Disable Unnecessary Services the Quick and Easy Way

You have probably seen numerous service disabling guides around already. However, we have organized this tutorial differently. We have sorted them into categories so you can easily disable the ones that have little or no noticeable affect on the way Vista operates, but at the same time, improving performance.

I have only listed services for you to disable that have been activated by Windows by default. While you might have spent more time looking through the services to find which ones were actually activated on your PC, the ones listed here are actually enabled services on your PC if you haven’t already disabled them.

With over 134 services running in Windows Vista, it wouldn’t hurt to disable the ones you don’t need.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • How to disable a service
  • Legend – Lite Services / Medium Services / Heavy Services
  • Services Index

Why this guide:
Unlike many other tutorials, we have only included services that are enabled by default on your computer, leaving out the unnecessary ones. The services are also sorted from lite-heavy depending on how much of an impact they will have on the system.


As you may already know, Windows Vista is a very demanding OS with over 134 services running on the Ultimate Version. These services can really take up a lot of your resources and bog down your PC, especially if you are using Vista under minimum requirements. Regardless of which version of Vista you have, we have outlined the many services that can be safely disabled by you to greatly improve performance. How this was done was at first, I looked at my list of Services in Vista Ultimate to see which ones were activated, and listed the ones that were safe to disable below. This means that if you never activated any service on your own, you would have disabled most or all of the services that you don’t require. If you have a lower version of Vista, some of the services might not apply for you but be rest assured, that you would have disabled most of the services you don’t require. Just to recap, the services we will be disabling: – are the ones that you most likely don’t need – can be safely disabled The services are sorted into three levels:



Please be sure you are aware of what you are doing. Vista Rewired has tested each and every one of the services here with the exception of the ones in parenthesis. We are not responsible for what happens to your computer after tweaking with these services.
However, we have tested each service to make sure no damage will be done. To ensure complete safety for your PC please make sure:

a) You read each description so you are fully aware of what you are doing
b) You might want to add a System Restore Point so you can easily revert mistakes
c) The guide is still constantly being updated and is not yet finalized. If you know of any services we may have missed, please let us know using the comments form below.


How to disable a service:

  1. Click on the Start Pearl
  2. Type services.msc in the search box
  3. You might be prompted by a UAC box. Click continue, or learn how to disable it here.
  4. Right click a service, and choose Stop to stop it immediately
  5. For some services you are unable to stop it until after reboot. Simply right click and
    choose properties.properties.jpg
  6. Then select disable from the drop-down menu.disable.jpg



  • Lite services being the safest to disable. Many of these services are useless and have a barely noticeable affect on the way Vista runs. There are a few exceptions that depend on your PC habits.
  • Medium services have a moderate impact on performance. These might or might not be disabled depending on your PC habits.
  • Heavy services have the greatest impact on the way your system works. Make sure you know what you’re doing before turning these off.


The guide is still constantly being updated and is not yet finalized. If you know of any services we may have missed, please let us know using the comments form below.

  1. Lite Services:
    • Diagnostic Policy Service
    • Distributed Link Tracking Client
    • IP Helper
    • Messenger Sharing Folders USN Journal Reader Service
    • Network List Service
    • Offline Files
    • Print Spooler
    • Readyboost
    • Remote Access Connection
    • Server
    • Tablet PC Input Service
    • Windows Error Reporting Service
    • Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
    • Windows Time
  2. Medium Services
    • Cryptographic Services
    • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
    • IPsec Policy Agent
    • Network Location Awareness
    • Program Compatibility Assistant
    • Shell Hardware Detection
  3. Heavy Services:
    • Updated soon

Lite Services:

Diagnostic Policy Service
Description:Notifies you if it suspects that your program was incorrectly installed.
Effects of Disabling:You will no longer be prompted to validate your installation or re-install your program.
Why disable?Most of the time your installation will work. As well, you can personally re-install the program if needed to. Personally, this window comes up at times other than installation, such as when I force-close my WinRar. If you are conscious of what you do on the PC, you don’t need this.
Distributed Link Tracking Client
DescriptionMaintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network.
Effects of Disabling:Unable to access files of another computer.
Why disable?Disable this if you have only one computer on a network, or if you do not access other computers’ file systems.
IP Helper
Description:Allows support for IPv6
Effects of Disabling:No support for IPv6.
Why disable?IPv6 is not widely used yet. Chances are you don’t need it. You can check by clicking here.
Messenger Sharing Folders USN Journal Reader Service
Description:Used by MSN Messenger Live. Allows you to use Sharing Folders.
Effects of Disabling:Unable to use sharing folders.
Why disable?Disable if you’re not using MSN Messenger Live (8.0 or higher) or if you don’t use sharing folders
Network List Service
Description:Identifies networks you are connected to and maintains a list of properties for them. The service will notify applications when these properties change.
Effects of Disabling:The network icon in your system tray will disappear. You will no longer be notified when your connection with the internet is lost or present.
Why disable?For most who don’t encounter Internet problems regularly, you really don’t need a service to tell you if your Internet is working.
As well, if you are not connected to a network, disable this.
Offline Files
Description:Disable if you don’t use offline files
Effects of Disabling:N/A
Why disable?N/A
Print Spooler
Description:Loads files to memory for later printing. Basically helps queue your files when you are printing multiple documents so you don’t have to wait for one document to finish to print the next one.
Effects of Disabling:You’ll have a harsh printing experience. Don’t disable this if you own a printer, unless you hardly use a printer, or have a habit of only printing one document at a time.
Why disable?If you don’t have a printer, there’s no need for this service.
Description:Allows you to use Vista’s Readyboost feature. Readyboost allows you to use the free space on your removable memory disks such as your USB Drive to speed up your computer.
Effects of Disabling:Inability to use ReadyBoost.
Why disable?Many don’t have a USB fast enough to work with Vista’s Readyboost. If you don’t use this feature, disable the service.
Remote Access Connection
Description:Maintains dial-up and VPN connections
Effects of Disabling:N/A
Why disable?Disable if you don’t use dial-up or VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Description:Allows you to share files and your printer through a LAN
Effects of Disabling:Unable to share files or printer with other computers through LAN
Why disable?Disable if you don’t plan on sharing your file or printer through a Local Area Network.
Tablet PC Input Service
Description:Enables Tablet PC pen and ink functionality
Effects of Disabling:You can’t use your tablet PC.
Why disable?Because you don’t have one.
Windows Error Reporting Service
Description:Allows you to send a report to Microsoft each time your PC receives an error
Effects of Disabling:You’ll no longer be prompted to send an error report to Microsoft.
Why disable?Sometimes, it gets really annoying.
Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
Description:Provides image acquisition services for scanners and cameras
Effects of Disabling:If your camera does not have an image browser, you will not be able to acquire pictures from it without a proper driver. WIA allows immediate image acquisition. (Still needs to be tested.)
Why disable?Disable if you don’t use a scanner or camera with your PC
Windows Time
Description:Synchronizes time between all users
Effects of Disabling:Services that depend on this service will fail
Why disable?Unless you are very hardcore on time accuracy, you won’t need this service.

Medium Services:

Cryptographic Services
Description:Allows Windows to confirm that all drivers installed are signed and certified by Microsoft.
Effects of Disabling:Security will decrease since there will be nothing to verify that the driver you are downloading is trustworthy or safe.
Why disable?If you know what you’re doing, you can disable this. Although Vista will automatically set it back to normal.
IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
Description:Required for use of IKE and IPsec.
Effects of Disabling:Network security will be compromised for higher performance. If you are unsure with yourself and the computer, leave this enabled.
Why disable?Home users don’t really need this feature.
IPsec Policy Agent
Description:Some ISPs require it. Provides some form of security.
Effects of Disabling:Again, security will be compromised for performance. Do not disable if you are not sure with yourself and the computer.
Your computer might not be able to connect to the Internet once this is disabled. Check with your ISP or call them to see if this is required. As well, you can do some experimenting of your own.
Why disable?Less RAM usage
Network Location Awareness
Description:Collects and stores configuration information for the network and notifies programs when this information is modified. If this service is stopped, configuration information might be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.
Effects of Disabling:Disable this if you are not connected to a LAN with other computers or if you don’t plan on sharing your file or printer.
Why disable?
Program Compatibility Assistant
Description:Allows compatibility with software from previous operating systems
Effects of Disabling:By disabling this doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot run applications designed for XP like I am doing now. It just means that you cannot run it in compatibility mode in properties. (More testing needs to be done on this)
Why disable?If you have no compatibility issues.
Shell Hardware Detection
Description:That AutoPlay window that pops up each time you insert a USB Disk, CD, removable storage, etc.
Effects of Disabling:You won’t be asked to do something before you want to do it.
Why disable?If you don’t want that window coming up, this disables it.

Heavy Services:

Updated in the near future Still need help? Check out our new forums where you can get an even faster and better response!