Windows 7 Default Services and Suggested Startup Mode


Introduction


Windows 7 comes with a slew of services, which might not be that important to your computer. If you are running Windows 7 on a personal laptop, home computer, or computer where you can control the services yourself, you might want to look at stopping some of the services to improve performance. If you are a corporate network administrator, you should also look closely at the overall list of services, as some of them are not needed for your corporate network desktops.


Like always, never take settings and suggestions like these verbatim, be sure to test them in your specific environment. Although I have been able to run my personal laptop, production desktop, and even corporate desktops where I have contracted.

























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Name of Service


Default Startup Mode


Possible Startup Mode


ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV)


Manual


Manual


Adaptive Brightness


Manual


Disabled


Application Experience


Manual


Manual


Application Identity


Manual


Manual


Application Information


Manual


Manual


Application Layer Gateway Service


Manual


Disabled


Application Management


Manual


Disabled


Background Intelligent Transfer Service


Manual


Manual


Base Filtering Engine


Automatic


Automatic


Bitlocker Drive Encryption Service


Manual


Disabled


Block Level Backup Engine Service


Manual


Disabled


Bluetooth Support Services


Manual


Disabled


BranchCache


Manual


Disabled


Certificate Propagation


Manual


Disabled


CNG Key Isolation


Manual


Manual


COM+ Event System


Automatic


Automatic


COM+ System Application


Manual


Manual


Computer Browser


Manual


Disabled


Credential Manager


Manual


Manual


Cryptographic Services


Automatic


Automatic


DCOM Server Process Launcher


Automatic


Automatic


Desktop Window Manager Session Manager


Automatic


Automatic


DHCP Client


Automatic


Automatic


Diagnostic Policy Service


Automatic


Automatic


Diagnostic Service host


Automatic


Automatic


Diagnostic System Host


Manual


Manual


Disk Defragmenter


Manual


Disabled


Distributed Link Tracking Client


Automatic


Automatic


Distributed Transaction Coordinator


Manual


Manual


DNS Client


Automatic


Automatic


Encrypting File System (EFS)


Manual


Disabled


Extensible Authentication Protocol


Manual


Manual


Fax


Manual


Disabled


Function Discovery Provider Host


Manual


Manual


Function Discovery Resource Publication


Manual


Disabled


Group Policy Client


Automatic


Automatic


Health Key and Certificate Management


Manual


Disabled


HomeGroup Listener


Manual


Disabled


HomeGroup Provider


Manual


Disabled


Human Interface Device Access


Manual


Manual


IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules


Manual


Manual


Interactive Services Detection


Manual


Manual


Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)


Disabled


Disabled


IP Helper


Automatic


Automatic


IPsec Policy Agent


Manual


Manual


KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator


Manual


Manual


Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper


Manual


Disabled


Media Center Extender Service


Disabled


Disabled


Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X86


Manual


Manual


Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service


Manual


Manual


Microsoft Software Shadow Copy


Manual


Manual


Multimedia Class Scheduler


Automatic


Automatic


Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service


Disabled


Disabled


Netlogon


Manual


Manual


Network Access Protection Agent


Manual


Manual


Network Connections


Manual


Manual


Network List Service


Manual


Manual


Network Location Awareness


Automatic


Automatic


Network Store Interface Service


Automatic


Automatic


Offline Files


Automatic


Disabled


Parental Controls


Manual


Disabled


Peer Name Resolution Protocol


Manual


Manual


Peer Networking Grouping


Manual


Manual


Peer Networking Identity Manager


Manual


Manual


Performance Counter DLL Host


Manual


Disabled


Performance Logs & Alerts


Manual


Disabled


Plug and Play


Automatic


Automatic


PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator


Manual


Manual


PNRP Machine Name Publication Service


Manual


Manual


Portable Device Enumerator Service


Manual


Manual


Power


Automatic


Automatic


Print Spooler


Automatic


Automatic


Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support


Manual


Disabled


Program Compatibility Assistant Service


Manual


Disabled


Protected Storage


Manual


Disabled


Quality Windows Audio Video Experience


Manual


Disabled


Remote Access Auto Connection Manager


Manual


Disabled


Remote Access Connection Manager


Manual


Disabled


Remote Procedure Call (RPC)


Automatic


Automatic


Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator


Manual


Manual


Remote Registry


Manual


Manual


Routing and Remote Access


Disabled


Disabled


RPC Endpoint Mapper


Automatic


Automatic


Secondary Logon


Manual


Manual


Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service


Manual


Disabled for desktops, enabled for laptops


Security Accounts Manager


Automatic


Automatic


Security Center


Automatic (Delayed Start)


Automatic


Server


Automatic


Automatic


Shell Hardware Detection


Automatic


Automatic


Smart Card


Manual


Disabled


Smart Card Removal Policy


Manual


Manual


SNMP Trap


Manual


Disabled


Software Protection


Automatic


Automatic


SPP Notification Service


Manual


Manual


SSDP Discovery


Manual


Manual


Superfetch


Automatic


Automatic


System Event Notification Service


Automatic


Automatic


Tablet PC Input Service


Automatic


Disabled


Task Scheduler


Automatic


Automatic


TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper


Automatic


Automatic


Telephony


Manual


Disabled


Themes


Automatic


Automatic


Thread Ordering Server


Manual


Manual


TP AutoConnect Service


Manual


Manual


TPM Base Services


Manual


Manual


UPnP Device Host


Manual


Manual


User Profile Service


Automatic


Automatic


Virtual Disk


Manual


Manual


Volume Shadow Copy


Manual


Manual


WebClient


Manual


Disabled


Windows Audio


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Audio Endpoint Builder


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Backup


Manual


Manual


Windows CardSpace


Manual


Disabled


Windows Color System


Manual


Disabled


Windows Connect Now – Config Registrar


Manual


Disabled


Windows Defender


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Driver Foundation – User-mode Driver Framework


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Error Reporting Service


Manual


Disabled


Windows Event Collector


Manual


Disabled


Windows Event Log


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Firewall


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Font Cache Service


Manual


Manual


Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)


Manual


Disabled


Windows Installer


Manual


Manual


Windows Management Instrumentation


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Media Center Receiver Service


Manual


Disabled


Windows Media Center Scheduler Service


Manual


Disabled


Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service


Manual


Disabled


Windows Modules Installer


Manual


Manual


Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0


Manual


Manual


Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)


Manual


Manual


Windows Search


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Time


Automatic


Automatic


Windows Update


Automatic (Delayed Start)


Automatic (Delay Start)


WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service


Manual


Manual


Wired AutoConfig


Manual


Disabled


WLAN AutoConfig


Manual


Disabled for LAN, Enabled for Wireless


WMI Performance Adapter


Manual


Manual


Workstation


Automatic


Automatic


How to Proceed


For your laptops and desktops for both your personal and corporate environments, be sure to setup a test computer or pilot group and make sure that all other functions on the computer work before you proceed with rolling this out to all computers on your network. In my experience, disabling the services above has given me significant performance enhancements by removing the services from running. In most cases the services were not running (set to manual and not started), but in many cases the services were running and were just taking up memory and processing time.


The other benefit to disabling services that are not needed is that it reduces your attack surface. The fewer services running means the fewer ports open, which means the fewer viruses and worms, will function on your computer.


If a feature or function fails to work after disabling services, just re-enable the service to manual or automatic. If you are uncertain which service is required, you can look at the service descriptions on your computer services list or check online for a description of your feature and which service is required.


Summary


Microsoft has created services for many functions that are available for Windows 7. Just because the service is there does not mean you want it, need, it, or should have it even installed on your computer. However, the reality is that Microsoft is in the business of making things run out of the box, thus the service is there. Your job is to make your computer perform better and more secure, which is why you can, and should, disable services you don’t need. Good luck and please send me feedback on when you find a feature you run requires a service I suggested to disable.

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