Windows services management

2007/03/25 by Lassi A. Liikkanen

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Controlling Windows Services

Windows services a group of programs running on your Windows' background. They are more often invisible to the user, but they are vital for the computer's performance and normal function. However, the opportunity of services to cloak behind the normal user interface has made them popular target for producers of malware, spyware, trojan and such annoyances. Runningn unnecessary services also slows down your computer and may have more security risks. This guide provides a rough look how to control services, but you'll need to consult a third-party list to identify your own services and their necessity (see references). To apply the tips in this guide, you must have Administrative privileges and you should backup your system before you do any changes, so you won't hack yourself out of your PC.

List your services

The normal tool for controlling services is simply called Services, found in Administrative services. The easier way to launch is to Run... (Win+R) services.msc. From the command line (Run... CMD.EXE, you can use the sc tool, which can directly control services.

Also, from the command prompt, you can run SC QUERY state= all | findstr "DISPLAY_NAME" which will do the same and show all installed services. To show running services, run net start.

Start, ReStart, Stop or Disable services

You can use Services tool to do this. Double-click on an item and select the desired action. If you know the name of the service, you can use command line tools. net start "SERVICE'S NAME" starts and net stop "SERVICE'S NAME" stops. If you combine commands to a batch you can start and stop several services at once, for instance, before running a resource intensive game or such.

Delete a service

To remove a service completely, you should use the command line utility sc and give the command sc delete "SERVICE'S NAME".'''

Alternatively, you can edit the registry directly or use a third-party utility. Using regedit find the service's name under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services and delete the branch. If this doesn't seem to work, as maybe with some spyware, you must first change the privileges: right click on the item and select Permissions and grant Administrator full control over the item.


Related content:
How Windows 7 restore really works, 2014/04/26

Instructions for creating bootable Windows 7 recovery environment on a USB flash device, 2014/03/30

Disabling background software installations and upgrades in Windows, 2013/03/03

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Keywords: [windows] , [computers] Document's status: Ok (Document dates explained)

This document created: 2007/03/25
Modified: 2007/03/25
Published: 2007/03/25

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