Disabling and reenabling Print Spooler to mitigating against PrintNightmare

There are two ways to stop the PrintNightmare. One is disabling the Print Spooler. This will prevent any printing from happening. This solution is best for computers that do not have a printer connected. If you do have a printer connected to the PC, disabling can be a pain as you will have to enable the spooler every time you want to print and then disable when you are finished. In this case it is best to disable Client Connections for the print spooler. This will disable the ability to print over a network.

(Click here to jump to disabling the Client Connections)

To disable the Print Spooler, use these steps:

  1. Search in Windows search for Services
  2. Scroll down the list of Services till you see one titled Print Spooler (double click it)
  3. In the Service status click the Stop button and in the Startup type select Disable to prevent the Print Spooler from starting up at Windows Startup

To disable the Print Spooler client connections with Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Search in Windows search for Group Policies
  2. Browse the following path:Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Printers
  3. On the right side, double-click the Allow Print Spooler to accept client connections: policy.
  4. Select the Disabled option.
  5. Click the Apply button
  6. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, disabling the external network connections will prevent the vulnerability from being exploited. If you have Windows 10 configured as a printer server, users will no longer be able to print, but the printer directly connected to the device will continue to work.

While we are focusing this guide on Windows 10, these steps should also work for the previous version of the OS.