26 Sep

How to Turn Off Unnecessary Windows Services To Speed Up Your PC

Make your Microsoft Windows PC faster by disabling unnecessary services.

A service is a software application that runs continuously in the background while your computer is on. Why we need to configure the services?  The idea is to optimize your Windows based on your needs since most of the services are turned on by default to cater the need of all kind of users. Some of the services you don’t use every time or might even will never use them. Disabling some of the services helps to reduce the system resources usage, thus boost you Windows performance. Also, it helps to decrease Windows boot time.

Before you start, be warned that certain Windows task or program might not work if you disable the wrong services   So, it always better to note down which services you have disabled so you can enable them back. Also, make sure you understand  at least a little a bit about the service you want to disable, if you not sure don’t disable it.  You can choose the service that is easy to understand and remember, for example ‘the fax’ service,  which is self-explaining, if you don’t use your PC for faxing you can disable it.

Here is how to access Service Configuration:

Click Start menu > Click Run > type in services.msc > click OK
Or Go to Control Panel > Click Administrative Tools > click Services

Notice that:
1. You can read the description of the service and its dependencies..
2. The services can be set to type: automatic, disable or delay.
3. Some of the service listed there cannot be disabled at all.
4. Most of the service are built-in Windows services but some are added by other programs (e.g. antivirus) that you have installed.

turn off windows services

Which services you can disable?
To remind you again: While disabling unnecessary services help to speed up Windows, disabling the wrong service could effect negatively. So, I suggest to minimize the number services by disabling the services you really understand about.

Here the list of services you might want to disable.
Application Layer Gateway:
Provides support for 3rd party protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing. Can be disabled.

Bluetooth Support:
The Bluetooth service supports discovery and association of remote Bluetooth devices.  If you don’t connect any Bluetooth devices to your computer you can disable or set it to manual. Suggestion: Set it to manual

BitLocker Drive Encryption Service (Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise only):
Hosts the BitLocker Drive Encryption service. Can be disabled unless you use Bitlocker Microsoft’s Encryption Software

Certificate Propagation:
Copies user certificates and root certificates from smart cards into the current user’s certificate store. Can be disabled unless you use SmartCards (rarely but a large organizations might use it).

Computer Browser:
Maintains an updated list of computers on the network and supplies this list to computers designated as browsers. Disable it unless you need to browse other computer in the network. Most people don’t need it.

Cryptographic Services:
Provides four management services: Catalog Database Service, Protected Root Service, Automatic Root Certificate Update Service and Key Service.
Set it to manual.

Disk Defragmenter:
This is for the Windows Disk Defragmenter tool. If you already installed 3rd party disk defragmenter program, you can disable this.

Distributed Transaction Service:
Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network. Most people don’t need this, can be disabled.

Encrypting File System:
Provides the core file encryption technology used to store encrypted files on NTFS file system volumes. Can be disabled unless you need to encrypt data on your hard drives.

Error Reporting Service:
Disable it unless you want to report systems errors to Microsoft.

Enables you to send and receive faxes, utilizing fax resources available on this computer or on the network. Disable it unless you use your computer to send/receive fax.

Function Discovery Provider Host
Hosts other services that search the network for other devices such as the Media Center Extender service. Can be disabled.

Function Discovery Resource Publication
Publishes this computer and resources attached to this computer so they can be discovered over the network.  Most user don’t need this, can be disabled.

Human Interface Device Access:
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. Can be disabled to turn if you do not use hot-keys or remote systems on your computer. You might use it sometimes, suggest to set it to manual.

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service:

Manages Internet SCSI (iSCSI) sessions from this computer to remote iSCSI target devices. Disable it unless you need to access data on remote data centers,

MS Software Shadow Copy Provider:
Manages software-based volume shadow copies taken by the Volume Shadow Copy service. Set this to manual.

Maintains a secure channel between this computer and the domain controller for authenticating users and services. Disable this service if your computer is not on a domain.

Parental Control:
This service is a stub for Windows Parental Control functionality that existed in Vista. It is provided for backward compatibility only. Can be disabled.

Portable Device Enumerator
Enables applications such as Windows Media Player and Image Import Wizard to transfer and synchronize content using removable mass-storage devices. Disable this service if you do not use any such devices with WMP.

Print Spooler:
Loads files to memory for later printing. You can disable or set it to manual unless you have printer attached to your computer or if you use virtual printers (e.g. pdf creator). Suggested to set it to manual.

Remote Desktop Configuration:
Unless you need to connect remotely with other computer. Suggest to set it to manual.

Remote Desktop Services:
Unless you need to connect remotely with other computer. Suggest to set it to manual.

Remote Desktop Services User Mode Port Redirector:
Unless you need to connect remotely with other computer. Suggest to set it to manual.

Remote Registry:
Enables remote users to modify registry settings on your computer. By default setting is manual by you can disable it. Suggest to disable it.  Use only when you need someone over the to remotely access and  modify your computer setting.

Routing and remote access:
Offers routing services to businesses in local area and wide area network environments. Most user don’t need this, can be disabled.

Supports file, print, and named-pipe sharing over the network for this computer.  Unless you use your computer as a server you can disable it.

Secondary logon:
Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. If you the only one who use the computer or all the users log in to Windows using one user account you can disable it.

Smart Card:
Manages access to smart cards. Can be disabled unless you use Smart Cards (rarely but a large organizations might use it).

Smart Card Removal Policy:
Manages access to smart cards. Can be disabled unless you use Smart Cards (rarely but a large organizations might use it).

Tablet PC Input Service (Windows 7) / Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service (Windows 8):
Enables Tablet PC pen and ink functionality. Can be disabled unless you use those devices.

Windows Biometric:
Gives client applications the ability to capture, compare, manipulate, and store biometric data without gaining direct access to any biometric hardware or samples.  Suggest to disable it.

Windows Cardspace:
Securely enables the creation, management, and disclosure of digital identities Suggest to disable it.

Windows Defender:
Protection against spyware and potentially unwanted software. This is for Windows built-in antispyware, if you already have 3rd party antivirus or antispyware, you can disable it.

Windows Firewall:
This service should be disabled only if you are using a third-party security solution that provides firewall protection. Safe setting: Manual;

Creates and maintains client network connections to remote servers using the SMB protocol. Can disable it.

All the above services and several others not listed above are set to disable with my Microsoft Windows (home PC) and I have no problem whatsoever. Feel free to experiment, in any case you can simply re-able it back. Hope that helps to speed up you Windows.