Disable unneeded Windows XP Services

Tuesday, 09 February 2010 18:49 administrator

Windows XP is comprised of services. These services are the workers of the OS, that do various tasks. Even though most users do not need or use all of the services, they are running by default. This page can help you decide which services you can shutdown to free up more of your CPU and RAM.

*To access these settings, go to your "Start" menu and click the "Run". Type "Services.msc" in the text box. That will bring up the Service Management Console that lists all of the services. To enable or disable a service, double click it and change the setting in the drop-down box.

*Please note that some of these services may not be installed on your PC depending on your Windows XP version (Home, Pro, etc). If this is the case, it will not show up in your Services Management Console.


Services Most Users can disable

Service Name Description Result of Disabling Comments
Alerter Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts Programs that use administrative alerts will not receive them.
Application Management Processes installation, removal, and enumeration requests for Active Directory IntelliMirror group policy programs Users will be unable to install, remove, or enumerate any IntelliMirror programs.
Background Intelligent Transfer Transfers data between clients and servers in the background Features such as Windows Update will not work properly. Enable this services if you enable Automatic Updates.
ClipBook Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers ClipBook Viewer will not be able to share information with remote computers.
Distributed Link Tracking Client Ensures that shortcuts and OLE links continue to work after the target file is renamed or moved by maintaining links in the file system Link tracking will be unavailable. Users on other computers won't be able to track links on this computer.
Distributed Transaction Coordinator Coordinates transactions that span multiple resource managers, such as databases, message queues, and file systems Distributed transactions will not occur.
Error Reporting Collects, stores, and reports unexpected application crashes to Microsoft Error Reporting will occur only for kernel faults and some types of user mode faults.
Fast User Switching Compatibility Enables management for applications that require assistance in a multiple user environment Fast User Switching will be unavailable. Doesn't work in domain environments anyway.
HID Input 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 Hot buttons controlled by this service will no longer function. Required for some "hot buttons" on newer keyboards. Can be safely enabled if these buttons don't work with this service disabled.
Indexing Service Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language Files will not be indexed. Indexing can speed searching. Uninstall this service if you don't plan to use it.
Internet Connection - Firewall (ICF) / Sharing (ICS) Provides network address translation, addressing, name resolution and/or intrusion prevention services for a home or small office network Networking services such as Internet sharing, name resolution, addressing and/or intrusion prevention will be unavailable. If you are not using another firewall application, I do not recommend shutting this off. Also, If you share your Internet connection, you must enable this service.
IPSEC services Provides end-to-end security between clients and servers on TCP/IP networks TCP/IP security between clients and servers on the network will be impaired. If you connect over an IPSec secured connection, don't disable this service.
Machine Debug Manager Manages Visual Studio debugging Visual Studio debugging information will not be available. If you are a Visual Studio Developer, you probably don't want to disable this.
Messenger Transmits net send and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. This service is not related to Windows Messenger Alerter messages will not be transmitted.
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider Manages software-based volume shadow copies taken by the Volume Shadow Copy service Software-based volume shadow copies cannot be managed. Leave set at Manual if you intend to use Windows Backup.
NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing Enables an authorized user to access this computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet Remote desktop sharing will be unavailable. If you use NetMeeting, don't disable this service.
Network DDE Provides network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer or on different computers DDE transport and security will be unavailable.
Network DDE DSDM Manages Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) network shares DDE network shares will be unavailable.
Network Location Awareness (NLA) Collects and stores network configuration and location information and notifies applications when this information changes. This service is a part of ICS Services such as ICS & ICF will not function. Enable if this computer has Internet Connection Sharing enabled or if you are using the Internet Connection Firewall.
NT LM Security Support Provider Allows users to log on to the network using NTLM Users with versions of Windows prior to Windows 2000 will be unable to log in to the network. Enable this service if this computer needs to log on to pre-Windows 2000 computers or domains
Performance Logs and Alerts Collects performance data for the computer or other computers and writes it to a log or displays it on the screen Performance information will no longer be logged or displayed.
Portable Media Serial Number Retrieves the serial number of any portable media player connected to this computer Protected content might not be downloaded to the device. You might want this enabled if you connect any type of MP3 player or IPod to your PC.
QoS RSVP Provides network signaling and local, traffic-control, set-up functionality for (Quality of Service) QoS-aware programs and control applets QoS aware applications with either not function, or will not have their complete functionality. Enable this service if you use QoS aware applications.
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager Manages and controls Remote Assistance Remote Assistance will be unavailable.
Remote Registry Provides a mechanism to remotely manage the system registry Remote systems will be unable to connect to the local registry. Hfnetchk uses this mechanism. Disabling it can affect the patch utility's operation. Some programs require this functionality in order to operate.
Routing and Remote Access Enables multiprotocol LAN-to-LAN, LAN-to-WAN, virtual private network (VPN), and network address translation (NAT) routing services for clients and servers on this network Routing and Remote Access services will be unavailable.
Secondary Logon Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. If this service is stopped, this type of logon access will be unavailable Users will be unable to use the "Run As" feature to elevate privileges.
Server Allows the sharing of local resources such as files and printers, as well as named pipe communication Resources can't be shared, RPC requests will be denied, and named pipe communication will fail. This service must be enabled on Windows XP computers that share files or printers.
Smart Card Manages access to smart cards read by this computer This computer will be unable to read smart cards. If you're using a smart card reader, enable this service.
Smart Card Helper Provides support for earlier smart card readers attached to the computer The computer will be unable to read legacy smart cards. If you're using a smart card reader, enable this service.
SSDP Discovery Used to locate UPnP devices on your home network. Used in conjunction with Universal Plug and Play Device Host, it detects and configures UPnP devices on your home network Your computer will be unable to located uPnP devices on the network.
System Event Notification Required to record entries in the event logs; notifies COM+ subscribers about logon and power-related events Certain notifications will no longer work. For example, synchronization won't work, as it depends on connectivity information and Network Connect/Disconnect and Logon/Logoff notifications. Leave enabled for laptops to that power notifications are passed to the user.
System Restore Performs system restore functions, including saving periodic checkpoints Automatic system restoration will not be possible. While this service does use up some system resources, it can be invaluable for stand alone machines, particularly when a software install goes bad.
Task Scheduler Enables a user to configure and schedule automated tasks on this computer Tasks will not be run at their scheduled times. Leave this enabled if you have any automated maintenance set up, such as DskCheck and Defrag.
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Required for software distribution in a Group Policy (may be used to distribute patches) and provides support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP and NetBIOS name lookups NetBIOS over TCP/IP clients including Netlogon and Messenger might stop responding. Disabling may also affect the ability to share resources. For small networks, this service may be essential if you share files with others. For larger networks with central file servers, keep disabled on desktops.
Telephony Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for clients using programs that control telephony devices and IP-based voice connections The function of all dependent programs will be impaired. Only needed for modem/fax modem use.
Telnet Enables a remote user to log on to this computer and run programs; supports various TCP/IP Telnet clients, including UNIX- and Windows-based computers Remote user access to programs might be unavailable.
Terminal Services Allows users to connect interactively to a remote computer; Remote Desktop, Fast User Switching, Remote Assistance, and Terminal Server depend on this service. May make your computer unreliable. To prevent remote use of this computer, clear the check boxes in the Remote tab of the System properties control panel item.
Themes Provides user experience theme management Themes cannot be used.
Uninterruptible Power Supply Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the computer The UPS cannot communicate with the computer.
Universal Plug and Play Device Host Used in conjunction with SSDP Discovery Service, it detects and configures UPnP devices on your home network Your computer will be unable to located uPnP devices on the network
Upload Manager Manages synchronous and asynchronous file transfers between clients and servers. Driver data is anonymously uploaded from these transfers and used by Microsoft to help users find needed drivers. The Driver Feedback Server asks the client's permission to upload the computer's hardware profile and then search the Internet for information about how to obtain the appropriate driver or get support. Certain file transfers will not take place.
Volume Shadow Copy Manages and implements volume shadow copies used for backup and other purposes Shadow copies will be unavailable for backup and the backup may fail. Enable this service if you use Windows Backup on this desktop.
WebClient Enables Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify Internet-based files These functions will not be available.
Wireless Zero Configuration Automatically configured WiFi (802.11) network adapters You will have to manually configure wireless networking. Enable this service if you're using wireless networking.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 18:50