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How to Delete a Windows Service

We show you how to remove a Windows service using the command-line to free up space in that ever-growing services list.


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, 's are much more finely tuned. For the most part, each one that is published by 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:

  1. Open Services

    Press “Start” and type “Services”, then click the top result.

    Windows 10 - Open Services

  2. Right-click the service you want to delete and choose “Properties”

    Windows 10 - Services - Fax Properties

  3. Copy the service name and close the window

    Windows 10 - Services - Fax Properties - Copy the Name

  4. Open Command Prompt as an administrator

    Press “Start” and type “Command Prompt”, then click “Run as administrator” on the right-hand side.

    Windows 10 - Open Elevate Command Prompt

  5. 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 DeleteService SUCCESS

    Windows 10 - Open Elevate Command Prompt - Enter the Cmd

  6. 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.

    Windows 10 - Open Elevate Command Prompt - Enter the Cmd - Result

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.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.