Top 6 Ways to Fix Services Not Opening on Windows 11

Windows Services is a system app that allows you to enable, disable, and configure various services installed on your computer. You may need to use it when a certain Windows feature or app starts acting up and requires you to manage its services manually. However, you can’t do that if the Services app fails to open on your computer.

Your Windows computer features plenty of system and third-party services that may require your attention from time to time. Hence, it’s critical that the Services app works properly when you need it. So, without further ado, let’s look at what you need to do to regain access to the Services app in Windows 11.

1. Check Default File Association for MSC Files

MSC (Microsoft Saved Console) files on your computer store information about various systems and third-party services. If these MSC files are not configured to open with Microsoft Management Console, the Services app may fail to open. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Settings from the list.

Step 2: Navigate to the Apps tab and select Default apps.

Step 3: Type .msc in the search box and click the current default app.

Step 4: Select Microsoft Management Console and click the Set default button at the bottom.

2. Use Alternative Methods to Open the Services App

On Windows, there are several ways to open the Services app. So, if you’re having trouble opening the Services app from the Start menu, try using the Run tool or Command Prompt instead.

Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type services.msc in the box and press Enter.

If that doesn’t work, try opening the Services app via Command Prompt. To do so, right-click the Start icon and select Terminal from the list.

In the console, type services.msc and press Enter to open the Services app.

If you still can’t open it, move to the next solution.

3. Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter

You can always rely on Windows’ built-in troubleshooters whenever you encounter system-level issues. In this case, you can run the System Maintenance troubleshooter to fix issues with unused files, shortcuts, disk errors, and other system-related issues.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic in the Open field and press Enter.

Step 2: In the System Maintenance window, click Next and follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter.

After running the troubleshooter, see if you can open the Services app.

4. Check for Corrupt System Files

At times, important Windows system files can corrupt and prevent Windows from opening your apps. The System File Check (SFC) scan is a built-in tool that automatically finds and fixes damaged system files on your computer. Here’s how you can run it.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Terminal (Admin) from the list.

Step 2: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.

Step 3: In the console, type the following command and press Enter.

SFC /scannow

After the scan is complete, a message will appear, indicating whether or not it found any problems.

Next, run the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan. Unlike the SFC scan, DISM can repair system images and files on your Windows computer.

Open the Terminal app with administrative privileges again, run the following commands one by one, and press Enter after each command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

After running the above commands, restart your PC and try to access the Services app again.

5. Re-Register DLL Files Using Command Prompt

If the SFC and DISM scans fail to find any issues, you can re-register the DLL files associated with the Services app. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + S to open the search menu.

Step 2: Type terminal in the box, right-click on the first result, and select Run as administrator.

Step 3: Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.

Step 4: In the console, run the following commands individually and press Enter after each command.

regsvr32 msxml.dll

regsvr32 msxml2.dll

regsvr32 msxml3.dll

Restart your PC and see if you can open the Services app after that.

6. Try Clean Boot

There’s a chance that a third-party app or program is interfering with Windows and preventing it from opening the Services app. You can boot your PC in a clean boot state to check for this possibility by following the steps below.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog, type msconfig.msc in the box, and press Enter.

Step 2: Under the Services tab, mark the box that reads ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and then click the Disable all button.

Step 3: Switch to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.

Step 4: On the Startup apps tab, select a third-party app and click the Disable button at the top. Repeat this step to disable all the third-party startup apps.

Restart your PC to enter the clean boot state. If the Services app opens as usual during a clean boot, one of the third-party apps or programs is to blame. You’ll need to review any recently installed apps and programs and remove them to resolve the issue.

Get Services Working

When the Services app fails to open, you could have trouble configuring critical system services on Windows. Hopefully, that is no longer the case, and one of the above fixes has helped you fix the issue for good.

Last updated on 24 December, 2022

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