Windows XP Services Removal GuideFormer staff writer - February 1, 2002
Category: Operating Systems
I have rewritten most of this guide to incorporate a lot of the smaller updates that have already been made to the guide by me. I must thank all of our readers for sending me feedback and suggestions to improve the guide. This information is greatly improving the guide and the information about each service. Crystal Christensen, a Research Engineer for Microsoft contacted me back in February of 2004 and has given me a lot of input on the guide. I will be using some of her references and information that she has given me, throughout the guide.
Backup Your System
As always, before starting any modification to Windows XP or any other software for that matter, you should backup your system. Since we are not actually going to be modifying files, you should be relatively safe. However if you disable a specific service your system may not boot up properly. This is the case sometimes when you're on a network (like at work) and you disable a specific networking service that is required for your system to boot on to the network.
We're going to be using Windows XP's built-in System Restore function to take a "snapshot" of our system. It doesn't actually backup your files, but it will "backup", or take a snapshot rather, of your device drivers, registry settings, and in our case, the services. The reason I did system restore for this guide, is because it only takes a few seconds to do. The backup utility is better, and backs up ALL of your data, however it can take hours and hours to complete.
To take a "snapshot" of your system, Go to Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore whew, that was a mouth full :) Once you run this program a screen will pop that looks like the picture below.
On this screen click "Create a restore point" then click next. On the next screen it will ask you to type in a description of your restore point. You can type anything you want to in here; I called mine "Backup" without quotes. Lastly, click on create, and it will save all of your windows settings. Once it has done that, click on close. We have now successfully made a backup of our system.
Disabling Windows ServicesBefore we get the long list of services and what you should set them to, we must first launch the Services Utility. To do this, Click on Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools then Services. This will popup your Services utility. From here, you can disable and enable services that run on your computer. Many services are not needed, but some are critical in order for your computer to boot. By disabling some of them, we can gain better system performance, more available system resources, and faster shutdowns, and boot times.
I'll walk you through disabling one service and you may do the rest. Right click on the service name "Automatic Updates".
On the next screen look where it says Service Status. If the Service status says "Started" then click on the "Stop" button. Now where it says "Startup Type" change it to "Disabled" then click on "OK" button. You have successfully turned off Automatic Updates and have prevented it from starting when windows boots up. :)