Need a List of the Microsoft Windows Services that are absolutely necessary for Window PC start up, and list of those that are optional

Posted on 2015-02-14
Last Modified: 2015-06-06
Trying to configure a minimum necessary list of services, which allow me start a Windows PC  WITH Internet and browser.  But always worried about accidentally turned off something that are must and cripple the machine. Can anyone provide a compete up to date list of Miscrosoft Window Services with descriptions, so I can use it when I configure the startup processes.

I computer was running extremely slow a while ago, and I boldly turned off some services follow some advices from internet. It got significantly faster I am excited! And I  wonder how can I make it even faster and keep the changes.


Question by:zzhang2006
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 40610447

Note his comments carefully and use his recommendations carefully as well.  Remember what works for him doesn't mean it will work for you.

Accepted Solution

Christopher Jay Wolff earned 500 total points
ID: 40610480
Here is a place to start at the beginning if it helps.  It explains how services work and the two types, and has links to much more about services.

As far as above posted link from dbrunton, I'm not quite sure why he says all services are global so affects all "users" for 8.1 which I'm running.  I fixed a recent issue with NAPA service which needed the user set to NETWORK SERVICE or it wouldn't run because other services associated with svchost.exe were running with that user.  If you open Task Manager with CNTL+ALT+DEL, and click on the services tab you can see your services running or not.  If you right click on a service and then click "go to details" it will show the process name and ID associated with that service.  Then when you right click on that PID to "go to services" it will take you back to services but this time will show you which services are using that same PID by highlighting multiple services that use that PID which should include the one you started with.  Also, some services are dependent on other services.  This is found out in Microsoft Management Console which in 8.1 I can get to at the bottom of Task Manager with a link that says "Open Services."  Then once in MMC you just select the extended tab (in 8.1) and select a service to get a description of what it does to decide what you're going to do.  Also, if you right click and select properties, you can see the path to executable and dependencies.

I wouldn't recommend messing too much with this.  Maybe you could share your end goal rather than just wanting to eliminate ones you don't want.  Why do this if it is complicated and risky?  Maybe it's worth it.

Also, you requested a complete up-to-date list but it depends on what version of Windows you're asking about.

Expert Comment

by:Eugen Dik
ID: 40610529
Best, fastest and easiest way would be this(For windows 7 and older):

1. Press the "Windows Button" together with "R"
2. A window with search bar opens up. Type in "msconfig"
3. Go to the "Startup" tab and disable all
4. Go to the "Services" tab and check "Hide all Microsoft Services", and now disable all.
5. Click OK and restart your computer

Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40610920
That's true for 8.1 too.  Should know "Hide all Microsoft Services" means you're only displaying third-party services before disabling all.  And that "disable all" leaves enough running to do a minimal boot.  This detail and more helpful info for msconfig is here below.  Please note warnings.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 40610941
There is a portable app that takes all the guess work out of it called startuplite, it is a free app you can run to turn off things that do not need to be running in the background. (a portable app is one that does not install the application in order to run it). The app is put out by Malwarebytes and can be downloaded from here:

Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40610956
That's probably good news!!

A further clarification on the above.  If you launch msconfig and "Hide all Microsoft Services" then I believe those will keep running, which on my system is about 140 or more.  If I don't Hide first I can even close down some of the Microsoft services, but it is risky.

If using my individual method from above and have Services open in MMC, you can notice that the services like "File History" and the service "Optimize Drives" show no dependencies on them in the properties window so you could stop them.  I believe this would not occur if you "Hide all Microsoft Services" first.

Author Comment

ID: 40617708
Eugen and Christopher seem to have the answer I want and it's safe. But one thing I still not quite understand is that if all of the Microsoft Services are necessary. In other words, I would prefer stop some of the Microsoft Service as well.  Can anyone compile a lists of CRUCIAL Microsoft Services, without any from which  the PC won't function at all? Then I could consider the rest of Microsoft Services, no matter how useful, are ENHANCEMENT, in nature, and disable all of the ENHANCEMENT services first without any risk.  And I can always turn some of them back on, if I really understand want they do and feel need them.


Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40617871
Hi again.
Here are a couple places to start.  There is a short description of why you might not need it.  It would be very time consuming for me to go through each of 140 or more services to decide which are not needed to browse.  These fellows have already done much of this, but I'm not sure if they are too old for your needs.  Please read the entire discussion thread at the bottom of Jason's post.

You may also want to look at your Windows Features that you could turn off in the Programs and Features Control Panel.

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More than 75% of all records are compromised because of the loss or theft of a privileged credential. Experts have been exploring Active Directory infrastructure to identify key threats and establish best practices for keeping data safe. Attend this month’s webinar to learn more.

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