Windows XP Services

Operating System : Windows XP Professional & Home Edition

IMPORTANT NOTE:

  • Do NOT use "msconfig" to disable services, type "services.msc" in the Run box instead!
  • Before
    doing any changes, take the back up of your registry and save it on
    some external drive because if anything goes wrong then you can use it
    to restore the default settings.
  • After adjusting your service settings, reboot your computer.

Alerter

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description
– Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts. If
the service is stopped, programs that use administrative alerts will
not receive them. If this service is disabled, any services that
explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Good for big brother corporate networks. Home PCs do not need to send/receive administrative alerts.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Application Layer Gateway Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides support for 3rd party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing and the Internet Connection Firewall

Human Description
– Good if the system is a gateway/client on a NAT LAN, also (attempts
to) protect nasty script kiddies from turning you and your friends’
computers into their pawns in the quest for world domination. XP’s
Firewall is about as useful as a chocolate Teapot. Disable this service
unless you are on a home LAN and use Microsoft’s Internet Connection
Sharing.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Application Management

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides software installation services such as Assign, Publish, and Remove.

Human Description – Does exactly what it says on the tin.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Automatic Updates

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description
– Enables the download and installation of critical Windows updates. If
the service is disabled, the operating system can be manually updated
at the Windows Update Web site.

Human Description – Allows Windows XP free reign to contact the Microsoft servers and download a whole host of "critical" updates.

Most likely Windows XP will attempt this every time you are furiously
playing Counter-Strike or Q3, then suddenly you wonder why you can’t
hit a barn-door from 5 paces as your ping rockets to 500ms+. No thanks
Bill, think I can connect to Windows Update by myself…

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Background Intelligent Transfer Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Uses idle network bandwidth to transfer data.

Human Description
– A sneaky way of doing Automatic Updates – Windows XP will judge
whether you are using your bandwidth or just sat there motionless
looking at your screen. If not it will happily download away.

If you’re sat there idling and your modem is going bonkers downloading
a host of information, the scaremongery of today will trigger a switch
in your head that convinces yourself that you are being used for above
said script kiddies’ plans to turn your system into a mindless zealot
for world conquest. No thanks, and besides, automatic services will
quash those extra 2fps in quake 3.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

CLIP BOOK

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description
– Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote
computers. If the service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able
to share information with remote computers. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Another "exactly what it says on the tin"

Why do you want to share your random cut’n’pastes with your fellow LAN
chums? Or someone who is half way around the world? If you feel this is
an important contribution to your life leave it on Manual. Otherwise
kill that resource eating service!

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

COM+ Event System

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description
– Supports System Event Notification Service (SENS), which provides
automatic distribution of events to subscribing Component Object Model
(COM) components. If the service is stopped, SENS will close and will
not be able to provide logon and logoff notifications. If this service
is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to
start.

Human Description – Kind of like a communication method between different modules in Windows. Used basically for 16 bit programs that require it.

Best leaving this to its default value of "Manual" as it is needed.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

COM+ System Application

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages the configuration and tracking of
Component Object Model (COM)+-based components. If the service is
stopped, most COM+-based components will not function properly. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will
fail to start.

Human Description – If COM+ Event System is the car then this service is the driver

Best leaving this to its default value of "Manual" as it is needed.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Computer Browser

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Maintains an updated list of computers on the
network and supplies this list to computers designated as browsers. If
this service is stopped, this list will not be updated or maintained.
If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it
will fail to start.

Human Description – Like it says, needed to keep tracks of computers on your network.

If you’re on a LAN, leave it to manual, if you’re a standalone system then disable it.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Cryptographic Services


DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides three management services: Catalog
Database Service, which confirms the signatures of Windows files;
Protected Root Service, which adds and removes Trusted Root
Certification Authority certificates from this computer; and Key
Service, which helps enroll this computer for certificates. If this
service is stopped, these management services will not function
properly. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly
depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Among other things, this service authenticates WHQL drivers (i.e. for graphics cards)

I would personally set this to manual. If it’s then needed, it starts.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

DHCP Client

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages network configuration by registering and updating IP addresses and DNS names.

Human Description – Under Windows managed networks DCHP is useful in assigning IP/DNS addresses.

I would personally set this to manual. If it’s then needed, it starts.
NOTE: Some users had problems with connecting to the net, if set to manual. If you are having any such problems,
then please set it to Automatic.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Distributed Link Tracking Client

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network domain.

Human Description – Good for (e.g.) databases that rely on networked files for updating.

Do you share files that lots of people work on? Do you even use NTFS as a home user?

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Distributed Transaction Coordinator

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Coordinates transactions that span multiple
resource managers, such as databases, message queues, and file systems.
If this service is stopped, these transactions will not occur. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will
fail to start.

Human Description – Related to Distributed Link Tracking Client

The service sounds like a job title for a pointless middle manager
somewhere. For home users it’s the same story for our Distributed
Transaction Coordinator; going nowhere fast.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

DNS Client

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Resolves and caches Domain Name System (DNS)
names for this computer. If this service is stopped, this computer will
not be able to resolve DNS names and locate Active Directory domain
controllers. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly
depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Best leave this one automatic.

Actually it can be turned off. It just provides a caching DNS server
locally to your PC. It can cause problems if you are using Dynamic,
Round Robin, or any type of load balanced DNS upstream. I recommend you
turn it off. Your PC will then always go upstream to do DNS rather than
look in its own cache.

NOTE: In case you are having problems connecting to the net, turn this service back to Automatic.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Error Reporting Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Allows error reporting for services and applictions running in non-standard environments.

Human Description – When something crashes (quite frequently) and
Windows pops up and advises you to tell Microsoft all about it, that is
the fruit of this service’s loins

One of my pet hates, If something crashes I will scream at the monitor
and stamp my feet as I please; I don’t need to tell Microsoft that I’m
doing it.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Event Log

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables event log messages issued by
Windows-based programs and components to be viewed in Event Viewer.
This service cannot be stopped.

Human Description – Exactly what it says on the tin

Can’t stop it, fair enough, but we can disable it muhahahahaha…
unless of course you actually want to read that Internet Explorer
caused a fatal exception in blah blah blah…

(For Multiple Users – Manual)

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Fast User Switching Compatibility

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides management for applications that require assistance in a multiple user environment.

Human Description – For home users this functions as "switch user" when the logoff option is used.

(For single user setup – Disabled)

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Help and Support

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables Help and Support Center to run on this
computer. If this service is stopped, Help and Support Center will be
unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly
depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Description is self-explanitory

I never use this as I suspect 90% of the people reading this don’t either.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Human Interface Device Access

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables generic input access to Human Interface
Devices (HID), which activates and maintains the use of predefined hot
buttons on keyboards, remote controls, and other multimedia devices. If
this service is stopped, hot buttons controlled by this service will no
longer function. If this service is disabled, any services that
explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – If you have one of those fancy keyboards or other
peripherals mentioned above then this allows you to use them in Windows.

I dream of fancy keyboards and remote controls, but at least I can disable this service (Obviously don’t if you are fancy)

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: DISABLED

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages CD recording using Image Mastering
Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI). If this service is stopped,
this computer will be unable to record CDs. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Controls the in-built CD-burning software in XP

If you don’t use the in-built software then disable the service.
Incidentally disabling this makes NERO Burning ROM open quicker.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Indexing Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Indexes contents and properties of files on
local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through
flexible querying language.

Human Description – Works like an advanced search feature. This can search through files and index keywords for rapid searching.

Thanks, but no thanks. If I want to search I will use the "dog feature".

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Internet Connection Firewall/SHARING

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides network address translation,
addressing, name resolution and/or intrusion prevention services for a
home or small office network.

Human Description – Related to Application Layer Gateway Service

Set this to the same as Application Layer Gateway Service

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


IPSEC Services

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP security driver.

Human Description – Authenticates hosts before transfer of data, Encryption of IP traffic, Prevention of reply attacks

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


IPv6 Internet Connection Firewall

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides intrusion prevention service for a home or small office network.

Human Description – Useful in case you have a network and connected to the net, and you dont have any other firewall

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Logical Disk Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Detects and monitors new hard disk drives and
sends disk volume information to Logical Disk Manager Administrative
Service for configuration. If this service is stopped, dynamic disk
status and configuration information may become out of date. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will
fail to start.

Human Description – Updates records to do with hard disk volumes.

Leaving something to download overnight only to return and find you
didn’t have enough space? I’m sure you will slap your head and think to
yourself, "Why did I disable the Logical Disk Manager?".

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Configures hard disk drives and volumes. The
service only runs for configuration processes and then stops.

Human Description – Related to Logical Disk Manager

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Messenger

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Transmits net send and Alerter service messages
between clients and servers. This service is not related to Windows
Messenger. If this service is stopped, Alerter messages will not be
transmitted. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly
depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Allows network administrators the ability to pop a little prompt on your screen with information.
Although hilarious for the first 25 seconds in forcing your
non-computer literate friends to think their machine has been hacked
into this service is pretty much pointless.

Incidentally the command to pop-up a prompt on someones screen is "net
send [computername] I know where you live" (or some other intimidating
message). Enjoy your 25 seconds of fun…

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

MS Software Shadow Copy Provider

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages software-based volume shadow copies
taken by the Volume Shadow Copy service. If this service is stopped,
software-based volume shadow copies cannot be managed. If this service
is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to
start.

Human Description – Like the man said, it allows shadow copying.

Set to disabled unless you want your shadow copy service to control your life.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Net Logon

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Supports pass-through authentication of account logon events for computers in a domain.

Human Description – Domain Authentication

If you’re a home user you probably won’t have a domain. Disable this service and free up that memory.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables an authorized user to access this
computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet. If
this service is stopped, remote desktop sharing will be unavailable. If
this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it
will fail to start.

Human Description – Why use the bloated netmeeting when VNC does it about 10 times faster and is free?

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Network DDE

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides network transport and security for
Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer
or on different computers. If this service is stopped, DDE transport
and security will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any
services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Makes use of programs that have the ability to use DDE.

More than likely you will never make use of this service. DDE functions are usually restricted to business applications.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Network DDE DSDM

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) network
shares. If this service is stopped, DDE network shares will be
unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly
depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Related to Network DDE

More than likely you will never make use of this service. DDE functions are usually restricted to business applications.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Network Location Awareness (NLA)

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Collects and stores network configuration and
location information, and notifies applications when this information
changes.

Human Description – Perhaps useful (although not critical) if you are
on a network as Windows will attempt to update the network lists with
events such as logon/logoff. If you are not on a network then disable
this service.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


NT LM Security Support Provider

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides security to remote procedure call (RPC) programs that use transports other than named pipes.

Human Description – Installation of some hardware requires usage of RPC.

Best leaving this setting to the default value of manual.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Performance Logs and Alerts

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Collects performance data from local or remote computers based on preconfigured schedule

Human Description – Hardly useful for a home PC now is it? Unless they
start assigning the equivalent of 3DMarks I doubt anyone is really
interested.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Plug and Play

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables a computer to recognize and adapt to
hardware changes with little or no user input. Stopping or disabling
this service will result in system instability.

Human Description – Commonly referred to as Plug’n’Play this service is perhaps one feature of Windows XP worth having.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Portable Media Serial Number

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player connected to your computer

Human Description – Quite possibly the most pointless and utterly
useless service known to human kind. Why memory is allocated to the
retrieval of a needless serial number from your MP3 player is beyond me
and I’m sure it’s a joke.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Print Spooler

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Loads files to memory for later printing.

Human Description – With the advent of greater than 500MHz machines I
doubt there will be much speed increase seen from loading files into
memory for printing.
However after disabling this my printer would not work so thumbs up to
MS for the vague description. Didn’t say it would stop you printing now
did it…?

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Protected Storage

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides protected storage for sensitive data,
such as private keys, to prevent access by unauthorized services,
processes, or users.

Human Description – Stop those 1337 h4X0)2 skr1p7 |<1dd135 knocking around with your files.

Trouble is, if they are already past your firewall you’ve had it
anyway. Leave on Manual just in case. Its also used by IE to store
passwords and Autocomplete. If you dont use IE, disable it.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


QoS RSVP

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides network signaling and local traffic
control setup functionality for QoS-aware programs and control applets.

Human Description – Quality Of Service – quite useful for services that use it

Used for network balancing and other nifty things to make "your
internet experience as wonderful as possible". Quite good then that
this service eats 25% of your bandwidth doing it and hardly anything
actually makes use of it.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Remote Access Auto Connection Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Creates a connection to a remote network
whenever a program references a remote DNS or NetBIOS name or address.

Human Description – Makes use of embedded links in programs such as Office, also is used in autodial functions

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Remote Access Connection Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Creates a network connection.

Human Description – Involved in dial-up. (Digital connections aswell)

Leave as Manual. It usually starts anyway.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Remote Desktop Help Session Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages and controls Remote Assistance. If this
service is stopped, Remote Assistance will be unavailable. Before
stopping this service, see the Dependencies tab of the Properties
dialog box.

Human Description – Allows incoming Remote Desktop connections.

If you don’t use this feature of Windows XP (Remote Desktop) then disable this service.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides the endpoint mapper and other miscellaneous RPC services.

Human Description – Needed for some installations nice vague Microsoft description. Leave as manual.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages the RPC name service database.

Human Description – Related to Remote Procedure Call (RPC) nice vague Microsoft description. Leave as manual.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Remote Registry

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables remote users to modify registry
settings on this computer. If this service is stopped, the registry can
be modified only by users on this computer. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Allow people to modify local registry settings via remote desktop or similar.

Possibly one of the biggest security holes that I am suprised nobody
has yet exploited. Allowing your registry to be edited remotely? Come
on….

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Removable Storage

DESCRIPTION:
Human Description – Zip Drives, USB pens etc…

May as well leave to manual.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Routing and Remote Access

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Offers routing services to businesses in local area and wide area network environments.

Human Description – used on business networks

Pointless for home users.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Secondary Logon

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables starting processes under alternate
credentials. If this service is stopped, this type of logon access will
be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that
explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – allow multiple users on one machine.

Most people I think actually make use of this feature.

(Single User Setup – Manual)

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Security Accounts Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Stores security information for local user accounts.

Human Description – Related to Secondary Logon

Leave on automatic.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Server

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Supports file, print, and named-pipe sharing
over the network for this computer. If this service is stopped, these
functions will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any
services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Supports file sharing and other basic LAN functions.

Used for sharing printers and files across Local Area Networks. If you’re not on a network you don’t need this.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Shell Hardware Detection

DESCRIPTION:
Human Description – Basically related to hardware detection and stuff..

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Smart Card

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages access to smart cards read by this
computer. If this service is stopped, this computer will be unable to
read smart cards. If this service is disabled, any services that
explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Allows reading of smart card media

If you don’t use smart media, disable this service.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Smart Card Helper

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables support for legacy non-plug and play
smart-card readers used by this computer. If this service is stopped,
this computer will not support legacy reader. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Related to Smart Card

If you don’t use smart media, disable this service.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


SSDP Discovery Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.

Human Description – UPnP = Universal Plug ‘n’ Play

Caters for such things as network printers etc… If you don’t have a LAN then disable this service.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


System Event Notification

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Tracks system events such as Windows logon,
network, and power events. Notifies COM+ Event System subscribers of
these events.

Human Description – (Example) Can notify programs such as Outlook when
an internet connection is established so that it can send its mail.

This service manages a lot of processes. Best to leave as default on automatic.

NOTE: This can be set to Manual too. Just test a little bit.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


System Restore Service

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Performs system restore functions. To stop
service, turn off System Restore from the System Restore tab in My
Computer->Properties

Human Description – Allows "rollback" to previous configurations in order to solve hardware/software problems.

Bit of a sticky one this. I personally disable this sevice as it uses a
lot of resources. It all depends on the individual user of course.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Task Scheduler

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables a user to configure and schedule
automated tasks on this computer. If this service is stopped, these
tasks will not be run at their scheduled times. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Depends again on the individual. Task Scheduler
uses a fair amount of resources. In case you want your anti-virus
program to update itself and to schedule automatic scans, then leave
this on. Also supposedly used for prefetching.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution.

Human Description – Helper for Internet traffic.

Unless your fascinated by the intrinsic features of TCP/IP then use
this feature. Or rather, go to a site that can give you more help.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Telephony

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for
programs that control telephony devices and IP based voice connections
on the local computer and, through the LAN, on servers that are also
running the service.

Human Description – Best leaving this as manual. Not too sure if this
covers modems etc.. as well but it starts when a connection is made to
the internet.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Telnet

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables a remote user to log on to this
computer and run programs, and supports various TCP/IP Telnet clients,
including UNIX-based and Windows-based computers. If this service is
stopped, remote user access to programs might be unavailable. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will
fail to start.

Human Description – Cough *Big Security Hole* Cough – this is well worth disabling to bounce those 13 year old hackers.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Terminal Services

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Allows multiple users to be connected
interactively to a machine as well as the display of desktops and
applications to remote computers. The underpinning of Remote Desktop
(including RD for Administrators), Fast User Switching, Remote
Assistance, and Terminal Server.

Human Description – Remote Desktop features.

If you disabled Remote Desktop earlier then do the same with this.

(For MultiUser Setup – Manual )

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Themes

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides user experience theme management.

Human Description – By default use either classic, Blue, Silver, or (nasty) Green themes in Windows XP

Most people use the themes so leave this automatic.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Uninterruptible Power Supply

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the computer.

Human Description – Most home users (unless you live in California) do not have UPS backups.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Universal Plug and Play Device Host

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides support to host Universal Plug and Play devices.

Human Description – DO NOT CONFUSE this with Plug and Play (PnP). This
is sort of a link with LANs and UPNP devices. Very few devices are
UPNP. UPNP also poses some security risks. I recommend that you disable
this service, if you are not a lan and dont have any UPNP devices.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Upload Manager

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages synchronous and asynchronous file
transfers between clients and servers on the network. If this service
is stopped, synchronous and asynchronous file transfers between clients
and servers on the network will not occur. If this service is disabled,
any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – By networks this also refers to the internet.

Unless you want to have problems sending and receiving traffic to and
from the internet it may be best to leave this on automatic. Some
people say that its used for LANs only. In case you are NOT on a LAN, I
recommend that you leave this one to Manual, after testing it ofcourse.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Volume Shadow Copy

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies
used for backup and other purposes. If this service is stopped, shadow
copies will be unavailable for backup and the backup may fail. If this
service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will
fail to start.

Human Description – Related to MS Software Shadow Copy Provider

Set the same as MS Software Shadow Copy Provider

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


WebClient

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Enables Windows-based programs to create,
access, and modify Internet-based files. If this service is stopped,
these functions will not be available. If this service is disabled, any
services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Fundamental to Windows function

Fundamental aspect of Windows. Can be set to Manual however, if you need those extra bits of ram

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Windows Audio

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Manages audio devices for Windows-based
programs. If this service is stopped, audio devices and effects will
not function properly. If this service is disabled, any services that
explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Fundamental to Windows function

Fundamental aspect of Windows. Leave automatic. (Unless you don’t have sound of course)

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides image acquisition services for scanners and cameras.

Human Description – In-built scanner and camera features.

If you don’t have a scanner/camera then disable this service. Also if
you use a 3rd party image acquisition program then disable this in any
case.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Windows Installer

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Installs, repairs and removes software according to instructions contained in .MSI files.


Human Description – Does as its said, but not required all the time.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Windows Management Instrumentation

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides a common interface and object model to
access management information about operating system, devices,
applications and services. If this service is stopped, most
Windows-based software will not function properly. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Obviously leave this to automatic.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides systems management information to and from drivers.

Human Description – Provides information to Windows Management Instrumentation

Leave as manual as this is needed for Windows Management Instrumentation.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL


Windows Time

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Maintains date and time synchronization on all
clients and servers in the network. If this service is stopped, date
and time synchronization will be unavailable. If this service is
disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Unless you are in dire need to have exactly the
same time as the administrator on your network this service can be
safely disabled.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


Windows Zero Configuration

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11 adapters

Human Description – Wireless networking auto-configuration

Why this is defaulted to automatic is beyond me. Wireless technology is
still relatively new so auto-configuration functions resident in memory
is pointless.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: DISABLED
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC


WMI Performance Adapter

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf providers.

Human Description – Provides information about your system to system components that require it.

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: MANUAL
DEFAULT: MANUAL

Workstation

DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft Description – Creates and maintains client network
connections to remote servers. If this service is stopped, these
connections will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any
services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Human Description – Leave as automatic. Needed by Windows to provide
functionality on the internet. But generally required if you are on a
network, also for Cable Net. If you arent on a network, set this to
Manual

SETTINGS:
RECOMMENDED: AUTOMATIC
DEFAULT: AUTOMATIC

Approx Speed increases and/or Necessity for Disabling

  • Help & Support ****
  • NVIDIA Help and Support *****
  • IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service ***
  • System Restore Service *****
  • Event Log **
  • Automatic Updates ****
  • Remote Registry ***** (security)
  • Error Reporting Service ***
  • Messenger *
  • Performance Logs and Alerts *
  • Portable Media Serial Number *
  • QOS RSVP ***** (I normally disable this in network properties anyway)
  • Task Scheduler ***
  • Telnet ***** (Security)
  • Wireless Zero Config *

1 COMMENT

  1. There is a page missing; it goes from F-words to H-words, page3 to 4, when 4 should have G-words including Google Update Service, which I was particularly interested in whether I could disable it.

    THank you.

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