How to Stop or Disable a Service with Task Manager - dummies

How to Stop or Disable a Service with Task Manager

By Dan Gookin

On occasion, Windows may direct you to disable or end a service in the course of trying to troubleshoot a problem with a Windows application. During those times, refer to these steps for the proper procedure:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Open the Administrative Tools window.

    • In Windows 7, choose System and Security and then choose Administrative Tools.

    • In Windows Vista, choose System and Maintenance and then choose Administrative tools.

    • In Windows XP, open the Administrative Tools icon.

  3. Open the Services icon.

  4. Double-click the service you want to stop or disable.

    The service’s dialog box appears.

  5. Ensure that the General tab is selected.

  6. To stop the service, click the Stop button.

    If the Stop button isn’t available (it’s dimmed), the service hasn’t started. Good.

  7. To prevent the service from starting when Windows starts, choose Disable from the drop-down menu next to Startup Type.

  8. Click OK to confirm the new settings.

  9. Close the Services console window.

It’s often not enough to stop a service (refer to Step 4), so you have to disable it as well (refer to Step 5). By disabling the service, you prevent it from restarting. Of course, if you need to merely suspend a service for troubleshooting, don’t disable it, because it might not be the cause of your misery.

Services that rely on other services cannot be stopped willy-nilly. To stop them, you must halt them as Windows starts. That’s a job for the System Configuration Utility. Here’s what to do:

  1. Press Win+R to bring up the Run dialog box.

  2. Type MSCONFIG to start the System Configuration Utility.

  3. In Windows Vista, type the administrator’s password or click the Continue button.

  4. Click the Services tab.

  5. Remove the check mark by the service you want to disable.

    By removing the check mark, you prevent the service from being started the next time Windows starts.

    As an example, if you don’t have Bluetooth wireless on your computer, yet you see that the Bluetooth Support Service is checked, remove the check mark to disable the service, since you don’t need it.

  6. Click OK to close the window.

  7. Click the Restart button to restart Windows.

    Or, you can click the Exit without Restart button. Just remember to restart Windows in the future.