Windows services are programs that run in the background and perform various tasks, such as managing hardware, providing network connectivity, updating software, and more. They are essential for the smooth functioning of your system, but sometimes, they can cause problems or become unnecessary. In this article, we will show you four ways to delete a service from Windows.
A service in Windows is a type of application that runs without a user interface and can start automatically when the system boots up. It provides core functionality and security for your system, such as firewall, antivirus, backup, and more. With this understanding, let’s move into more details and get the article started.
Should You Remove Services in Windows
Services are essential to the Windows operating system. However, not all services are beneficial or required for your system. Some third-party software may install services you don’t need or use, and some may be malicious or unwanted. In these cases, you may want to remove a service from Windows to free up resources, improve performance, enhance security, or resolve issues.
Before you remove any service, you should consider the following factors:
- Ensure you have a backup of your system and a way to restore the service if needed. You can use the System Restore feature in Windows to create restore points and undo changes that may have caused problems.
- You should only remove services you know are safe to delete. However, if you are unsure what a service does or who created it, you should leave it alone or research it before removing it. Consider disabling the service instead of deleting it if you need to restore it later.
Removing services from Windows is not a trivial task and should be done cautiously. Otherwise, you may risk damaging your system or losing functionality. With this understanding, let’s begin with removing a service on Windows.
How to Remove Windows Services
There are several ways you can remove services from Windows. We will list all the possible ways and explain them in detail. Let’s begin with the most common way.
Method 1: From the Command Prompt
Using the command line tool is one of the most common and easiest ways to uninstall services in Windows. This method requires entering the service name you want to remove from Windows. So, you must know what service you want to remove. Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Command Prompt, and click ‘Run as administrator.’
In the prompt, select Yes.
Step 2: If you are unsure about the service name you wish to delete, list all services in cmd. Type the following command.
sc queryex type=service state=all
Step 3: To delete a service, enter the below command.
Note: Replace the service name with the actual name of the service you want to remove.
sc delete name
That’s it. You will see a SUCCESS message if the deletion is successful. And this way, you have removed a service from Windows.
Method 2: Using Windows PowerShell
Much like Command Prompt, deleting a service from your Windows PC using PowerShell is straightforward. However, it is much more convenient as it displays the names of all the services installed on your Windows computer. Moreover, the accurate name of the service and the removal process also become handy. Follow the below-mentioned steps.
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Windows PowerShell, and click ‘Run as Administrator.’
In the prompt, select Yes.
Step 2: Now, type the below command to view the services list on your Windows.
Step 3: To delete a specific service, type the below command and press Enter.
Note: Replace the servicename with the name of the service you want to delete.
sc delete servicename
There you go. The selected service will be removed from your Windows machine. Unlike Command Prompt, PowerShell only displays an error message and will not display anything when the command is successful.
Method 3: Using the Windows Registry
This method is more complex than the previous two, but the steps are simple to follow. However, because we will be using Registry Editor, we strongly advise you to back up the Windows Registry before proceeding with the steps below.
Step 1: Open the Start menu, type Registry Editor, and click ‘Run as administrator.’
Note: Alternatively, press ‘Windows key + R’ to open the Run dialog box, type regedit.exe, and click OK to open Registry Editor.
In the prompt, select Yes.
Step 2: In the top address bar, enter the mentioned address.
Note: You can manually navigate to the section too.
This directory contains keys for all the services on your computer.
Step 3: Right-click the key you want to remove and select Delete.
Step 4: In the confirmation pop-up, click Yes.
Finally, restart the system to implement the changes. And that’s it! The specific service will be deleted from Windows when the system boots back up.
If you don’t want to remove a service from the registry, go with Autoruns; check out the following method.
Method 4: With Autoruns Utility
Autoruns is a powerful tool that allows you to view and manage the programs and services that run automatically when you start Windows. Autoruns can help identify and remove unwanted or malicious software that may slow down your system, compromise security, or interfere with normal operations. Follow the below-mentioned instructions.
Step 1: Download Autoruns from the official Microsoft website and extract the zip file to a folder of your choice.
Step 2: Unzip the file. Select and run Autoruns.exe as an administrator. In the prompt, select Yes.
Wait for Autoruns to scan your system and display the list of auto-start entries.
Step 3: Go to the Services tab.
Under the Services tab, you will see all the services registered on your machine.
Note: Autoruns also tells you whether the service’s publisher is verified, which helps you graze through legitimate third-party services easily.
Step 3: Once you find the service you want to remove, right-click on it and choose Delete from the menu.
Step 4: In the confirmation pop-up, select OK to confirm deletion.
You have successfully removed a service from Windows using Autoruns. You can use Autoruns again to verify that the service is no longer running or listed in the auto-start entries.
FAQs on Removing Services in Windows
When you disable a service, it won’t start automatically when booting or called upon by another service or program. The service stays off whether you try to start it or not. Alternatively, removing a service means effectively uninstalling it from your system. Under Computer Management > Services, the service files are removed, and it is no longer listed.
Yes and no. If you have backed up the service or its associated file, you can reinstall a service you’ve removed from Windows. However, you can’t if you don’t have a backup.
Removing a service in Windows is a system administration task that requires administrative privileges. So, yes, you cannot remove a service if logged in as a standard user or a guest.
Free up Windows
In this article, we have demonstrated four methods to delete a service from Windows. Depending on your needs and preferences, select any of these methods to remove a service, free up your system resources, and improve your computer’s performance. You may also want to read how to install Windows 11 on VirtualBox.
Last updated on 28 August, 2023
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