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Changing the Default Printer Spool Directory (Windows NT/2000/XP)

Windows uses the hard drive to store information before sending it to a printer. If the system is acting as a print server it is possible that the default location may cause insufficient disk space.

This tweak can be easily applied using WinGuides Tweak Manager.
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Create a new directory to act as the Printer spool directory.

Open your registry and find the key below.

Change the value of 'DefaultSpoolDirectory" to equal the full path of the newly created directory.

Restart Windows or stop and start the 'Spooler' service.

The default directory is: %SystemRoot%\system32\spool\PRINTERS

To change the spool directory for a specific printer only, find the sub-key under the key below that corresponds to the printer required. Modify the value of 'SpoolDirectory' to equal the directory you want to use.

Note: This directory must be created manually, if the it does not exist Windows will use the default.

Registry Editor Example
Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers]
Value Name: DefaultSpoolDirectory
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Full path to printer spool directory

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Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.

Last modified: March 26, 2002