Optimize Vista by Disabling Unused, Unneeded or Unnecessary Windows Services » My Digital Life

Optimize Vista by Disabling Unused, Unneeded or Unnecessary Windows Services

Like in Windows XP, when Windows Vista is installed, Microsoft configure the operating system to enable and turn on background services based on the default recommended settings for Windows Vista services. However, not all of these running processes in background are been used, needed, critical or necessary. To free up and conserve memory, reduce RAM usage and CPU resources, some of these services can be stopped and disabled. By turning off some background processes, Windows Vista can be optimized to be more responsive and speed up, especially in system with lesser memory.

To disable any of the services in Windows Vista, simply press Windows + R keyboard shortcuts (equivalent with pressing Start button and then click Run), and then type services.msc into the Run textbox. Hit Enter and Services window which allows user to manage services will appear. Double click on the service which the startup type setting you want to modify to bring its properties window. Set the Startup type to Disabled in the drop down list, and then press OK. If you want to play safe, the Startup type can be set to Manual. Manual setting will cause the services do not start when Windows boots up, and only be started when they’re needed. Nevertheless, the service will still be launched, so to disable permanently, the Startup type has to set to Disabled.

On page 2, there is a list is more than 130 services that exist in Windows Vista, with their description. It’s best to read and understand what each service means before deciding on how to optimize the Vista system. But, depending on which Vista edition you’re using, not all services listed below will appear in the system Services configuration. Only machine running Windows Vista Ultimate likely to see all entries from the list.

To speed up and optimize Windows Vista for performance and responsiveness, the following services can generally be able to disable without affecting functionality of Windows Vista for average or common users, as long as you don’t use the functions or devices that depends on the services. Check page 2 for full description and dependencies. It should not been applied to computers on domain or corporate network before you understand what tasks are performing by each of the services. Beside, if the service hasn’t been started when you check on it, it’s not necessary to disable it as it makes no different to system resources used, since non-starting process use no processing power and memory.

* Application Management
* Background Intelligent Transfer Service
* Base Filtering Engine
* Block Level Backup Engine Service
* Certificate Propagation
* COM+ Event System
* Computer Browser
* Diagnostic Policy Service
* Diagnostic System Host
* Distributed Link Tracking Client
* Fax
* Function Discovery Provider Host
* Function Discovery Resource Publication
* Human Interface Device Access
* IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
* Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
* IP Helper
* IPSec Policy Agent
* KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator
* Messenger Sharing Folders USN Journal Reader Service
* Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service
* Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
* Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service
* Network Access Protection Agent
* Network List Service
* Network Location Awareness
* Offline Files
* Parental Controls
* PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator
* Portable Device Enumerator Service
* Print Spooler
* Program Compatibility Assistant Service
* Quality Windows Audio Video Experience
* ReadyBoost
* Remote Access Connection Manager
* Remote Registry
* Routing and Remote Access
* Secondary Logon
* Security Center
* Server
* Shell Hardware Detection
* SL UI Notification Service
* Smart Card
* Smart Card Removal Policy
* SNMP Trap
* SSDP Discovery
* Superfetch
* Tablet PC Input Service
* TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
* Telephony
* Terminal Services
* UPnP Device Host
* Volume Shadow Copy
* WebClient
* Windows Backup
* Windows Defender
* Windows Error Reporting Service
* Windows Firewall
* Windows Image Acquisition
* Windows Media Center Extender Service
* Windows Media Center Receiver Service
* Windows Media Center Scheduler Service
* Windows Media Center Service Launcher
* Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
* Windows Search
* Windows Time
* WinHTTP WebProxy Auto-Discovery Service
* Virtual Disk
* Volume Shadow Copy
* Wired AutoConfig

For those who doesn’t use Windows Aero theme, the following services can be disabled:

* Application Experience
* Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

For those who doesn’t use any themes in Windows Vista, the following services can be disabled:

* Application Experience
* Desktop Window Manager Session Manager
* Windows Themes

Windows Vista Services configuration is not absolute. Each users can have their own optimum configuration. Thus, there are plenty of lists which suggest and recommend “safe” settings, or optimal settings based on the functionality of the Vista system, whether it’s laptop or desktop, been used as network server or not, or been used by average users or geeks. Check out the recommendations at Black Viper and TweakHound.

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