to engage your application.

Your system is free, and you can carry on working on other applications after giving the command of printing.

4. You Can Pause or Edit the Document in Spool

While documents are lined up for printing, you can pause the documents or cancel it if no longer need to print it.

It will allow you to get more ink from the cartridge, as well as save time. You can change the order of printing too, putting the document higher or lower place in line.

5. Time-Saving

Without spooling, you will have to wait for the printer to finish printing one page before you move on to the next page.

Can Spooling Slow Down in Your System?

Though spooling enhances printer’s performance and efficiency,  in some cases your printer may spool slow.

Slow spooling can make your printer work slow.

Time is important, and in any busy office, slow spooling can be a nuisance. It will slow your whole printing process, which can be frustrating.

Few Causes of Slow Spooling

Here are a few reasons that may cause your printer to spool slow. Knowing the exact cause can help to fix that problem.

1. Low Spooling Space

If spooling computer is low on disk space it may make spooling slow.

It can also happen if your printing document is too large. In that case, it may work fast by printing directly without spooling.

2. Software That Automatically Spools

Some applications have their own spooling system. Especially programs that create large printing jobs have their own print spoolers.

Double-check while you are using such applications. They can make your printer slow as after the program spools the information, and your computer also does so.

In that case, you can turn off your spooling to make it work fast.

3. Large File Size

If your document is large, it may take more time spooling and printing.

When You Should Turn Off Printer Spooling?

Spooling is actually helpful in the printing process, and it can better organize and manage your printing process.

But there are times when you prefer to print without spooling. You can turn off the spooling for the following reasons.

1. Need to Print in a Hurry

If you are in a hurry you can turn off the spooling and print directly.

Spooling can make your printing slow, especially if you are sharing the printer with too many users.

The printer will delay the printing unless the whole document has been generated and spooled. If another computer’s spooling finishes before, the printer will print the other document first.

2. Printing a Lengthy Document

As we said, if you are printing a very lengthy document, you may like to print it directly without spooling. Spooling may slow the printing as the printer works after spooling the whole document, and it may cause some delays.

3. Using Special or Non-Standard Paper

If you are using special paper that is not loaded in the printer, printing directly can be time-saving.

Some printers automatically put the printing of special papers on hold so other documents are not delayed if the printer has to stop for reloading the paper.


Here we talked about what does printer spooling mean.

Basically, printer spooling enhance its efficiency and manages the different printing needs in an organized way.

However, there may be times when you like to stop the spooling process and work directly to speed up the printing process and make it more convenient.

By visiting the printer’s property page and clicking on the advanced tab would allow you to adjust the printers setting and you can turn it off and on as per your preference and need.

You can also keep a document spooled for later use.

In the end, a printer spooling is fancy name of batch processing or a queue for the printing job.