Windows XP Services That Can Be Disabled

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Windows XP Services That Can Be Disabled

  1. 1. Version 1.0 Windows XP services that can be disabled June 15, 2005 By Scott Lowe One of the most effective ways to secure a Windows workstation is to turn off unnecessary services. This reference sheet lists the Windows XP SP 2 services, describes each service's function, specifies whether you can safely disable the service, and outlines the ramifications of disabling the service. The list assumes the machines is running Windows XP SP2 in a corporate network environment. The list offers one of the following three possibilities for safely disabling each service: • YES = You can disable the service without causing any problems. • MAYBE = The computer's role dictates whether you should or should not disable the service--read the special considerations for further information. • NO = The service is critical to proper Windows operation and should not be disabled. Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Notifies selected users and computers of Programs that use administrative Alerter Yes Disable administrative alerts alerts will not receive them. Provides support for application-level Programs that rely on this service, Only enable when using Application Maybe Enable protocol plug-ins and enables such as MSN Messenger and the Windows firewall or Layer network/protocol connectivity Windows Messenger will not another firewall. Failure Gateway function. to do so can result in a significant security hole. Processes installation, removal, and Users will be unable to install, Application Yes Disable enumeration requests for Active Directory remove, or enumerate any Management IntelliMirror group policy programs IntelliMirror programs. Enables the download and installation of The operating system cannot Automatic updates help Automatic Yes Enable critical Windows updates automatically install updates, but keep your computer Updates can still be manually updated at the current. If you do disable Windows Update Web site. the service, perform regular, manual updates. Transfers data between clients and Features such as Windows Update Enable this services if Background Yes Disable servers in the background will not work properly. you enable Automatic Intelligent Updates. Transfer Page 1 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  2. 2. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Enables ClipBook Viewer to store ClipBook Viewer will not be able to ClipBook Yes Disable information and share it with remote share information with remote computers computers. Allows management of Component System Event Notification stops COM+ Event No Enable Services by providing automatic working, which means that logon System/Syste distribution of events to subscribing COM and logoff notifications will not take m Application components place. Other applications, such as Volume Snapshot service, will not work correctly. Maintains an up-to-date list of computers Your computer will be unable to Enable this service, if you Computer Yes Enable on your network, and supplies the list to locate other Windows computers on need to share files with Browser programs that request it. The Computer the network other Windows Browser service is used by Windows- computers. based computers that need to view network domains and resources. Provides three management services: The associated management Required if you use the Cryptographic No Enable Catalog Database Service, which services will not function properly. Automatic Updates services confirms the signatures of Windows files; Windows service; Also Protected Root Service, which adds and used by other Windows removes Trusted Root Certification services, such as Task Authority certificates from this computer; Manager. and Key Service, which helps enroll this computer for certificates Allows the system to automatically obtain The system will be unable to obtain You can disabled this DHCP Client Maybe Enable IP addressing information, WINS server an IP address, WINS information, service if you do not use information, routing information, and so and the like, from a DHCP server DHCP. forth; is required to update records in and will need to be configured with Dynamic DNS a static address. Page 2 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  3. 3. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Ensures that shortcuts and OLE links Link tracking will be unavailable. Distributed Yes Disable continue to work after the target file is Users on other computers won't be Link Tracking renamed or moved by maintaining links in able to track links on this computer. Client the file system Coordinates transactions that span Distributed transactions will not Distributed Yes Disable multiple resource managers, such as occur. Transaction databases, message queues, and file Coordinator systems Resolves and caches DNS names, The system will be unable to Stopping this service will DNS Client No Enable allowing the system to communicate with resolve a name and will be able to result in the inability for canonical names rather than strictly by IP communicate only via IP address. A the computer to resolve address client may be unable to names to IP addresses. communicate with its domain controller. Collects, stores, and reports unexpected Error Reporting will occur only for Error Yes Disable application crashes to Microsoft kernel faults and some types of Reporting user mode faults. Allows event log messages to be viewed Administrators won't be able to view Event Log No Enable in Event log to assist in problem logs, including the security log, resolution increasing the difficulty of diagnosing problems and detecting security breaches. Enables management for applications Fast User Switching will be Doesn't work in domain Fast User Yes Disable that require assistance in a multiple user unavailable. environments anyway. Switching environment Compatibility Enables Help and Support Center to run The Help and Support Center will Help and Yes Enable on this computer be unavailable. Support Page 3 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  4. 4. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Enables generic input access to Human Hot buttons controlled by this Required for some quot;hot HID Input Maybe Disable Interface Devices (HID), which activates service will no longer function. buttonsquot; on newer and maintains the use of predefined hot keyboards. Can be safely buttons on keyboards, remote controls, enabled if these buttons and other multimedia devices don't work with this service disabled. Manages CD recording using Image This computer will be unable to This service can be IMAPI CD- Maybe Enable Mastering Applications Programming record CDs. disabled if you don't have Burning COM Interface (IMAPI) a CD-RW drive in your system. Indexes contents and properties of files Files will not be indexed. Indexing Uninstall this service if Indexing Yes Disable on local and remote computers; provides can speed searching. you don't plan to use it. Service rapid access to files through flexible querying language Provides network address translation, Networking services such as If you share your Internet Internet Maybe Disable addressing, name resolution and/or Internet sharing, name resolution, connection, you must Connection - intrusion prevention services for a home addressing and/or intrusion enable this service. Firewall (ICF) / or small office network prevention will be unavailable. Sharing (ICS) Provides end-to-end security between TCP/IP security between clients If you connect over an IPSEC Maybe Disable clients and servers on TCP/IP networks and servers on the network will be IPSec secured services impaired. connection, don't disable this service. Waits for new drives to be added and New disks will not be detected by Leaving this service Logical Disk Yes Enable passes required information to the LDM the system. enabled makes it easy to Manager administrative service; required to ensure add new drives to the dynamic disk information is up to date system. In a very high security environment, this should not be allowed. Page 4 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  5. 5. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Starts and allows configuration to take None; runs only when needed. Started by the Logical Logical Disk Yes N/A place when a new drive is detected or a Disk Manager service Manager partition/drive is configured only when needed. Do Administrative not disable if you have the Logical Disk Manager Service enabled. Manages Visual Studio debugging Visual Studio debugging Machine Yes Disable information will not be available. Debug Manager Transmits net send and Alerter service Alerter messages will not be Messenger Yes Disable messages between clients and servers. transmitted. This service is not related to Windows Messenger Manages software-based volume shadow Software-based volume shadow Leave set at Manual if Microsoft Yes Disable copies taken by the Volume Shadow copies cannot be managed. you intend to use Software Copy service Windows Backup. Shadow Copy Provider Enables an authorized user to access this Remote desktop sharing will be If you use NetMeeting, NetMeeting Yes Disable computer remotely by using NetMeeting unavailable. don't disable this service. Remote over a corporate intranet Desktop Sharing Manages the network and dial-up Network configuration will not be Network No Enable connections for the server, including possible; new connections can't be Connections network status notification and created and services that need configuration network information may fail. Provides network transport and security DDE transport and security will be Network DDE Yes Disable for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for unavailable. programs running on the same computer or on different computers Page 5 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  6. 6. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Manages Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) DDE network shares will be Network DDE Yes Disable network shares unavailable. DSDM Collects and stores network configuration Services such as ICS & ICF will not Enable if this computer Network Maybe Disable and location information and notifies function. has Internet Connection Location applications when this information Sharing enabled or if you Awareness changes. This service is a part of ICS are using the Internet (NLA) Connection Firewall. Allows users to log on to the network Users with versions of Windows Enable this service if this NT LM Maybe Disable using NTLM prior to Windows 2000 will be computer needs to log on Security unable to log in to the network. to pre-Windows 2000 Support computers or domains Provider Collects performance data for the Performance information will no Performance Yes Disable computer or other computers and writes it longer be logged or displayed. Logs and to a log or displays it on the screen Alerts Allows an administrator to add hardware The system will be unstable and Plug and Play No Enable to a server and have the server incapable of detecting hardware automatically detect and configure it changes. Retrieves the serial number of any Protected content might not be Portable Yes Disable portable media player connected to this downloaded to the device. Media Serial computer Number Manages all local and network print Printing on the local machine will be Disable this service if you Print Spooler Maybe Enable queues and controls all printing jobs unavailable. don't have a printer. Protects sensitive information such as Protected information will be Protected Yes Enable private keys from exposure except to inaccessible. Storage allowed persons and services Page 6 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  7. 7. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Provides network signaling and local, QoS aware applications with either Enable this service if you QoS RSVP Yes Disable traffic-control, set-up functionality for not function, or will not have their use QoS aware (Quality of Service) QoS-aware programs complete functionality. applications. and control applets Detects unsuccessful attempts to connect Users will need to manually Remote Yes Enable to a remote network or computer and connect to other systems. Access Auto provides alternative methods for Connection connection Manager Manages dial-up and virtual private The operating system may not This service is run on Remote Maybe Enable network (VPN) connections from this function properly. demand by the Remote Access computer to the Internet or other remote Access Manager Connection networks Manager Manages and controls Remote Remote Assistance will be Remote Yes Disable Assistance unavailable. Desktop Help Session Manager Allows processes to communicate The system will not boot. Don't Remote No Enable internally and across the network with disable this service. Procedure each other Call (RPC) Provides RPC name services similar to Systems that are running third-party Remote No Enable DNS services for IP utilities looking for RPC information Procedure will be unable to find it. OS Call (RPC) components do not use this Locator service, but programs such as Exchange do. Page 7 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  8. 8. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Provides a mechanism to remotely Remote systems will be unable to Some programs require Remote Maybe Disable manage the system registry connect to the local registry. this functionality in order Registry Hfnetchk uses this mechanism. to operate. Disabling it can affect the patch utility's operation. Manages and catalogs removable media Programs that are dependent on Removable Yes Enable and operates automated removable Removable Storage, such as Storage media devices Backup and Remote Storage, will operate more slowly. Enables multiprotocol LAN-to-LAN, LAN- Routing and Remote Access Better yet, don't install Routing and Yes Disable to-WAN, virtual private network (VPN), services will be unavailable. this service at all. Remote and network address translation (NAT) Access routing services for clients and servers on this network Enables starting processes under Users will be unable to use the Secondary Yes Disable alternate credentials. If this service is quot;Run Asquot; feature to elevate Logon stopped, this type of logon access will be privileges. unavailable Stores account information for local Services that rely on requests to If you use don't use Security Yes Enable security accounts, which, when started, the SAM database will not function DHCP to obtain an IP Accounts allows other services to access the SAM properly. Group Policy objects may address, this service can Manager not operate properly. be disabled. Allows the sharing of local resources such Resources can't be shared, RPC This service must be Server Yes Disable as files and printers, as well as named requests will be denied, and named enabled on Windows XP pipe communication pipe communication will fail. computers that share files or printers. Provides notifications for AutoPlay CD-ROMs and other devices will Much easier to leave this Shell Yes Enable hardware events not automatically function. enabled, and not much of Hardware a security risk. Detection Page 8 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  9. 9. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Manages access to smart cards read by This computer will be unable to If you're using a smart Smart Card Yes Disable this computer read smart cards. card reader, enable this service. Provides support for earlier smart card The computer will be unable to read If you're using a smart Smart Card Yes Disable readers attached to the computer legacy smart cards. card reader, enable this Helper service. Used to locate UPnP devices on your Your computer will be unable to SSDP Yes Disable home network. Used in conjunction with located uPnP devices on the Discovery Universal Plug and Play Device Host, it network. detects and configures UPnP devices on your home network Required to record entries in the event Certain notifications will no longer Leave enabled for System Event Yes Disable logs; notifies COM+ subscribers about work. For example, synchronization laptops to that power Notification logon and power-related events won't work, as it depends on notifications are passed connectivity information and to the user. Network Connect/Disconnect and Logon/Logoff notifications. Performs system restore functions, Automatic system restoration will While this service does System Yes Disable including saving periodic checkpoints not be possible. use up some system Restore resources, it can be invaluable for stand alone machines, particularly when a software install goes bad. Enables a user to configure and schedule Tasks will not be run at their Task Yes Disable automated tasks on this computer scheduled times. Scheduler Page 9 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  10. 10. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Required for software distribution in a NetBIOS over TCP/IP clients For small networks, this TCP/IP Yes Disable Group Policy (may be used to distribute including Netlogon and Messenger service may be essential NetBIOS patches) and provides support for might stop responding. Disabling if you share files with Helper NetBIOS over TCP/IP and NetBIOS name may also affect the ability to share others. For larger lookups resources. networks with central file servers, keep disabled on desktops. Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support The function of all dependent Only needed for Telephony Yes Disable for clients using programs that control programs will be impaired. modem/fax modem use. telephony devices and IP-based voice connections Enables a remote user to log on to this Remote user access to programs Telnet Yes Disable computer and run programs; supports might be unavailable. various TCP/IP Telnet clients, including UNIX- and Windows-based computers Allows users to connect interactively to a May make your computer Terminal Yes Disable remote computer; Remote Desktop, Fast unreliable. To prevent remote use Services User Switching, Remote Assistance, and of this computer, clear the check Terminal Server depend on this service. boxes in the Remote tab of the System properties control panel item. Provides user experience theme Themes cannot be used. Themes Yes Disable management Manages an uninterruptible power supply The UPS cannot communicate with Uninterruptibl Yes Disable (UPS) connected to the computer the computer. e Power Supply Used in conjunction with SSDP Discovery Your computer will be unable to Universal Plug Yes Disable Service, it detects and configures UPnP located uPnP devices on the and Play devices on your home network network. Device Host Page 10 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  11. 11. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Manages synchronous and asynchronous Certain file transfers will not take Upload Yes Disable file transfers between clients and servers. place. Manager 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. Manages and implements volume Shadow copies will be unavailable Enable this service if you Volume Yes Disable shadow copies used for backup and other for backup and the backup may fail. use Windows Backup on Shadow Copy purposes this desktop. Enables Windows-based programs to These functions will not be WebClient Yes Disable create, access, and modify Internet-based available. files Manages audio devices for Windows- Audio devices and effects will not Even though it can be Windows Yes Enable based programs function properly. disabled, without this Audio service, you will get no sound. Provides image acquisition services for Programs that require images, such This service is required Windows Yes Enable scanners and cameras as Windows Movie Maker, won't for some scanners and Image function properly. cameras. If you don't Acquisition have a scanner or a (WIA) camera, you can disable this service. Adds, modifies, and removes applications People can install no programs, or Windows Yes Enable provided as a Windows Installer (*.msi) make use of Add/Remove Installer package programs. Page 11 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  12. 12. Windows XP services that can be disabled Service Description Safely Ramifications if disabled Suggested Special Disable? setting Considerations Provides system management System management and Windows No Enable information; required to implement performance information will be Management performance alerts using Performance unavailable. Instrumentatio Logs and Alerts n (WMI) Monitors all drivers and event trace (extension of WMI only) WMI Driver Yes Enable providers that are configured to publish Extensions Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) or event trace information Uses NTP to keep computers in the Time synchronization won't take Windows Yes Enable domain synchronized place. Time Automatically configured WiFi (802.11) You will have to manually configure Enable this service if Wireless Zero Maybe Disable network adapters wireless networking. you're using wireless Configuration networking. Provides performance library information This service runs only when WMI Yes Enable from Windows Management Performance Data Helper is Performance Instrumentation (WMI) providers to clients activated. Adapter on the network Provides network connections and The computer will be unable to Workstation Yes Enable communications using the Microsoft connect to remote Microsoft Network services Network resources. Scott Lowe has held a variety of jobs in the information technology field. Although he has been involved primarily in IT management and network/systems engineering, he has also served as a DBA, help desk technician, and several other job roles. He is currently the IT Director for Elmira College, a small private college located in Elmira, NY. Page 12 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  13. 13. Cheat sheet: Windows XP services that can be disabled Additional resources • Sign up for our TechRepublic Downloads Weekly Update, delivered on Tuesdays. • Sign up for the Windows XP newsletter, delivered on Thursdays • Sign up for the Windows 2000 Professional, delivered on Tuesdays • Sign up for our TechRepublic NetNote, delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. • Check out all of TechRepublic's newsletter offerings. • Cheat sheet: Windows 2000 services that can be disabled • Worksheet: Windows Server 2003 default services Version history Version: 1.0 Published: June 15, 2005 Tell us what you think TechRepublic downloads are designed to help you get your job done as painlessly and effectively as possible. Because we're continually looking for ways to improve the usefulness of these tools, we need your feedback. Please take a minute to drop us a line and tell us how well this download worked for you and offer your suggestions for improvement. Thanks! —The TechRepublic Downloads Team Page 13 Copyright ©2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html

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