If you like to make your operating system run as efficiently as possible, you're probably no stranger to the services list. However, you'll also know that this list is seemingly endless and therefore hard to navigate. As a result, it may be useful to know how to remove a windows service.
What is a Windows service?
A service in Windows is essentially just another type of program. Rather than being presented to you on-screen in the form of a GUI, it runs in the background, sometimes continuously, to enable things like networking tasks, or intermittently to check for updates.
Though services have seen a lot of criticism over the years for the slowdowns they can cause, Windows 10's are much more finely tuned. For the most part, each one that is published by Microsoft has a specific task and they've been optimized to the point they require few system resources.
Is it safe to delete a Windows service?
When you delete a Windows service, it will permanently remove it from your services list, freeing you to more easily find the ones that are important. This comes with a caveat, though: the service won't just be hidden – it's gone from your OS. And once you remove Windows services, it can be a real pain to get them back.
Typically, then, you're better off just disabling the service and using the sorting features the list provides to find what you're looking for. (Pro tip: if you click on the list and type, it will jump you to services whose first letters match your input). If you still want to remove a Windows service after that warning, though, here's how to do so:
How to Remove a Windows Service
The method to delete a Windows service is essentially unchanged since Windows XP, which means you should be good to follow these steps on practically any modern Microsoft OS. It all starts in that trusty Services app:
- Open Services
Press “Start” and type “Services”, then click the top result.
- Right-click the service you want to delete and choose “Properties”
- Copy the service name and close the window
- Open Command Prompt as an administrator
Press “Start” and type “Command Prompt”, then click “Run as administrator” on the right-hand side.
- Use the Windows sc command to delete your service
In our example, it would look something like this:
sc delete Fax
You should naturally replace Fax with your service name by right-clicking to paste. On success, you'll see the message
- Check your service list to make sure it's gone
If you open Services again and check the list, you should notice that it's no longer there. You can repeat the process for any service you like – but we aware of the warning we issued earlier.
How to Disable a Service or Turn Off Location Services
Now you know how to remove a Windows service, but the question is still: do you really want to? If you find that answer to be no, you can follow our guide on how to disable a service instead.
If you're looking instead to stop Windows from tracking you through locations services, you shouldn't be looking at the Services app. You can see our dedicated guide for more info.