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Friday, June 01, 2007

List of Services that you don't need in Windows Vista to make it work faster

Windows Vista makes all kinds of assumptions about your computing habits and the features you may or may not need, and it inevitably installs some overhead that you simply don't need. You can get rid of all that very easily and make your machine work faster.

Windows XP had the Add/Remove Windows Features button in the Control Panel. Similarly
Vista has something called as Add/Remove Programs applet. Turn it off or Uninstall what you don't need.

Open Control Panel and click Uninstall a Program to launch Vista's Uninstall or Change a Program Window. In the Tasks pane on the left, click Turn Windows Features On or Off. Check the list of features. Each feature is preceded by a checkbox which, if filled, indicates the feature is installed. If you hover the mouse over a feature, a help tooltip appears to tell you what it is. Uncheck any feature you don't need. Some of the features are headings with a sub-list below them; just click the little + sign to expand.

Click the Start button and type in services.msc and hit Enter. (The cursor jumps to the Search bar in the Start Menu when you click the Start button; you can usually just punch in whatever program or module you want to run right there). The Services applet appears. Each service is basically a little nest of software support code for something the computer can monitor or do.

Well-written services include a description of what they do (note that lots of third-party services don't include a description). The Status column in the Services window shows whether or not the service has been started.

Startup Type means how the service starts:

  • Automatic means the service starts when Windows starts.
  • Manual means the service starts when Windows detects that something needs it.
  • Disabled means the service doesn't start at all.

Most services are either set to Automatic or Manual. There's no need to change any manual services; they only start when it's necessary for them to do something. There are probably some automatic services you really don't need, though.

To change how a service starts, right-click it and click Properties. If you don't want a service to load, first stop the service by clicking Stop. Then, pull down the Startup Type list and set the service to Manual or Disabled.

If you're not sure about a service, it's safer to set it to Manual; that way, if something calls it, it should start up. If you know you don't need a service, set it to Disabled.

The services you need depend on what you do with your PC. For instance, if you're not using ReadyBoost, you can disable that service; you can disable Windows Error Reporting if you don't want to report errors; you can disable Tablet PC Input Service if you don't want to use Tablet PC features; and so on.

You can almost certainly disable some services that start automatically by default:
  • Computer Browser
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • IKE and AuthIP IP Keying Modules
  • Offline Files
  • Remote Registry
  • Tablet PC Input Service (unless you're using a tablet PC)
  • Windows Error Reporting

Some services that you absolutely should not disable include:
  • Multimedia Class Scheduler
  • Plug and Play
  • Superfetch
  • Task Scheduler
  • Windows Audio
  • Windows Driver Foundation

Feel free to experiment with services; just keep track of which services you tweak and, if something doesn't work, re-enable the last service you turned off. Streamline the system by shutting down as many services as you can, based on your own unique needs.

As an example, here are the services I've disabled on my networked machine:
  • DFS Replication
  • Computer Browser
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
  • IP Helper
  • IPsec Policy Agent
  • KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator
  • Offline Files
  • Remote Registry
  • Secondary Logon
  • Security Center (Use caution if you disable security services!)
  • SSDP Discovery
  • Tablet PC Input Service
  • Terminal Services
  • Windows Defender

There is a lot more you can do easily to Boost the performance of your Vista PC.