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Disabling unnecessary Windows services

As a disclaimer, this is a bit more of an advanced tip. This is not that risky. However, you can cause problems if you disable services that are needed.

Services are programs that are continuously running in the background of Windows and are doing different tasks that Windows needs done. There are a lot of these services and they can use a lot of resources. The good news is that a lot of these services are expendable and can be turned off without any problems. You can go through the list and read the descriptions Windows gives to decide which services you need. You can always turn the service back on if need it later in time. The following steps show you how to turn off services.

Managing Services with Services.msc

1. Go to Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Services. You can also go to START -> Run -> and type services.msc.
2. Left-click on a service.
3. Read the description of the service just to make sure you don't think you will need the service.
4. If you decide you want to disable the service, Right-click -> Properties -> Change the "Startup Type" to "Manual" and then stop the service. The next time you reboot Windows the service will not start.

Here are some services we found could be disabled in most common home computers:
  • Computer Browser
  • Error Reporting Service
  • Help and Support
  • Indexing Service
  • Messenger
  • NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
  • Performance Logs and Alerts
  • Protected storage (this service stores passwords and enables auto-complete for web forms)
  • Remote Registry (this service allows remote access to your registry)
  • Routing and Remote Access (this service enables dial-in routing to your computer if you use this)
  • Secondary Logon
  • Task Scheduler
After you complete this tip, I would check out our related guide on how to optimize windows startup. This guide will show you how to disable certain programs that are always starting up when your machine starts up.

Use a Tool to Manage Services

There are quite a few good tools out on the market that can you help you disable and manage services if you are uncomfortable doing this on your own. We recommend that you use SpeedUpMyPC for this. SpeedUpMyPC manages the services on your computer to help your computer run faster. This program also has other features to help speed up your computer such as a junk file remover, system tweaker, and a CPU manager.

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