System Services

Alerter – Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts. If your PC is a standalone work station, you can turn it off. If you’re on a network, check with the network administrator whether it’s used or not.

DHCP Client – Manages network configuration by registering and updating IP addresses and DNS names. If your PC is a standalone work station, you can turn it off. If you’re on a network, check with the network administrator whether it’s used or not.

DNS Client – Resolves and caches Domain Name System (DNS) names. If your PC does not need to connect to a DNS server on a local network, e.g. cable modem or office network, you can turn it off.

Indexing Service – Indexes contents and properties of files on local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language. This service is by default disabled. You can turn it on in the Find File dialog window to allow it to create an index of the files and folders on your hard drive to allow faster searches. If you don’t use the Find File feature very often, you can turn it off.

IPSEC Policy Agent – Manages IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP security driver. This service is needed for IP security, e.g. if you want to establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to your computer. Otherwise you can turn it off.

Messenger – Sends and receives messages transmitted by administrators or by the Alerter service. If you decided to turn off the Alerter service mentioned above, you can turn off Messenger as well.

Print Spooler – Loads files to memory for later printing. If you don’t print from this computer at all, you can turn it off. However, some applications might still require it and force you to turn it back on.

Remote Registry Service – Allows remote registry manipulation. If you don’t need or want the ability to access and modify the registry remotely, you can turn it off.

Removable Storage Manager – Manages removable media, drives, and libraries. If you don’t use tape, Jaz, Zip, SyQuest, or other removable drives, you can turn it off.

RunAs Service – Enables starting processes under alternate credentials. If you don’t run applications under an alias (e.g.as a different user), you can turn it off.

Telephony – Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for programs that control telephony devices and IP based voice connections on the local computer and, through the LAN, on servers that are also running the service. If you don’t use any applications that establish voice connections online, e.g. Roger Wilco, Netmeeting, or Internet telephone services, you can turn it off.

Summary

Use caution when you disable services. If you’re not sure, leave it alone. Preferably keep track of what you’re disabling. Try to disable only one thing at a time, use the computer for a while to make sure everything continues to work before disabling the next service. This makes troubleshooting a lot easier.

 

– Al –

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