How to Basically Manage Windows Services

Services are those programs that are generally meant to run in the background and with which the user does not directly interact (unless they decide to change their configuration or start). Despite being a term that sounds like server-oriented operating systems to many, the reality is that they are also found in desktop-oriented ones, including Windows .

Services in Windows desktop operating systems are responsible for executing or operating a large number of features and tasks , including credential management, web account management, automatic time zone updating, remote access, network connection, power policy management, operating system fax service, plus Xbox accessory management.

However, not only does Microsoft introduce services into Windows, but as the user installs things, they will be able to see others coming from other places. For example, here we have highlighted the Spice driver service, which on GNOME Boxes (virtual machines) is responsible for enabling the QXL graphic driver and the VDAgent service to improve performance and be able to adapt the resolution dynamically depending on the size of the window. If you have installed Firefox, you should see the Mozilla maintenance service.

In order to add a service, it must be installed and registered in Windows in a process that requires an administrator account. In case the user does not allow an application to be installed under the conditions of an administrator, this will not be able to create the service that would allow it to run in the background. This requirement is usually very easy to meet in the Microsoft operating system, but it is still a detail to take into account.

The Windows Services Dashboard

Windows has a graphical panel with which system services can be configured. Accessing it is as simple as opening the Start menu, searching for the word “services” and clicking on the Services application.

More advanced users may prefer to open it via the Run application, which can be launched using the Windows+R keyboard shortcut . Once the window is in front of you, you have to enter services.mscand click on the OK button or the enter key.

With this, you can access the Windows services panel, so we are going to explain how to manage them in a basic way.

Basics of managing services in Windows

After opening the services panel, the user will see before him a long list with things that have mostly come pre-installed and others that have been supplied from outside, either through an application or an update.

It is important to note that if you are not clear about what you are doing, it is best not to touch anything , because tampering with something sensitive to the system can lead to catastrophic consequences, so to experiment safely, we recommend running Windows on a virtual machine, a secondary computer that can be sacrificed or create a restore point first.

After exposing the precautions to take, we are going to explain how to deal in a basic way with Windows services for those users interested in optimizing the operating system a bit, since any inactive service means resources released and that are not being consumed.

In our case, we will take the Windows Event Collector as an example. When right-clicked on it, a context menu appears with the following possibilities: Start, Stop, Pause, Resume, Restart, All Tasks (this is a submenu), Refresh, Properties (allowing access to all options) and Help.

Here we find ourselves with a rather self-explanatory situation. Start, Stop, Pause, Resume and Restart are literal actions applied to the service. Of course, generally the available options are Start, Stop and Restart.

However, manipulation of the service via the context menu only affects the current system session. This means that in the event of a shutdown and restart (or simply restart), the service will return to its default state. To definitively modify the status of a service, go to its Properties (double-clicking on the service is also valid) and select one of the startup options in “Startup type”, where it is also possible to disable it completely to avoid its start under any circumstances.

The first type, “Automatic (delayed start)”, causes the service to be activated automatically after the system boot time has elapsed, which is very useful for those that are secondary and do not need to be available on a regular basis. immediate. Automatic is in charge of putting the service into operation at the same start of the system, while the Manual operation is what we have shown about the service states through the contextual menu, which is also possible to do from the “Service status” section ” in Properties.

Simple handling of Windows services using PowerShell

Windows services can also be managed using CMD or PowerShell , although we have preferred to use only the latter. Managing the services via the command line requires administrator permissions, which can be easily enabled via the context menu (right mouse button) after finding the corresponding application from the start menu.

Managing services through the command line is something that is still a standard in Linux today, and although at first it is a bit difficult to learn because it is less intuitive than a graphical interface, a mastered is faster when carrying out simple tasks. Listing all services is as simple as typing Get-Serviceand pressing the enter key.

Obviously, listing services like this is impractical, so let’s narrow the search to locate the service we previously manipulated graphically: Windows Event Collector. To do this, we execute the command that appears just below, which shows all the services whose “DisplayName” field begins with the word “Collector”. For those who don’t know, the asterisk (*) is the wildcard that allows you to fill the remainder with any combination (including the absence) of characters , which can be made up of letters, figures and spaces. It is possible to place several, before, after and in the middle of the search term, to narrow or expand the possibilities.

Get-Service -displayname "Recopilador*"

At least on the Windows 10 instance used by this server, the Windows Event Collector is the only service that meets the criteria of the search performed. At this point, the user has to keep what appears in the “Name” field , Wecsvcin this case.

Since the service is running, we are going to stop it in the following way:

Stop-Service -Name Wecsvc

To start the service use the word ‘Start’:

Start-Service -Name Wecsvc

Pause or suspend a service:

Suspend-Service -Name Wecsvc

Restart a service with PowerShell on Windows:

Restart-Service -Name Wecsvc

Disable a service for the next startup:

Set-Service -Name Wecsvc -StartupType disabled

Stop a service and disable it:

Stop-Service -Name Wecsvc -force

Set-Service -Name Wecsvc -Status stopped -StartupType disabled

Enabling a service for manual management:

Set-Service -Name Wecsvc -StartupType automatic

Enabling a service and running it:

Set-Service -Name Wecsvc -Status running -StartupType automatic

Conclution

Computers have been very powerful for a long time, so it is unlikely that a common user feels the need to gradually disable services to improve performance. However, not everyone wants or can upgrade their PC, so if you’re running Windows 10 on an older machine (Windows 11 is in a league of its own), it never hurts to check out our list of must-have services to disable things that they are simply hoarding resources for nothing.

Disabling the correct services can result in an improvement in system response thanks to freeing up resources, which is useful, for example, when working with a heavy application on a computer that is a little tight to run it.

We close by remembering the most important piece of advice: if you don’t know what you are doing when manipulating Windows services, it is best not to touch anything or do it in a safe and isolated environment, such as a secondary computer that is expendable or a virtual machine. .

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