Splwow64.exe error | What is It & How To Fix It

Windows OS is so huge that a single mistake made takes your breath away. You need to be very careful especially treating DLL and exe files. Executables are more likely to harm your machine and are eventually caught by the antivirus and anti-malware programs.  The same SPLWOW64 is an executable windows process, which normally runs when you try to use 32-bit printer drivers on a 64-bit system. The mentioned process executes especially when printer jobs are sent and sometimes jobs remain incomplete resulting in the error.  

When the process doesn’t stop properly, memory leak takes place. This leak severely affects impacted server’s performance as well as availability and also impacts desktop resources. 

If you ever experienced a bad luck of having printer in your work environment or home, there may be the chances that your machine has constantly returned you an error i.e. printing error for whatsoever reason.

It is a well noted error in most of the machine nowadays and arise when someone tries printing to a Xerox printer or any multifunction printer. The same mostly occurs when printer process is not properly terminated (as said before) and mostly, it comes in Windows 7, 8, 2008, and R2. Error is not at all limited to Xerox; it may happen at any other place too. This may indicate that it’s not about your printer but maybe Microsoft acknowledgement issue. 

The issue arises when a 32-bit application is used in the 64-bit environment. The Splwow64.exe process is used to translate the print driver model of a 64-bit operating system and a 32-bit program. The error occurs when the Splwow64.exe does not end when the print job is finished.

This issue is noted in many workplaces where employees are heard complaining their tech teams about no printing error and showing a popup telling something like Splwow64.exe or something like that. 

Let us first discuss the file information of splwow64.exe and then see, if there are any solutions for the error received as a result of printing.

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Splwow64.exe file information

The said process is known as Printer’s driver host for applications and especially it is for 32-bit applications running on high versions. This is also known to be a thinking spooler where you run 32 bit stuff on 64 bit machines and process conversion takes place for these versions

  • Original EXE file of splwow is a mandatory working file of Windows OS and can cause real issues if corrupted or missing. It is normally located in Windows folder in C drive. Sometimes, it may be located in any subfolder like System32 or any. Known file sizes of the same are 67,072 and 130,560 bytes in all Windows versions. It is windows system file and has no visibility normally (runs in background).It is provided by Microsoft and this is the reason its technical security rating is only 4% i.e. it is less than 4% dangerous. 
  • Security may vary as per its locations i.e. if it is in user’s subfolder, its rating then becomes 60% with respect to danger it can make. File is 148,480n bytes in that case having no visible window. File, in that case, won’t be called a system file and will; be loaded directly in Windows boot process and registry editor. Hence, it would be able to manipulate al other programs and will be able to record keyboard and mouse plus monitor operations perfectly
  • If the file is in Program files folder, security rate will be 56% with respect to danger. Here, capacity will be 22,016 bytes and there will be no description and visibility, File won’t here be a windows system file. It will appear as a compressed file here

Note:  Symantec, Yantoo, Avira and numerous other malware programs consider the file as virus and catch the same and put in Trojan directory., Kaspersky also takes it as Trojan.Win32 file and puts the same in quarantine. Therefore, you need to check the file manually yourself on your machine and see if it is a real threat or is only caught n basis of suspicion. Better is to have some authentic task manager for security purposes so that proper computer security’s verification can be done. 


First of all you should:

  • Open Regedit(Windows key + R  -> type “Regedit” -> Press Enter)
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers
  • Under that path there will be a key called Version-3
  • Go into Version-3 and delete all of the values.

After above is followed;

  • Please open Command Prompt (CMD)  as an Administrator
  • Open CMD as an Administrator
  • Search for CMD in the start menu
  • Right-click cmd.exe and click “Run as administrator”
  • Type the command: net stop spooler
  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\printers\ and delete all the files inside.
  • Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\x64\3 and delete all the files and folders inside of there as well. Also, check if there are any locked files. Please unlock them and then delete them
  • Restart the printer spooler by typing this command into CMD: net start spooler

The next phase is important. If you skip it, your printer might spew out a ton of paper with random scriblings on it due to not having a working driver installed

  • You have to open the “Devices and Printers” windows, wait a few seconds until it has properly initialized and started up(right-click -> refresh)
  • Remove all your printers by right-clicking and choosing “Remove device”, then re-add them with the “Add a device” button
  • Your printer should now be working correctly again

If any of above fails, last solution you can try is to completely disable client side rendering. This can be done by following below steps

  • On the workstation, open up the printer properties and select the sharing tab
  • Deselect the “Render print job on client computers” by removing the check-mark
  • This solution works with some operating systems and setups but not all
  • Also, you can try restarting the services and check if error remains. You can simply go to start and type services.msc. Look for print spooler service and restart the same. This mostly solves the printing errors. You should close all pending printing options first before performing this procedure. This will not cause any interference and unexpected service terminations 

Troubleshooting Tool May Also Help solving Splwow64.exe

This must be kept as the last option because installing or downloading any tool from internet or online may harm your machine in any way. There can be number of reasons for that like tool may be corrupted or it may have any viruses etc. Moreover, it might be possible if website is not authentic or any source from where the tool is downloaded or installed. 

The most famous of all troubleshooting tools is Goliath tool. The tools are specifically designed for solving splwow64.exe printing errors.

  • The software automatically searches and looks for perfect error solutions and retrieve failure points for the same when deployed. Best artificial  intelligence integrated  within the software provides users with alerts, regular reports, and self-healing possibilities for them to troubleshoot end user issues


  • Software works out of the box and monitors all errors related to slowow64.exe processes. If it finds any memory consumption at higher thresholds, alerts are generated by the application immediately.  Users can also configure self-healing within the application, which effectively kills those processes  causing memory leaks without impacting any users
  • The software is programmed and configured automatically to solve load related issues by taking a full control of servers and making them offline. It also has capability to restart the processes causing problems when any load conditions arise


EXE files and their extensions are known to be potentially dangerous ones just because they can have some harmful codes to execute arbitrary comments or to make some registry entries. EXE files are programs, which can do anything anytime and can infect machine in anyways. Normally, none of the programs including outlook and email programs accept them as attachment too even if they are legitimate.

The same applies here to splwow64.exe where you need to check either the file is legitimate or a potential dangerous one If it is a legal one, it must be a system file, which is mandatory for OS working but if it will be suspicious, it will start creating differences in machine working immediately after clicking. Numerous hackers make use of such infectious EXE files to hack systems and steal private data.

It would be best if you can perfectly scan your PC for all malwares and keep the anti0virus updated. This will not only save your time and efforts but also protect your data from any harmful interference. Last but not the least;   solutions for the error are presented and these are not limited; you can try any other too if you know already. This all depends on the nature of error and the environment in which the same has taken place.