Speed XP By Disable Unwanted Services

July 7, 2009 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Security and performance are the two main concerns, that Windows XP users (similar to Windows Vista and Windows 2000) need to seriously understanding these 72 Windows services.

Windows service is essentially a Windows program which is running in background. As such, Windows service taking up system resources throughout its execution. While Windows security is not hardened, some of these Windows services might easily expose security vulnerability (such as Alerter, Remote Registry, etc).

This guide covers 72 Windows services, to assist Windows XP users (as well as Windows 2000 or Windows Vista users) to determine which Windows XP services that can be safely disabled.

Note, not all Windows services could be disabled. Some of these Windows services are critical to Windows XP, and should not be disabled. Although, you may re-enable them by booting Windows XP into Recovery Console mode.

  1. Alerter
    Function

    Notify system users or programs about any administrative alerts that raised in Windows XP.

    Status

    Can be safely disabled at all time.

  2. Application Layer Gateway
    Function

    Provides support for application-level protocol plug-ins for Internet Connection Sharing and Windows Firewall.

    Status

    Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc, rely on this service to operate. If there is a firewall enabled to safeguard Windows XP, it is safe to enable.

  3. Application Management
    Function

    Provides program installation related services.

    Status

    Disable this service will disallow non-administrator users to perform program installation related activities.

  4. Automatic Updates
    Function

    Enables the download and installation of critical Windows updates.

    Status

    You can safely disable it, and manually trigger the process by using Windows Update online service.

  5. Background Intelligent Transfer
    Function

    Transfers files between clients and servers in the background using idle network bandwidth.

    Status

    If Automatic Updates service has been disabled, you may want to disable this service as well. However, you may not able to download some of the programs from Windows Live, if this service is disabled.

  6. ClipBook
    Function

    Enables ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers.

    Status

    This service can be safely disabled, as most users dont utilize this feature.

  7. COM+ Event System
    COM+ System Application
    Function

    Supports System Event Notification Service by providing automatic distribution of events to subscribing COM components.

    Status

    These two services can not be disabled!

  8. Computer Browser
    Function

    Maintain an up-to-date list of networked resources, such as network shared drive and printer, and supply the list to programs that request it.

    Status

    You may safely disable this service if youre not going to share any resources to the network.

  9. Cryptographic services
    Function

    Provides three management services

    1. Catalog Database Service, which confirms the signatures of Windows files
    2. Protected Root Service, which adds and removes Trusted Root Certification Authority certificates from this computer
    3. Key Service, which helps enroll this computer for certificates.
    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time. Automatic Updates and Task Manager rely on this service to function properly.

  10. DHCP Client
    Function

    Allow Windows XP to automatically obtain IP address, WINS server information, routing information, etc.

    Status

    There is no reason to enable it, if youre using fix IP, or no DHCP server available in the network.

  11. Distributed Link Tracking Client
    Function

    Ensures shortcuts and OLE links to work properly when the target file is renamed or moved, by automatically maintain links in NTFS file system.

    Status

    Depending on your wish, this service is safe to disable at all time.

  12. Distributed Transaction Coordinator
    Function

    Coordinates transactions that span over multiple resource managers, such as databases, message queues, and file systems.

    Status

    For most home users, this service is safe to disable at all time.

  13. DNS Client
    Function

    Allows Windows XP to communicate with canonical names rather than numeric-based IP address, by resolving and caching DNS names.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time, to facilitate Windows XP communicate over the network, especially on a network environment with domain controller.

  14. Error Reporting
    Function

    Allow error reporting (to Microsoft) for services and programs running in non-standard environments.

    Status

    You may enable this service only when you are frequently encounter system or program crash.

  15. Event Log
    Function

    Enable event log messages raised by Windows-based programs to be viewed in Event Viewer.

    Status

    Unlike Error Reporting service, this service should be enabled at all time to assist you resolving system failures, audit system security logs, etc.

  16. Fast User Switching Compatibility
    Function

    Enable fast user switching feature that introduced in Windows XP.

    Status

    Although fast user switching is good, but it consumes huge system resources, both memory and CPU. So, it is better to disable this service for performance reason.

  17. Help and Support
    Function

    Enables Windows XP Help and Support Center to run on this computer.

    Status

    Depending on your wish, if you feel comfortable without consulting Windows XP help, then you may safely disable it.

  18. Human Interface Device Access
    Function

    Enables generic input access to Human Interface Devices, which activates and maintains the use of predefined hot buttons on keyboards, remote controls, and other multimedia devices.

    Status

    This service can be safely disabled to free up more system resources to critical services.

  19. IMAPI CD-Burning COM
    Function

    Manages CD recording using Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI).

    Status

    This service can be safely disabled, as most Windows XP users are using Nero burning software for CD/DVD burning.

  20. Indexing Service
    Function

    Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers and provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.

    Status

    If you dont frequently searching files using Windows search function, or you can tolerate with slow searching function, then you can disable this service to free up some system resources.

  21. IPSEC services
    Function

    Provides end-to-end security between clients and servers on TCP/IP networks.

    Status

    Dont disable this service, if youre connecting over an IPSec secured connection.

  22. Logical Disk Manager
    Logical Disk Manager Administrative
    Function

    Detects and monitors new hard disk drives added to Windows XP, and sends disk volume information to Logical Disk Manager Administrative service for configuration.

    Status

    You may enable these two service only when you are going to add new hard disk drives to Windows XP, rather than turning it on at all time.

  23. Machine Debug Manager
    Function

    Supports local and remote debugging for Visual Studio and script debuggers.

    Status

    Disable this service if you dont perform program debugging processes.

  24. Messenger
    Function

    Transmits net send and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. Note, this service is not related to Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger.

    Status

    This service is safe to disable, if you disable Alerter service.

  25. Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
    Function

    Manages software-based volume shadow copies taken by the Volume Shadow Copy service.

    Status

    Disable this service if you dont perform Windows Backup.

  26. NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
    Function

    Enables an authorized user to access you computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet.

    Status

    You should able to justify the reason of enabling this service, that allow remote users access to your Windows XP.

  27. Network Connections
    Function

    Manages the network and dial-up connections, such as network status notification and configuration.

    Status

    This service should be turned on at all time, if your Windows XP is connected to network or Internet.

  28. Network DDE
    Function

    Provides network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer or on different computers.

    Status

    This service is safe to disable, if there is no such need for your Windows XP.

  29. Network DDE DSDM
    Function

    Manages Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) network shares.

    Status

    Disable this service, if you dont use DDE network shares.

  30. Network Location Awareness (NLA)
    Function

    Collects and stores network configuration and location information and notifies applications when this information changes.

    Status

    Enable if this service, if your Windows XP has Internet Connection Sharing or Internet Connection Firewall enabled.

  31. NT LM Security Support Provider
    Function

    Provides security to remote procedure call (RPC) programs that use transports other than named pipes.

    Status

    You may enable this service, if your Windows XP needs to log on to pre-Windows 2000 computers or domains

  32. Performance Logs and Alerts
    Function

    Collects performance data from local or remote computers, based on pre-configured schedule parameters, then writes the data to a log or triggers an alert.

    Status

    Unless you are in the midst of fine tuning Windows XP, you may safely disable this service to free up system resources. This service has potential to impact Windows XP performance after running for some times.

  33. Plug and Play
    Function

    Enables a computer to recognize and adapt to hardware changes with little or no user input.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time. Disable it will cause Windows XP becomes unstable.

  34. Portable Media Serial Number
    Function

    Retrieves serial number of any portable media player connected to Windows XP.

    Status

    Disable this service will cause protected content unable to download to the device.

  35. Print Spooler
    Function

    Manages print queues and load files to memory for later printing.

    Status

    You may safely disable it, if you dont have a printer attached to Windows XP.

  36. Protected Storage
    Function

    Provides protected storage for sensitive data, such as private keys, to prevent access by unauthorized services, processes, or users.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time.

  37. QoS RSVP
    Function

    Provides network signaling and local traffic-control setup functionality for QoS-aware programs (Quality of Service) and control applets.

    Status

    You may enable this service, if youre using QoS aware applications.

  38. Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
    Function

    Creates a connection to a remote network whenever a program references a remote DNS or NetBIOS name or address.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time, in order Windows XP to communicate successfully over the network.

  39. Remote Access Connection Manager
    Function

    Manages dial-up and virtual private network (VPN) connections from your Windows XP to the Internet or other remote networks.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time.

  40. Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
    Function

    Manages and controls Remote Assistance.

    Status

    You may safely disable this service, if you dont want remote users to access to your Windows XP via Remote Desktop.

  41. Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    Function

    Allows processes to communicate internally and across the network with each other.

    Status

    Dont ever disable this service! Disable this service will cause Windows XP fail to boot up.

  42. Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator
    Function

    Manages the RPC name service database, which is similar to DNS service for TCP/IP.

    Status

    This is also a critical service, which should be turned on at all time.

  43. Remote Registry
    Function

    Enables remote users to modify your Windows XP registry settings.

    Status

    Editing Windows Registry is dangerous! Unless you could justify the reason of enabling this service, Remote Registry service should be disabled whenever possible.

  44. Removable Storage
    Function

    Manages and catalogs removable storage media (such as USB mass storage drive) and operates automated removable media devices.

    Status

    This service should be enabled if you frequently attaching removable storage media to Windows XP.

  45. Routing and Remote Access
    Function

    Enables multiprotocol LAN-to-LAN, LAN-to-WAN, virtual private network (VPN), and network address translation (NAT) routing services for clients and servers on the network.

    Status

    Unless youre running Windows XP as server, this service is safe to disabled at most of time, for most Windows XP users.

  46. Secondary Logon
    Function

    Enables starting processes under alternate credentials.

    Status

    Disable this service will disable Run As features.

  47. Security Accounts Manager
    Function

    Stores security information for local user accounts.

    Status

    Disable this service will cause Group Policy objects, DHCP, etc, to fail functioning.

  48. Server
    Function

    Allows the sharing of Windows XP resources, such as files and printers, as well as named pipe communication.

    Status

    If you dont want remote users access to Windows XP resources, or attack via Windows XP hidden share (such as C$, D$, IPC$, etc), you may want to disable this service at all time.

  49. Shell Hardware Detection
    Function

    Provides notifications for AutoPlay hardware events.

    Status

    If you dont want Windows XP automatically pop up auto-play dialog box, you could safely disable this service.

  50. Smart Card
    Function

    Manages access to smart cards read by Windows XP.

    Status

    There is no reason to enable this service, if you dont have smart card reader attached to Windows XP.

  51. SSDP Discovery
    Function

    Used to detect UPnP devices found on the network.

    Status

    Disable this service, if you dont have UPNP devices attached to the network.

  52. System Event Notification
    Function

    Tracks system events such as Windows logon, network, and power events. Notifies COM+ Event System subscribers of these events.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time, especially Windows XP powered laptop (to receive battery related events).

  53. System Restore
    Function

    Performs system restore functions, such as saving periodic checkpoints.

    Status

    This is one of the system resouce sucker. Although, it is useful in the case of system failure. If you can tolerate with system failure or you could restore Windows XP to functioning state via Norton Ghost image, then you may safe to disable this service.

  54. Task Scheduler
    Function

    Configure and schedule automated tasks on Windows XP.

    Status

    Disable this service will disable scheduled tasks from running automatically.

  55. TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    Function

    Provides support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP and NetBIOS name lookups.

    Status

    This service could be safely disabled, if you dont share Windows XP resources.

  56. Telephony
    Function

    Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for programs that control telephony devices and IP-based voice connections.

    Status

    If you dont have a modem attached, or connect to Internet via modem, you may safely disable this service.

  57. Telnet
    Function

    Enables remote users to log on to Windows XP and run programs, via various TCP/IP Telnet clients

    Status

    There is no obvious reason to enable this service, especially if you dont want remote users access to Windows XP.

  58. Terminal Services
    Function

    Allows multiple users to connect interactively to a Windows XP.

    Status

    You may safely disable this service, if you dont allow remote users access to Windows XP.

  59. Themes
    Function

    Provides user experience theme management.

    Status

    If you are using Windows Classic theme, you can safely disable this service to boost Windows XP performance.

  60. Uninterruptible Power Supply
    Function

    Manages uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to the Windows XP.

    Status

    No reason to turn on this services, if there is no UPS attached to Windows XP.

  61. Universal Plug and Play Device Host
    Function

    Provides support to host Universal Plug and Play devices.

    Status

    If you disable SSDP Discovery service, you may safely disable this service as well.

  62. Volume Shadow Copy
    Function

    Manages and implements volume shadow copies used for backup and other purposes.

    Status

    You may safely disable this service, if you dont rely on Windows Backup.

  63. WebClient
    Function

    Enables Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify Internet-based files.

    Status

    This service can be safely disabled, if there is no such need.

  64. Windows Audio
    Function

    Manages audio devices for Windows-based programs.

    Status

    Disable this service, if you dont want your Windows XP to speak at all!

  65. Windows Image Acquisition
    Function

    Provides image acquisition services for scanners and cameras.

    Status

    No harm to disable this service, if there is no such need.

  66. Windows Installer
    Function

    Adds, modifies, and removes applications provided as a Windows Installer (*.msi) package.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time, in order to perform Windows update.

  67. Windows Management Instrumentation
    Function

    Provides a common interface and object model to access management information about operating system, devices, applications and services.

    Status

    This service is critical to Windows XP, and should be enabled at all time.

  68. Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions
    Function

    Monitors all drivers and event trace providers that are configured to publish Windows Management Instrumentation or event trace information.

    Status

    This service is not as critical as the Windows Management Instrumentation service, but is worth to enable at all time.

  69. Windows Time
    Function

    Uses NTP protocol to synchronize Windows XP local time with NTP server.

    Status

    Enable this service, if you want to synchronize Windows XP time with a NTP server.

  70. Wireless Zero Configuration
    Function

    Automatically configured WIFI (802.11) network adapters.

    Status

    This service should be enabled on laptop that supports WIFI connection.

  71. WMI Performance Adapter
    Function

    Provides performance library information from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) providers to clients on the network.

    Status

    This service should be enabled at all time.

  72. Workstation
    Function

    Creates and maintains client network connections to remote servers.

    Status

    This service should be enabled, when running Windows XP on a network environment.

Entry filed under: Windows XP. Tags: .

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