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Every time I open up my task manager and look at the tasks running, it appears to me that there has got to be a bunch of junk running in there that I don't want or need and would be better off turning off (e.g. set the service to manual vs. automatic)

In particular I'm running Windows XP, but I'd be interested in services for any version.


Service: ThinkPad PM Service

What is it: The ibmpmsvc.exe process is installed by default on IBM Notebook computers. It allows various functions of your IBM notebook to be controlled using the blue Fn keys. If you use the blue Fn keys on your Notebook, you should leave this process running. Otherwise, if it is causing problems for your system you should terminate the ibmpmsvc.exe process. (source)

Thus for me, (having never used, or intending to use these buttons) - I want to turn it off.

There's lots that just seem painfully unnecessary to me... I'm just not sure which ones I can "safely" stop/disable without issues... "Alerter", "ClipBook", "Messenger", "Telnet", "ATI Hotkey Poller", "Office Source Engine", etc.

I'd appreciate any info on services that are truly unnecessary, or only useful to certain people/types of users.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

A great many people defer to the knowledge contained at this site:

It has a great deal of information relating to all Windows platforms and their services.

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awesome list - thanks... – scunliffe May 6 '10 at 14:36

TechRepublic had an article a while back about 10 different services that could be turned off in Windows XP. In summary, you could turn off these services;

  • IIS
  • NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manage
  • Remote Registry
  • Routing and Remote Access
  • Simple File Sharing
  • SSDP Discovery Service
  • Telnet
  • Universal Plug and Play Device Host
  • Windows Messenger Service

Hope this helps you some.

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There are also some services that are useful but there is no point running the continiously on the background so i use command line scripts to enable/disable them when needed.These scripts look very simple:

sc start wlcrasvc
sc start scardsvr
sc start spooler
sc start bfe
sc start certpropsvc
sc start defragsvc
sc start DPS
sc start stisvc
sc start cryptsvc
sc config wbengine start= demand
sc start wbengine
sc config swprv start= demand
sc start swprv
sc config SDRSVC start= demand
sc start SDRSVC
sc config VSS start= demand
sc start VSS

and kill:

sc stop aelookupsvc
sc stop cryptsvc
sc stop pnkbstra
sc stop pnkbstrb
sc stop protectedstorage
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop wlcrasvc
sc stop scardsvr
sc stop spooler
sc stop bfe
sc stop wdiservicehost
sc stop trustedinstaller
sc stop servicelayer
sc stop certpropsvc
sc stop msiserver
sc stop W32Time
sc stop defragsvc
sc stop DPS
sc stop stisvc
sc stop BITS
sc config wbengine start= disabled
sc stop wbengine
sc config swprv start= disabled
sc stop swprv
sc config SDRSVC start= disabled
sc stop SDRSVC
sc config VSS start= disabled
sc stop VSS
taskkill /F /IM wmpnscfg.exe
taskkill /F /IM wmpnscfg.exe
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You could also have a look here:

There is some preamble and the individual services are listed starting halfway down the page.

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