Windows Administrator Basics: Windows Services

What is Windows Services

A Windows Service is a computer program that operates in the background. A service don’t have a user interface. They are intended to provide core operating system features such as Event logging, printing or error reporting. Some applications install their own services. Antivirus applications are one of such example. They install different services to enable real time monitoring of your system.

Services Console

Services console provide an interface to view and manage services. The Services console can be launched in different way. However the easiest way to launch services console is to type “Services” in Windows 10 Search Box. You can now see ‘Services – Desktop App’ in the list. Just click on Services icon to open Services console. 

The Services Console will be opened. You can view, start, stop and configure Windows services from Services Console. To see the description of a service, click on the service and description will appear in left pane. The description is often sufficient to make you understand the purpose of specific service. 


To view the details of a service, right click on service and select Properties. 

Properties: General Tab

There are four tabs in services properties. We will first understand the details available in General tab of Properties window.

Service Name: Most of the time you need this when dealing with services from command line or scripts.

Display Name: This is the full name of service. You will find this name in Services console.

Path to Executable: This is the path of services. For BITS and many other Windows services, you will see executable path is set to svchost.exe. Service Host (svchost.exe) is a process that hosts other Windows services that perform various system functions. There can be multiple instances of svchost.exe running on your computer, with each instance containing a different service.

Startup Type: There are four startup type available for a service. They are:

  • Automatic : The service is started automatically during windows boot process.
  • Automatic (Delayed) : Delayed service wait to start until all Automatic services are started. 
  • Manual : The service is in stop state by default. However it can be started by another application when required. 
  • Disabled :  The service will not start until condition is set to any other startup type.

Service Status: Shows current status of the service.

Properties: Log On Tab

The Log On tab allow you to configure whether the service is logged on as local system account or other account. This is mostly useful in server environment when resource access on other servers are required. 

Properties: Recovery Tab

The Recovery tab allows you to define actions that can be performed on service failure. You can define an action for first, second and subsequent failure. You can also enable custom action such as executing a script which will send an email to administrator to notify about service failure.

Properties: Dependencies Tab

The Dependencies tab have two sections. The first section lists the system components required for the service to work. The second section lists the service that depends on the selected service.

In this example, The BITS service has a dependency over Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service. The BITS service will not work until RPC service is started. The second section is blank as other services are not depended on BITS.

Please see our next article Windows Administrator Basics: Managing Services from Command Line to know more about managing Windows services from command line.

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