Microsoft Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems have so many internal software services that are designed to serve the connected hardware peripherals, drivers and applications. Among the three operating system versions, Windows XP has the least number of services. Some of these services are essential for Windows startup and for the working of its core components. Some others are designed for specific user requirements. For example, the Print Spooler service polls and facilitates the operation of any external print hardware connected to a computer with Windows installed. Those who are not using a printer can turn off of this service to distribute system resources to other services. Third party Windows applications also create services for its own Windows components. Here in this article we will show you how can disable unwanted services in Windows and speed up the overall performance of the OS.
Disable unwanted services in Windows
In Windows, the startup type of any application can be set to three modes, automatic, disabled and manual. A disabled service completely stops its operation and that of the associated programs. Automatic services are the one loads at Windows boot. A manual service loads only when a program or process needs it. You can enable/disable Windows services from the Services section, by typing “services.msc” in Windows Run (Win key+R) window.
The operation and use of all the Windows services are described under the extended tab. Double-click on any of the service to open its configuration. The drop down menu near the label- Startup Type can be used to set the service to automatic/manual or disabled mode. The selection of any service is purely based on the hardware, networking or software preferences and needs of the user.
List of Windows services that you can disable
Application Experience: The Application Experience service aids old Windows software to work on Windows 7 or Windows Vista, even if the software compatibility mode option is not enabled.
Application Identity: This service helps the AppLocker in Windows 7 to identify the list of applications that should be in the blocked list. You can disable this service if AppLocker is not being used.
Application Management (AppMgmt): This service is associated with Groups Policy Editor (gpcedit.msc) that helps network administrators/ local users to control various hardware and software settings in Windows. Administrator can install applications remotely through a network using the group policy management tools in Windows server. So when you disable Application Management, it may not be possible for them to remove or install or modify applications using GP feature.
ActiveX installer (AxInstSV): It Manages the installation of Microsoft ActiveX controls in internet explorer based browsers, based on Group policy settings.
BitLocker Drive Encryption service: Disable if you are not using Microsoft Windows 7 BitLocker application.
Background Intelligent Transfer service: It is Used to download automatic updates and perform other background tasks related with data transfer.
Print Spooler: We don’t have a printer here.
BranchCache: For business networks- set manual/disable.
Bluetooth Support service: Useful if you have a USB Bluetooth Dongle, or if you are on a Laptop.
Remote Registry: Security hazard – disable it!
SSDP recovery: For home networks, if you are using Universal Plug and Play devices.
Portable Device Enumerator service: Enable if you want to synchronize music and other content from external devices to Windows media player.
Others: Windows Error report, Remote Desktop service, Tablet PC Input service, System Event Notification service, Certificate Propagation, Windows Time and Windows Task Scheduler, Parental controls, Windows Media Player Network Sharing service, Windows search, Windows Media Center scheduler and receiver service, Fax, Windows Biometric service, Smart Card and Media Center Extender service.
The above listed is a set of services that we usually disable in our Windows 7 computer with broadband internet connection and without a network administration. You may also find some other services initiated by third party software. Microsoft Office, Antivirus Programs, Apple software, Adobe software, are the most common programs seen creating separate windows services.