Welcome to the Services Utility. This page contains most Windows services; their expected platforms, their default and desired startup types, and clicking on them gives you a very complete explanation of them. This utility contains a great amount of information for Windows services, and is able to be searched from the search box at the bottom. If you are unsure what services are or want more information on Windows services in general then please read my Windows Components guide on services. If you want to know the meaning of the columns and the color codings or if you want to know how to use the search box properly or for other explanations on how to use this page then please see the services legend / reference.
If you find any mistakes or if you think I should add additional information then please let me know. Visit the Contact Information page for instructions on contacting me.
Service: A feature of Windows that runs in the background to accomplish a specific task. Traditionally this was a complete product such as a web server, but in Windows the services are modular components that work seamlessly in the background to provide features such as networking capabilities or just act to as a supplement to other programs.
Daemon: This is the name that Unix based operating systems call services. It's a Greek word that means "an attendant power or spirit". However, it was given this name because of what the word means in English, and the Greek meaning just provided a serious tone to a joke.
Display Name: The name that Windows externally identifies the service as. This could also be considered a short description.
Short Name: The true name of the service, which Windows uses internally to address the service.
Operating Systems: This column defines whether a service exists for a particular operating system. If an OS logo is gray then that service is not native to that operating system. If an OS logo is purple then it is native to that operating system. However, it should be noted that many services are from third parties and as such aren't native to any operating system. Also, some operating systems do not install the services by default, but these are still considered native. NT4/W represents Windows NT4 Workstation and NT4/S represents NT4 Server, 2K/P represents Windows 2000 Professional and 2K/S represents the Windows 2000 Server family, XP/HP represents Windows XP Home and Professional and 2K3/S represents the Windows Server 2003 family, and LH/H represents the alpha of Windows Longhorn 4074 as a home edition and LH/S represents a theoretical server version of Longhorn.
Description: This is the description that was written by the author of the service. In the case of system services these are the words from Microsoft.
Executable: The executable is the program file that is run when this service is called. Many services use svchost.exe as a wrapper for a DLL, which I define as the library.
Library: Defines the associated library if there is one. Services that use a wrapper, such as svchost.exe or services.exe, will use a library.
Dependencies: This is a list of services that this service relies upon to function.
Supports: This is a list of services that depend on this service.
Explanation: This is my explanation of what the service is and does. I will usually start with a complicated explanation and then say it in more generic terms, followed by my recommendations for the service.
Startup Type: This contains the default and recommended modes of execution.
Automatic (color green): The state in which a service, represented by the color green, executes automatically on the boot of the operating system.
Manual (color yellow): A manual service, represented by the color yellow, is a service that is waiting to be used. It does not consume memory or CPU cycles, but if another program needs the functionality it provides then it will start when asked to. In some cases manual services will terminate once they have completed their queued requests.
Disabled (color red): A service that cannot be started manually or automatically if it is disabled is represented by the color red. In order to start a disabled service it must be set to manual or automatic first. If a service is disabled while it is running then it will not automatically stop.
Default (letter D): The default startup type represents the state in which services come without user intervention. This could also be considered the safe configuration because it is what Microsoft and 3rd parties recommend their services to be set to.
Home (letter H): These are the service startup settings that I suggest for the typical home user. These reduce the number of insecure services, but aren't radical enough that they should break compatability with anything.
Workstation (letter W): For a workstation machine I would recommend using these startup types. I define a workstation as a computer that operates on a corporate network so it involves a good deal of interaction with a server. As such the startup types could vary from network to network so it is important you read the details on the services you alter.
Server (letter S): A server configuration means that the system is designed for use as a provider for Internet/Intranet functions; such as a web (HTTP) server, an FTP server, a telnet server, domain (active directory) serving, etc. If you are running a server then it is very important that you understand which servers to disable and which not to.
Tweaked (letter T): This represents the suggested state for a power user. You should only use this as a baseline, and then enable services that you need.
Minimal (letter M): This defines which services are required for system boot and which are not, so this represents the lowest level to which you can set the service. Therefore, if it is green then it must be set to automatic, if it is yellow then it must be at least set to manual and if it is red then it can be safely disabled. Setting the service to anything below the minimum setting will compromise the integrity of the system.
Autostart (letter A): Services that execute automatically on boot are placed in this group. A green letter "A" indicates the service autostarts, and a red letter "A" indicates that it does not. This does not indicate if the service will autostart under other circumstances, but just that it does under a typical boot.
Search Box (Filter): The search box can be used to filter services that contain or do not contain specific text or a phrase of text. Typical words entered into the search box use the boolean AND. This means if you search for " corporate network " it will filter and display all services that contain both the words " corporate " and " network " in their default description, in my expanation, in their library, in their executable, in their name or in their display name. However, you may want to search for all services that contain the word network, but not the word corporate. This can be done with the - (minus) symbol. In this case you would search for " -corporate network " and all the services that contain network, but not corporate, will be displayed. It should be noted that the + (plus) symbol can be used to represent that you wanted it included, but since that's the default behavior it is unnecessary. Also you may want to search for phrases. So instead of just looking for the words corporate and network, what if you want them as a phrase instead of two words in the same description? Well, you could use the " (quote) symbol which can be used to enclose phrases. In this example you could look for " "corporate network" " and only the phrase will be displayed. It should be noted that + and - work on quotes too so you could search for " -"corporate network" " as well and it would exclude that from the filtered list. And you should keep in mind that you can have some words included, some excluded, some phrases included and some phrases excluded and it will filter properly. So, you don't need to stick to a single search mechanism.