Printing on Windows 7: How to Fix the “It’s Printing Slow” Problem

One of the most common gripes about printing in Windows 7 is that it’s terribly slow. This wasn’t a manufactured charge by just a few disgruntled users. In the fall of 2010, Microsoft acknowledged the problem and offered up a “quick fix” (a patch) to alleviate it. Following are some of the particulars.

Anatomy of the Problem

Microsoft identified the problem as basically a communications error – one that originates with the print spooler. This piece of software is what Windows uses to communicate commands to printers.

The print spooler can significantly increase CPU usage. But, this in and of itself is not a problem. The slowdown happens because this increase in usage never abates, which leads to prolonged, elevated use. And, this is what slows down printing because it takes much longer to communicate the message to the printer.

If the “tech speak” is a little hard to digest, think of it as being put on hold when you call an 800 number. The music starts, and a soothing voice continually updates you, “We’re experiencing unusually high call volume today. Your projected wait time is 5 minutes.”

Then . . .

“Your business is important to us. Please continue to hold. Your projected wait time is 3 minutes.”


Now that you know why you haven this problem when printing on Windows 7, let’s get to the solution.

How to Speed Up Printing in Windows 7

As alluded to above, the first thing you should do is download what Microsoft calls the “hot fix” solution. The company points out that this fix is only for this particular problem and that you must be running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (not another version of Windows) for it to work.

This patch won’t make changes to your Registry, so you don’t have to worry about that. And of course, you should restart your system after downloading and installing the fix to finish repairing this printing on Windows 7 problem.

Printing Remotely

Many networks or businesses rely on remote desktop for printing. This can be a great solution if properly managed. If remote printing with a Windows 7 machine is an option, then a Windows 7 remote printing application should be considered. It cuts down on management and time related to management.

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