Splwow64.exe error (The program cant start because dll is missing from your computer)



I do not know how many of you have ever encountered this error.  I’ve started facing this error quite frequently. This started happening when we had installed Xerox Workcentre 5890 machines in our office. The driver of this machine has been causing some issues on some of the 32 bit workstations. I guess this happens to some other drivers too ( I mean of other manufacturers). But as always there is a solution to every technical issue.

Please follow the steps below to sort out the issue:

  1. Click Start and type in regedit and press Enter. Alternatively press Windows button and R key at the same time and this opens the Run command. Type in regedit and press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers
  3. When we expand the Drivers key, we should find the key Version-3.
  4. The sub-keys after this should contain the printer driver configuration information. Delete all the sub-keys that comes under it. At least delete the key that contains the name of the Printer model that is causing issues.
  5. Press Windows button and R key and press Enter. Type in “cmd” and press enter. This would open the command prompt window.
  6. Type in the command net stop spooler . Please note that this is equal to going to Service from Control Panel and stopping the print spooler service.
  7. Navigate to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\printers\” and delete files in this folder, if there are any. Normally you might not find files in there, but if there are any, delete them. The folder is so significant because this is where the print spooler stores print files.
  8. Navigate to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\x64\3” and delete all the files and sub-folders in here.
  9. Go to the command prompt window again and type in the command net start spooler or just right click on Print Spooler and press Start.

This should solve the issue once and for all.


13 thoughts on “Splwow64.exe error (The program cant start because dll is missing from your computer)

  1. On step 5 “cmd” type “net stop spooler” got response “System Error 5 has occurred. Access is Denied. On Step 8, Navigate to C:Windows\etc., response “This action cannot be completed because the File is open on Epson Status Monitor 3”. What to do PLEASE.

    • Hi Mel,

      I would like to know which windows platform you are using? Try running the “cmd” as Administrator for step 5. From Windows Vista until Windows 8.1 you will find the option “Run as Administrator” as you right click on any exe file. Alternatively you may also open services as Administrator and stop the Print Spooler services. Step 8 will not work until you stop the Print Spooler services.

      Hope this helps.

  2. This happens to me every once in a while after a Windows update. I always come back to here, follow the instructions, and it fixes it each time.

    BTW – you do have to install the printer(s) again after you do this. But that’s no surprise.

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