I am trying to set the "DNS Client" service (also called dnscache) in Windows 10 to DISABLED.

However, when I enter into the services control for Windows the options to manipulate it are all "greyed out".

windows services controls options greyed out

I have also tried to terminate it from the Task Manager, but it throws up an error message saying that it is a matter of "access denied" (I'm running in a test box, as the sole administrative user).

windows task manager error message

I have also attempted to kill it from the command line as such: taskkill /F /PID 3953 Doing this successfully kills the service but only for a split second! It then reappears immediately under a new PID.

How can I set the DNS Client (dnscache) to being disabled?

  • So what is it that you’re actually trying to accomplish? Disabling the Windows DNS resolver isn’t exactly going to solve anything. – Daniel B Dec 17 '17 at 20:27
  • This service can definitely be stopped. Are you running Task Manager or the services console as administrator? – Patrick Seymour Dec 17 '17 at 20:28
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Note that the DNS Client does more than just cache DNS records - it gets them in the first place, so disabling it may limit internet access.

If you still decide to disable it, do this :

  • Use regedit to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Dnscache,
  • Locate the Start registry key and change its value from 2 (Automatic) to 4 (Disabled)
  • Reboot.

Another method is :

  • Start a Command prompt (cmd) as SYSTEM (psexec -sid cmd.exe)
  • Launch services.msc from it
  • The Startup type drop-down now becomes enabled.
  • Thank you very much for this detailed explanation. I have disabled it via the registry editor now. Further: I am testing some custom DNS settings locally so this service was interfering. – Jack Feschuk Dec 17 '17 at 22:34
  • Damn. Now that I've upgraded to Windows 10 Version 1803, I'm having this problem where I can't stop or restart the "DNS Client" service. Although your answer looked promising, launching services.msc as Admin (or from running .\PsExec64.exe -sid cmd.exe and then services.msc) doesn't seem to help me. – Ryan Aug 10 at 23:39

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