The Windows Event Viewer typically logs only the abbreviated service name, but the Services console lists services alphabetically by their full "Display Name".

If the "Display Name" isn't obvious from the shortened service name, how do I figure out what a service is from its short name? Obviously, I could open up the properties page of every service in the Services console, but there must be a better way.


Try, on the command line:

sc query

and look through that. You could >redirect to a file, as so:

sc query > output.txt

and use a text editor to search through it (And seeing as this creates a comprehensive list of processes, you could keep it around)

Bonus point: If you have a version of grep installed, either from cygwin, or unxutils, or wherever, try:

sc query | grep -i -A 1 "short name"

trying this with uxsms, the DWM service, I get

DISPLAY_NAME: Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

To create a nice listing, you could use

sc query | grep -A 1 "SERVICE_NAME" > Services.txt
  • Which version of grep you recomended install in Windows 8.1 x64 ? – Kiquenet Nov 27 '15 at 8:16

A simpler and direct way from the command line is:

sc GetDisplayName SERVICE_NAME


The short name for the service behind Windows Update is wuauserv. Thus, the display name can be found as:

sc GetDisplayName wuauserv

Window XP

On Windows XP this results in (output in one line):

[SC] GetServiceDisplayName SUCCESS Name = Automatic Updates

Window 7

On Windows 7 this results in (output in two lines):

[SC] GetServiceDisplayName SUCCESS
Name = Windows Update

Note that the Services console name of the service in this case is different for Windows XP and Window 7 ("Automatic Updates" vs. "Windows Update").


The Event Viewer typically uses the service name as opposed to the display name. PowerShell makes it easy to see both for each service (or a single service you specify) side by side:

PS C:\> get-service | format-table servicename,displayname -autosize

ServiceName                    DisplayName                                         
-----------                    -----------                                         
Alerter                        Alerter                                             
ALG                            Application Layer Gateway Service                   
AppMgmt                        Application Management               
aspnet_state                   ASP.NET State Service                               
AudioSrv                       Windows Audio                                       
BITS                           Background Intelligent Transfer Service             
Browser                        Computer Browser                                    
CiSvc                          Indexing Service                                    
ClipSrv                        ClipBook                                            
clr_optimization_v2.0.50727_32 .NET Runtime Optimization Service v2.0.50727_X86    
COMSysApp                      COM+ System Application                             
CryptSvc                       Cryptographic Services                              
DcomLaunch                     DCOM Server Process Launcher                        
Dhcp                           DHCP Client                                         
dmadmin                        Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service         
dmserver                       Logical Disk Manager                                
Dnscache                       DNS Client                                          
DynDNS Updater                 DynDNS Updater                                        
ERSvc                          Error Reporting Service                             
Eventlog                       Event Log                                           
EventSystem                    COM+ Event System                                   
FastUserSwitchingCompatibility Fast User Switching Compatibility                   
FontCache3.0.0.0               Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache  
helpsvc                        Help and Support                                    
HidServ                        Human Interface Device Access                       
hpdj                           hpdj                                                
hpdj3500                       hpdj3500                                            
HTTPFilter                     HTTP SSL                                            
idsvc                          Windows CardSpace                                   
ImapiService                   IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service                                
lanmanserver                   Server                                              
lanmanworkstation              Workstation                                         
LmHosts                        TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper                               
MDM                            Machine Debug Manager                               
Messenger                      Messenger                                           
mnmsrvc                        NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing                   
MSDTC                          Distributed Transaction Coordinator                 
MSIServer                      Windows Installer                                   
NetDDE                         Network DDE                                         
NetDDEdsdm                     Network DDE DSDM                                    
Netlogon                       Net Logon                                           
Netman                         Network Connections                                 
NetTcpPortSharing              Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service                        
Nla                            Network Location Awareness (NLA)                    
nlsvc                          NetLimiter                                          
NtLmSsp                        NT LM Security Support Provider                     
NtmsSvc                        Removable Storage                                   
ose                            Office Source Engine                                
PlugPlay                       Plug and Play                                       
PolicyAgent                    IPSEC Services                                      
ProtectedStorage               Protected Storage                                   
RasAuto                        Remote Access Auto Connection Manager               
RasMan                         Remote Access Connection Manager                    
RDSessMgr                      Remote Desktop Help Session Manager                 
RemoteAccess                   Routing and Remote Access                           
RemoteRegistry                 Remote Registry                                     
rpcapd                         Remote Packet Capture Protocol v.0 (experimental)   
RpcLocator                     Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator                 
RpcSs                          Remote Procedure Call (RPC)                         
RSVP                           QoS RSVP                                            
SamSs                          Security Accounts Manager                           
SCardSvr                       Smart Card                                          
Schedule                       Task Scheduler                                      
seclogon                       Secondary Logon                                     
SENS                           System Event Notification                           
SharedAccess                   Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)  
ShellHWDetection               Shell Hardware Detection                            
Spooler                        Print Spooler                                       
srservice                      System Restore Service                              
SSDPSRV                        SSDP Discovery Service                              
stisvc                         Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)                     
SwPrv                          MS Software Shadow Copy Provider                    
SysmonLog                      Performance Logs and Alerts                         
TapiSrv                        Telephony                                           
TermService                    Terminal Services                                   
Themes                         Themes                                              
TlntSvr                        Telnet                                              
TrkWks                         Distributed Link Tracking Client                    
upnphost                       Universal Plug and Play Device Host                 
UPS                            Uninterruptible Power Supply                        
VSS                            Volume Shadow Copy                                  
W32Time                        Windows Time                                        
WebClient                      WebClient                                           
winmgmt                        Windows Management Instrumentation                  
WmdmPmSN                       Portable Media Serial Number Service                
Wmi                            Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions
WmiApSrv                       WMI Performance Adapter                             
wscsvc                         Security Center                                     
wuauserv                       Automatic Updates                                   
WZCSVC                         Wireless Zero Configuration                         
xmlprov                        Network Provisioning Service

If you want a single service:

PS C:\> Get-Service wmi

Status   Name               DisplayName
------   ----               -----------
Stopped  Wmi                Windows Management Instrumentation
  • Thanks - this is cool. I've been meaning to take some time to learn Powershell, but I don't happen to have it installed on the machine in question. – Tim Lara Dec 22 '09 at 0:15

REG QUERY "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services"

That's a very useful command..

And yes grep could be used.
However - in general - the list is still eyeball length...

sc queryex type= service state= all | find "SERVICE_NAME" | find "SQL"


sc queryex type= service state= all | find "DISPLAY_NAME" | find "SQL"

To get all service names:

sc query | findstr SERVICE_NAME

To get all service display names:

sc query | findstr DISPLAY_NAME

To save your output in a text file:

sc query | findstr DISPLAY_NAME > filename.txt
  • 1
    What's so different here than where others put answers with the sc commands again? – Drink More Pimp Juice IT Jul 10 '17 at 12:29

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