Depending on the version of Windows you have, there will be a core set of services that must run in order for the operating system to carry out its basic functions. However, you may not necessarily need to have all of the services running, while disabling the ones deemed unnecessary, you may, in fact, enhance system performance and security.
In this article, I’ve put together a list of Windows services that the end user may want to consider disabling, as the ramifications are more positive than anything else.[toc]
Windows Services You May Disable
That said, before you make that decision to disable a service, it’s important that the service isn’t currently in use. The list that I provide is as much subjective as it is objective, as assumptions are made based on the popularity or lack thereof of certain Windows components.
In short, there isn’t any real definitive list of services that can be disabled, just those that are perceived to be surplus to requirements.
Disabling a Windows Service
To disable a service, the end user is first required to start the Services program. This can be done, by doing the following:
1. First, ensure you have booted into your computer with a user profile that has administrative rights.
Each service has its own specific description, which is located in the left pane. This information comes most in use when the end user is uncertain about whether or not to disable a service.
However, because there are a lot of services, and the descriptions can at times seem rather cryptic, it can be quite time-consuming trying to identify for yourself, which services you can disable, and which you cannot. For some services, disabling them may lead to unexpected circumstances.
When you double-click on a Service, a <Service> Properties applet will pop up, on the General Tab, you should be able to see the description and status of the service (whether or not it’s running). The majority of the services will be set to Manual (started only when required) or Automatic (started by the operating system) as Startup type.
The Startup type called Automatic (Delay Start) was designed to ensure that the boot process isn’t delayed by certain services being loaded. Services that are set to Disabled will not run, even if an application requires it. In most cases, this will cause an error, in the application that requires the disabled service.
Unnecessary Windows Service List
Tablet PC Input Service
Windows Description: Enables both ink and Tablet PC function. So why should you disable it? Well the vast majority of computer systems purchased by the end user, do not come with tablet-like tools. Thus, this service will consume system resources without adding any real value to your Windows experience.
Unless you actively use the Offline Files feature in Windows, then it is safe for you to disable it, or you can set it to manual (if you’re uncertain). This feature is only available in select versions of Windows 7 and 8.
Unless you use your computer system to send and/or receive faxes, via a fax modem, then you can safely disable this device. If you’re uncertain, then set it to manual should suffice.
If you’re using a third-party firewall protection solution, then it should be fine for you to disable the built-in Windows Firewall.
If you have your own third-party antivirus solution running on your computer, then it’s safe for you to disable this. It’s also possible for you to disable this tool through the Control Panel.
Smart Card Removal Policy
This service allows the system to be configured to automatically lock the moment a smart card has been removed. If you do not use smart cards for authentication on your computer, then it’s safe for you to disable this service.
This service manages smart card access on your computer. If you disable this service, your computer will no longer be able to read smart cards. Any services that depend on smart card access will also cease to function. That said if you do not use smart cards on your computer, then you can safely disable it.
Windows Connect Now
This service is used for mobile and laptop computers to connect to wireless networks. If you’re running a desktop unit, then it should be safe to disable this service.
Bluetooth Support Service
Unless you have Bluetooth devices attached to your computer, such as printers, keyboards, mice it should be fine for you to disable this service. However, keep in mind that once you disable this service, you will no longer be able to use or access any Bluetooth devices on your computer.
This service provides the end user with remote access to the Windows registry. It’s said that this service is capable of posing a security risk to your computer, which is why it’s probably bested disabled.
This feature is disabled by default on Windows 8; however, on earlier versions of Windows, you may have to disable it manually. That said, if you encounter any problems while attempting to update your computer, you may want to temporarily enable this service.
This is a guest post compiled by Uchenna Ani-Okoye for Techzbyte.
chenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where he writes extensively on Window Services and other computer related issues and topics.