Windows 7 services unexpectedly started in Manual mode

bbao used Ask the Experts™
hi Windows 7 folks

as i intend to load run a few large virtual machines on my Windows 7 laptop with only 4 GB memory, i am trying to optimise Windows by stopping those unnecessary Windows services to free up more memory. by default, Windows 7 occupies 1.5 GB memory after a restart, before loading any other applications. in the XP age on the same computer, only less than 400 MB memory was used, accordingly.

i notice that some Windows services, as listed below, are still started even i have changed their Start Type to Manual.

* Application Experience
* Background Intelligent Transfer Service
* Server
* SSDP Discovery
* TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

as shown in the Dependencies tab of these services' Properties, there are no loaded system components depending on these services. moreover, it seems neither item listed under the Startup options of MSCONFIG is associated with these services. therefore, i am curious about how these services are started.

FYI - all started services are listed in the Code section.

any clues? thanks in advance.

These Windows services are started:

   ActivIdentity Shared Store Service
   Andrea ADI Filters Service
   Background Intelligent Transfer Service
   Base Filtering Engine
   Bluetooth Support Service
   Certificate Propagation
   CNG Key Isolation
   COM+ Event System
   Cryptographic Services
   DCOM Server Process Launcher
   Desktop Window Manager Session Manager
   DHCP Client
   DNS Client
   Extensible Authentication Protocol
   Forefront Identity Manager Password Reset Client Service
   Group Policy Client
   Health Key and Certificate Management
   HP Service
   HPCA MSI Redirector
   HPCA Notify Daemon
   HPCA Scheduler Daemon
   IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
   Intel(R) Matrix Storage Event Monitor
   IPsec Policy Agent
   Multimedia Class Scheduler
   Net Driver HPZ12
   Network Access Protection Agent
   Network Connections
   Network List Service
   Network Location Awareness
   Network Store Interface Service
   Plug and Play
   Pml Driver HPZ12
   Print Spooler
   Program Compatibility Assistant Service
   Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
   RPC Endpoint Mapper
   SafeBoot Client Manager
   Security Accounts Manager
   Security Center
   Shell Hardware Detection
   Smart Card
   SSDP Discovery
   System Event Notification Service
   Task Scheduler
   TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
   User Profile Service
   VMware Authorization Service
   VMware DHCP Service
   VMware NAT Service
   VMware USB Arbitration Service
   Windows Audio
   Windows Audio Endpoint Builder
   Windows Defender
   Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework
   Windows Event Log
   Windows Firewall
   Windows Font Cache Service
   Windows Management Instrumentation
   Windows Search
   Windows Time
   WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service
   WLAN AutoConfig
   WWAN AutoConfig

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Some very informative info from

* Application Experience
* Background Intelligent Transfer Service
* Server
* SSDP Discovery
* TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

As you can see these services will start themselves when you try and do something that requires them such as launching a new app, running Windows Update, sharing a resource and browsing a shared resource.

I have a very extensive script intended for you to manage this exact type of thing.

It is called WinServicesOptimizer.  You can use it as an overall optimization script as you are asking AND you can use it as a "temporary services adjustment" for running items like VMWare.  For instance, you can keep the many (up to 5 now?) VMware services shutdown when you're not using it and have them startup RIGHT AS you are about to use it.  You could also shutdown other services for while you are running VMWare.

You can combine it with the excellent knowledge base at on what services can be disabled for purposes of optimization.

Here is the script:

Here is BlackViper's service configuration guide for windows 7:

Here is the overview of the optimization script:

Optimize real machines - make real machines run faster.
Initial computer build / existing machines - this script works equally well to prepare a machine for imaging, to be run during first boot or to be run on existing machines.
Optimize virtual machines - virtual machines - especially those used for testing - can be significantly optimized by shutting down unneeded services.
Home Computers - home machines can be especially burdened with extra services intended to be used in corporate environments for managing many things not present in a home network.
Services On Demand - turn off or pause unnecessary services when running intensive applications like games. For application specific services, leave them turned off and only turn them on when the software is in use (sample script included).
System Hardening - create service profiles that disable unneeded services for better system security.
Detecting New Services - on a regular basis or after a software install.

Significant Features:

Full Featured - most scripts that perform services optimization focus on disabling services (not setting to ANY mode) and generally do not account for being able to undo changes and have multiple configuration files for different purposes.
Manages both Service Run States and Startup Modes - any specific run of the script can change either or both of these attributes for some or all of your services. This makes it useful for applications such as service startup modes for system optimization or for temporary service disablement (e.g. to play intensive games) or to leave application specific services off until they are actually needed (run script to startup services => start app => app ends => run script to shutdown services)
Convert Reg Files - how to document describing very simple procedure to convert registry files to Service Profiles.
Multiple Configuration Files - examples "XPSP3_memoryoptimized", "XPSP3_VM_minimal", "XPSP3_defaults", "MyServicesBeforeChanges"
Unlimited Undo - serialized undo files are produced with each run of the script. The most recent is available with a simple command line switch.
Save Existing Service Configuration - for building custom templates, to return to a known state or to save service changes made manually in control panel.
CSV Configuration File Format - easy to edit and compare. Same data fields that would be output by any WMI call.
Only Managed What You Need To - simply remove services from the configuration file if you aren't managing them or if certain ones should never be disabled or reconfigured.
Easy of Use - uses full service names from control panel to avoid need to constantly lookup a service's registry name.
UAC Prompt Handling - If you accidentally run the script without first having admin rights, it automatically prompts for UAC and relaunches itself. Can be disabled for non-interactive runs using "-nouacprompting" which causes the script to generate an error if it does not have admin rights.
Commenting Files - Configuration files can have comments via records that contain a non valid start mode or run state.
Quick - use of database objects to read services configuration files allows a single control pass over all services to configure the entire set.
Logging -basic and verbose logging tell what services were changed, what ones could not be changed (and the full text error message) and what ones were discovered on the machine that were not in the configuration file. To generate a log file, redirect the script output to a file.
Command Line Switch Validation - validate command line and produce useful error messages.
Integrated Help - use "/?" or "/help" to receive help.
Included Services Configuration Samples:

Services On Demand Scripts - VMWare Workstation 6 - a) UAC elevation (if needed), b) start 3 VMware services and c) then start VMWare, d) shuts the services down when you are done using VMWare.
bbaoIT Consultant


Wow, that script tool-kit looks brilliant... anyway, i notice it is for XP *only* and i am running W7, which has a number of totally *new* services that do not exist on XP at all...

however, the BlackViper's service configuration guide, which was also suggested by lamaslany, is a great help.

any specific tool (or the CSV file for W7) could be available??

thanks again,
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bbaoIT Consultant


An update - after configuring the services as per BlackViper's guide, the following services are now NOT started after system restart.

* Health Key and Certificate Management
* Network Access Protection Agent
* Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework
* Windows Defender

however, the following services are still started regardless its Start Type in Manual.

* Application Experience
* Background Intelligent Transfer Service
* Program Compatibility Assistant Service
* Shell Hardware Detection
* SSDP Discovery
* TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
* WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service

some of the above services do have dependencies listed in their services properties, but the depended services are not loaded, therefore, theoretically, they should not be started due to the given dependencies.

any clues on why these Windows services are always automatically loaded??

Top Expert 2013

bbao--"Manual" ( as opposed to "Automatic") means that Windows will not start these Services at boot.  But they will be started when an application that requires the service to perform is started.  Such an application does not have to be another Service, which would appear in Dependencies). And that may be started either Automatically or by you at boot.  
You would have to set the Service at "Disabled" to not have it start at all.
bbaoIT Consultant


hi jcimarron,

thanks for the comments. the point is that, i would like to know which applications/components start those services, as i am currently not aware of this, hence i don't know the impacts of simply disabling those services, if any.
The links provided do actually state the conditions under which they are started.

For example: Application Experience is automatically run when Windows starts but stops if it is not needed.  If you try to install an application or run it for the first time the service is started again, does what it needs to do, and then after a period of inactivity it stops itself again.
I wrote the win services optimizer and it is not "XP only" - let me know where you saw that an I will make sure I update it.

bbaoIT Consultant


thanks heaps for your valuable comments.

it's a shame that i only have 500 points to give though you all should be awarded 500 points, individually.

@CSI-Windows, as for your Services Optimizer, i am aware that it may support W7 services by customising the CSV files, but as an end user, i do expect a W7 specific CSV file could be directly available... thanks for your support.

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