I want to modify the default view when using Services from Administrative Tools under Windows 7, similar to this previous SuperUser question relating to Windows XP:
How can I open WinXP's Services control panel applet on the Standard tab by default?

However, Windows 7 won't let me modify the file C:\Windows\System32\services.msc. I've tried both of the following to change the file, but both result in "Access is denied":
* Go to file Properties->Security and try to add my username with full control; and
* Open a command prompt as Administrator, and try to use the copy command to overwrite the file in System32 with one in another location.

I can save a copy to my desktop and access services that way, but would like to change the default view when it is opened from Administrative Tools. Is there any way to do this in Windows 7?

Edit to clarify: I specifically want to make Services always open on the Standard tab (as per the linked question), and with wider columns, when accessed through Control Panel->Administrative Tools.
Ideally, I would also like the same behaviour when Services is accessed through right-clicking Computer then clicking Manage.
Windows 7 does not permit modifying the relevant .msc files in the System32 directory.


Imo, you shouldn't modify the services.msc, but make your own file. Add the services snapin like above in Kcotreau and save it as services in your start menu folder. So when you type services, that one will pull up first and not the one in %system32%.

  • Good enough. I've also noticed that everything in Administrative Tools is a shortcut, so I can change the Services shortcut to point to a different file. – Scott Leis Aug 3 '11 at 7:36
  • Aye. Some of those snapin can even be customized further. This is how you can give a junior admin permission to say change somethings but not others. – surfasb Aug 3 '11 at 7:38
  • One can create an own file with changed snapin but it will bring an UAC prompt at any start, so no difference from just switch to the standard tab at any launch. – Anixx Mar 30 '14 at 17:18

I am not really sure what view/look you are going for, but try this:

Start>Run and type in "mmc" and Enter.

Then click File>Add/Remove Snap-in, then add Services.

Change the view as you wish from there, and do File>Save.

enter image description here

  • If you can be more specific with what view you want, I may be able to help more. – KCotreau Aug 3 '11 at 1:54
  • You may be looking for the "Standard" tab at the bottom, but not sure. – KCotreau Aug 3 '11 at 1:55
  • I've edited the question to clarify. Using MMC doesn't help. It still won't let me change the default .msc file, and I can already save a copy of the .msc file elsewhere by other means. – Scott Leis Aug 3 '11 at 3:20

There are two things you need to do to modify services.msc in Windows 7 (presumably this is the same in all versions since Vista, but I've only tested in 7 and Server 2008 R2):

  1. Modify the copy of services.msc within %systemroot%\System32\en-US (or as appropriate for your locale), not the one directly in the System32 directory. By some deep magic I have yet to discover, reading from (but not writes to) the latter are somehow redirected to the former.
  2. Take ownership of the file and grant yourself full control, or at least modify permission.

Then you can either right-click the .msc file and choose Author or open it directly from MMC.

See also: https://serverfault.com/a/168432/7831

  • Thanks for this. Just used it to modify the Computer Management window. – Scott Leis Mar 14 '13 at 1:16

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