What is a Windows Service?
A Windows Service is an advanced component/feature of Microsoft Windows that supports the management of long running, background processes and applications.
Unlike regular programs that are started by a user and run only while that user is logged on, a Windows Service application can start before any user logs on and
can continue to run even after all users have logged off.
Windows Services are ideal for software that must started when the PC boots. A Windows Service is conceptually similar to a UNIX daemon.
How do I manage a Windows Service?
Windows Services can be managed using the Windows Services control panel applet. To start the applet, either:
- Choose Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services; or
- Run "services.msc" from Start > Run...
The applet lists the Windows Services installed on the PC:
Double-click an entry to reveal its specific properties:
You can start, stop, pause or resume the service as appropriate.
You can also modify the settings, such as the startup type (Automatic or Manual) or the log on account (on the Log On tab), etc.
How do I find the name of a Windows Service?
You can find the name of a service using the Windows Services control panel applet. To start the applet, either:
- Choose Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services; or
- Run "services.msc" from Start > Run...
The window that comes up lists all the Windows Services installed on your PC:
Find the service you are interested in and double-click on the entry to open its specific properties. The service's name will be shown near the top of the Properties window. Here we can see that the name of the Print Spooler Windows Service is actually "Spooler":
How do I start/stop a Windows Service from the command line?
You can use the NET command to start and stop any Windows Service from a DOS prompt.
To start a service named "MyService", you would execute:
NET START MyService
To stop the same service, run:
NET STOP MyService
Be sure to enclose the service name in quotes if it contains spaces.
Note that only users with administrative privileges will be able to run the NET command. Watch out for UAC on Windows 7, Vista and Server 2008!
How do I remove/delete a Windows Service?
A Service can be deleted using the venerable
Use it like this to remove a service called "MyService":
SC delete MyService
Enclose the service name in quotes if it contains spaces.
Beware: You can do serious damage to your operating system if you delete a critical service. Proceed with caution!
How do I prevent a Windows Service from running?
Most services are set to start automatically when Windows boots. These will show up with a Startup type of Automatic (or Automatic (Delayed Start) in Windows Vista, 7, 2008)
in the Services Control Panel Applet:
If starting at boot is not acceptable, you can change the Startup type to one of the following:
- Manual - The service should only start on demand, when explicitly requested to do so by a user (or by an application).
This is the appropriate choice when you want to start and stop the service yourself.
- Disabled - The service can not be started by any user or program. Choose this option to totally disallow the service from running.
Be sure not to disable any important Windows Service!
Of course, deleting a service is another way to prevent it from running but that is only recommended if you know what you are doing and can take full responsibility for the consequences!
My Service is stuck in the "Stop Pending" (or "Start Pending") state. How do I stop it?
A pending state usually means one of two things. Either:
- the service is working normally and is just taking a long time to complete a necessary operation, or
- the service has hung and is not interacting normally with the Windows Services Control Manager.
If you have waited long enough to rule out the first situation, then we have the second, and the only way to stop the service is to reboot the machine or terminate its underlying process.
To terminate the process:
Find the process identifier (PID) of the Service's process using the SC command. For a Service named MyService, run:
sc queryex MyService
(Be sure to enclose the service name in quotes if it contains spaces.)
Here is the result for the UI0Detect Service:
Make a note of the number on the PID line (4388 in the screenshot above).
Run the taskkill command to forcibly terminate the process. For PID 4338, use:
taskkill /F /T /PID 4388
You should see a SUCCESS message if all went well:
If you get "Access Denied", please ensure that you have the necessary administrative privileges by running the Command Prompt as an Administrator.
My Windows Service fails to start (or stops working unexpectedly). How do I figure out what is wrong?
Most Windows Services report information, warnings and errors to the Windows Event Logs, so start there.
You can review those messages using the
Windows Event Viewer
Control panel application.
Windows Services will place their messages in the Windows Logs > Application section (on the left hand side). The Source column in the central window contains the name of the service reporting the event.
Here is an information event reported by the Avira AntiVir service:
When a Service encounters a problem and can not create a log entry, the Service Control Manager (SCM) will write an entry in the Windows Logs > System section.
For example, here is the SCM telling us why the ActiveBooks service failed to start:
Hopefully the Event Log messages will shed some light on what is going wrong!
My application works when I run it normally but it fails when started from a Windows Service. What is the problem?
You probably need to specify an account that can run the application normally on the service's Log On tab:
By default, your service is run in the LocalSystem account which may be very different from the account that you log in to. Your application will encounter trouble if it:
- Uses a printer or a network drive and LocalSystem does not have sufficient rights to use those devices
- Has never been installed in the LocalSystem account and so can not find its settings there
- Needs to access registry values or environment variables in your "normal" account
Specifying your normal account on the Log On tab should solve those kind of problems. Note that your service won't be able to "interact with the desktop" though.
Why doesn't my Windows Service start automatically after a reboot?
There can be many reasons why a service doesn't start automatically as expected.
Check the Windows Event Log
to see if you can find out what happened as the OS booted up.
The most common problems include:
The service has the wrong password. Update the password on the service's
and you should be good to go.
A dependent service fails to start. Determine why the dependent service is failing and resolve the issue, or
remove the dependency
if doing so won't compromise your system.
The service logs on as a domain user and it is starting before Active Directory is ready. Set your service's Startup type to
Automatic (Delayed Start) to give AD time to spin up and log you into the account you have specified.
A required resource is unavailable at boot. For example, if your service uses a database but the database is not yet fully initialized when your service starts, the service may quickly shut down. Check your service's log files for concrete errors and add dependencies on any other critical services that are needed for support. Setting your service to start
Automatic (Delayed Start) to give other components more time to start up
in advance may also resolve the issue.
The service is missing its executable or important DLLs. Check that the service's executable is present and that all necessary DLLs and other files are in place. Use the excellent
Dependency Walker utility
to identify missing components, and keep mind that re-running your service's installer may help by restoring missing files.
How do I start (or stop) my Windows Service at a particular time?
Windows Task Scheduler
to create a scheduled task running the
to start/stop the service at a time of your choosing.
For example, suppose you have a backup that happens every Saturday from 8-10 PM and you wish to stop your service during that period. You would create two scheduled tasks - one to stop the service at 8 and another to start it at 10.
The task to stop the service would run this command:
NET STOP "service-name"
The task to start it up again would execute:
NET START "service-name"
In both cases, "service-name" is the name of your service as shown in the Control Panel Services application.
Follow these tutorials to create a scheduled task on
Windows XP and Server 2003 or on
Windows 8/7/Vista and Server 2012/2008.
How can I grant a user the right to start/stop/restart a service?
Every Windows Service has an
Access Control List (ACL)
recording who is allowed to start, stop or restart it.
Here are three ways to manipulate a service's ACL to grant or deny specific rights:
Use the SC command line tool, as described in
However working with SC can be very complicated, involving the composition of lengthy, hand-crafted command lines. It is not recommended for the faint-hearted!
Use the SubInACL command line utility, available for
download from Microsoft
documented in Method 3 on this Windows Support page.
It is easier to use than SC but still requires careful attention.
For example, if you have a user called "MikeJones" in the "SANFRAN" domain that you want to start and stop the "Print Spooler" service, you would run:
SubInACL.exe /service Spooler /GRANT=SANFRAN\MikeJones=TO
Use Service Security Editor
a free point-and-click GUI tool for adjusting any service's rights. Simply select the service, identify the user, and specify the operations that he is allowed to perform:
How do I add a dependency to a service?
The SC command can be used to set the dependencies on a given service. Use it like this:
SC CONFIG <service-name> depend= <service-1>[/<service-2>/.../<service-N>]
where <service-name> is the name of the service you wish to change, and <service-1> to <service-N> are the names of the dependent services.
Note: The space after "depend=" is required, so don't forget it.
For example, to add the Windows Firewall as a dependency of the Google Update Service (so that the firewall is always running when updating Google's software), you would:
Open services.msc and find the service name of the Google Update Service. It is "gupdate".
Switch to the Dependencies tab and make a note of the services already there. Find their names. There is only one, the Remote Procedure Call service, named "RpcLocator".
This is necessary because we don't want to lose the existing dependencies.
Find the name of the Windows Firewall service. It is "MpsSvc".
Use the SC command to update the dependencies of the Google Update Service to include the Windows Firewall service. The command line is:
SC CONFIG gupdate depend= RpcLocator/MpsSvc
Be sure to run it from an elevated prompt:
Open the Google Update Service in services.msc and confirm that the dependencies have been updated:
How do I set the description of a service?
You can change a service's description using the versatile
SC command. Call it like this:
SC DESCRIPTION [service-name] [new-description]
For example, to update the description of the
Apache windows service (named "Apache2.4"), run:
SC DESCRIPTION Apache2.4 "An excellent open-source HTTP web server"
Administrative privileges are required to make this change so be sure to run the command from an elevated prompt.
How do I set the executable of a service?
While it may be tempting to fire up regedit.exe and directly modify the registry keys recording the service under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services,
it is safer to use the versatile
to change the executable invoked by the service.
To set the executable for a service named "MyService", you would run:
SC CONFIG MyService binPath= "<The full path to your executable>"
Note that the oddly placed space separating binPath= from the executable's path is actually required. Don't eliminate it!
And be sure to enclose the path in quotes if it contains a space.
The Stop button is greyed out. How do I stop the service?
The Stop button is unavailable when the service is busy and unable to accept a request to stop.
If the service is off doing its work, simply waiting some time for the pending tasks to be completed may resolve the situation.
If you have waited a while and the problem persists, the next potential solution is to forcibly
terminate the service's underlying executable using TASKKILL
(or via the Task Manager), but this may not be a viable option when the process
is hosting many services (like Microsoft's svchost). In that second situation a reboot
may be your only recourse.
Can a Windows Service access a mapped drive?
Yes, but not without employing the proper configuration and doing some extra work.
A mapped drive exists only in the account in which the mapping was created. Thus the LocalSystem account, the default for all window services, will not "see" any drives mapped into a regular, interactive user account.
Configuring your service to run in a specific user's account (via the
setting) has the potential to overcome the problem, but unfortunately persistent network connections are not restored by the service's non-interactive login.
To access the drive by letter, your service must explicitly map the network drive by either:
Running the versatile
NET USE command (something like "NET USE W: \\server\folder" - no password should be necessary), or
Calling the powerful
WNetAddConnection2 API function if you can modify the code.
Note that a service can access the drive's underlying UNC path ("\\server\folder") without having to perform the steps above. Consider having your service work with the UNC path instead of the drive letter if you can.
When should I use a scheduled task instead of a Windows Service?
Using a scheduled task to run your application or batch file may be superior to a windows service when:
- You want to run at a few fixed times each day, week or month.
For example, a batch file that periodically deletes the contents of a temporary folder would be perfect as a scheduled task.
Services are better suited for running 24/7.
- You want to run whenever a user logs in, potentially bypassing the UAC prompt.
A windows service doesn't provide that capability.
You can do without error reporting when your application/batch file fails to start.
All such errors from a windows service are reported to the Windows Event Log.
- You don't need to start or stop your application manually.
Services are easily started and stopped from the services control panel (or from the command line), but there is no such "console" to manage the ad-hoc execution of a scheduled task.
- You don't need to start or stop your task from a remote machine.
There is no equivalent of "NET START" and "NET STOP" for a scheduled task.
- You don't care about restarting (or taking more elaborate actions) when your application crashes.
The Task Scheduler does not offer any of the recovery options available to windows services.
In summary, a scheduled task is often better for periodic, maintenance-type chores that don't demand sophisticated control.
What changed in Windows Server 2008?
Nothing. No new features were introduced in the original release of Windows Server 2008.
There were a few changes for Server 2008 R2 though.
What changed in Windows Vista (2006)?
Microsoft made significant adjustments to Windows Services in Vista. The main changes are:
Session 0 is now "isolated" and no user can log in there to interact with the GUI from a Service. This change - effected primarily for security concerns - makes it
much more difficult to work with GUI-based Windows Services. The situation is extensively discussed in the
"Can a Windows Service have a GUI?" entry.
In an attempt to reduce resource contention as the computer boots, services that should be started at boot now have the option of being delayed and starting shortly after boot.
In practice, this means delaying service startup by 1-2 minutes - quite appropriate for some services.
The new setting is available in the Startup type field - Automatic (Delayed Start):
The complete technical details are available in
this article from Microsoft Developer's Network.
What changed in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (2009)?
The adjustments made in 2009 were highly technical and not very visible to end users. Only the following is of note:
The complete technical details are available in
this article from Microsoft Developer's Network.
What changed in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012?
Not much. The few,
highly technical adjustments
were entirely "under the hood":
- A service can retrieve information on how it was started
- Services can be notified when a user initiates a reboot
- Three new
were introduced, but they are merely placeholders awaiting definition from Microsoft
There were no user interface changes.
What is Session 0 Isolation?
A Session (also known as a Logon Session) is created whenever a user logs in to Windows. Each session has a numeric identifier,
called a Session ID.
Windows creates a single session when your PC boots and all the Windows Services (and many other administrative processes) will run in that session. Since the ID of that session is 0, it has been
nicknamed Session 0.
On Windows NT, 2000, XP and Server 2003, the first user to log into the physical PC is automatically placed into the already created Session 0.
A RDP/Terminal Services user can log in to Session 0 by specifying a special flag when opening the connection (/admin).
And once in Session 0, a user can see and interact with the graphical elements of any program running there, including those created by Windows Services.
In this way, Microsoft (perhaps inadvertently?) allowed users to freely interact with Windows Services that choose to display a user interface.
Ultimately, Microsoft decided that easily allowing users to interact with service applications could lead to security problems.
Indeed, a virus installing itself as a service running from a high privilege account could wreak havoc on a user's desktop!
Microsoft's solution is to prohibit users from logging in to Session 0. The first user creates Session 1, the second Session 2, etc., and there is simply no way to access Session 0 directly.
This policy, introduced in Windows Vista in 2006, became known as Session 0 Isolation. It is described in great detail in
this technical document from Microsoft.
Session 0 Isolation is enforced in all newer versions of Windows, namely Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2.
It is NOT a feature of Windows NT, 2000, XP and Server 2003 and Microsoft has no plans to retrofit those older operating systems.
How do I switch to Session 0 from the Command Line?
You can switch to Session 0 from the command line by running:
Save one of these files to your desktop to easily access Session 0 on demand:
Note that the Interactive Services Detection service (UI0Detect) must be running for switching to work!
Why doesn't "Allow service to interact with desktop" work on Windows 8/7/Vista or Server 2012/2008?
In Windows NT, 2000, XP and Server 2003, Windows Services are allowed to show their windows and tray icons on the desktop of the user logged on to the PC. This ability was enabled by checking the
Allow service to interact with desktop option in the service's Log On properties:
Although that setting still exists on Windows 8/7/Vista and Server 2012/2008, it no longer has the desired effect.
Microsoft's security-centric Session 0 Isolation modifications ensure that no user can log on to Session 0 - the desktop where the windows created by a service are displayed.
While checking the Allow service to interact with desktop box still enables the service's windows to be displayed in Session 0, since no user can log in to Session 0 to see
the service's windows on a regular desktop, the setting has been effectively marginalized.
How can I start my non-service application in Session 0?
Sometimes it makes sense to launch an application on the isolated Session 0. For example, does the application work properly when launched in the context of a Windows Service?
Microsoft's advanced "process-launcher" utility, PsExec, will start any program in Session 0. Use it like this:
psexec -i 0 -s <executable>
<executable> is the full path to the program to run,
-i 0 indicates to start the process interatively in Session 0, and
-s runs the process in the system account. (Optional - omit it to run the process with your own credentials.)
For example, this line will start the command prompt in the system account in Session 0:
psexec -i 0 -s C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe
You can switch to Session 0 and run whoami at the prompt to confirm that it is running as the system user:
What does it mean to start my service Automatic (Delayed Start)?
Services configured to start Automatic will be immediately kicked off by Windows as the machine boots up. In contrast, those set
to Automatic (Delayed Start) will be held back from that first wave and will start 1-2 minutes after boot.
The setting is most useful in two respects:
- It can alleviate the "mad rush" at boot, when all services try to start simultaneously. By designating non-critical services
for a delayed start, the really important services can secure a larger slice of the machine's precious resources and become available
It can delay a service from starting until other critical supporting services are operational. For example, without the delay it is
possible for a service to start before the network is fully initialized, leading to very strange problems.
1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion
This error comes up about 30 seconds after an attempt to start the service,
because the service fails to report to the Windows Service Control
Manager (SCM) that it has started. You're probably facing one of the following problems:
The application being launched by the service is not a true windows service.
Only an executable specifically constructed to interact with the SCM can
signal that it has started and is running properly. A non-service application -- such as a batch file or program you normally launch from a desktop icon -- will not
send the required signal and eventually the SCM will give up waiting and declare that the service failed
If you are unable (or unwilling) to modify your application's code to make it a true windows service, you can
use a "wrapper" to start your application as a service.
Microsoft's Srvany will do the basic job for free but
more robust commercial alternatives are also available.
Your windows service application is taking too long to start and report back to the SCM.
If you have access to the code, restructure the application logic to move expensive operations (such as accessing a database, web site or
other remote resource) outside of the startup sequence
in C# programs).
Your windows service application is getting hung during startup and never tells the SCM that it has started.
If this is your own code, it is time to debug! Either attach the debugger, or sprinkle your startup
code with print statements to see where your application is going astray. Watch out for calls to
and other blocking functions!
1067: The process terminated unexpectedly
This error occurs when the process created by the service exits quickly, without notifying
the Windows Service Control Manager (SCM). It can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
There is a configuration problem preventing the service application from starting properly. Check
that configuration files are in the expected locations with valid contents, and that startup options reflect reality.
The process being launched by the service is missing a required component (DLL, library, or other file).
Re-installing the service may help here, but watch for dependencies as well.
For example, a C# service will fail with 1067 when the underlying .NET installation is corrupt and
should be re-installed.
If you remain in the dark after considering the above, examine the
Windows Event Logs.
Sometimes a failing service will leave an important clue there before it dies...
1068: The dependency service or group failed to start
Apparently your service relies on other services to support its work, and one of those services is unable to start properly. You can identify the dependent services in the Services Control panel:
Rule out the ones already running; try to start each of the others in turn and identify the culprit!
1069: The service did not start due to a logon failure
This error happens when your service is configured to run in a specific user account but that
account's password was recently changed.
The fix is simple; edit your service in
and specify the new password on the service's Log On tab:
1072: The specified service has been marked for deletion
This error happens when your service has been uninstalled but Windows was unable to remove all its associated files because of a conflict.
Usually it is caused by having the service open in a service-aware program, like the
Services Control Panel,
the Windows Event Viewer,
or even the Windows Task Manager.
Closing all those applications may be enough to have the service fully removed, but if that doesn't work a reboot should do the trick.
What is Srvany?
Srvany is a utility developed by Microsoft that can start almost any regular, non-service application as a Windows Service.
Since a Windows Service must be specially constructed to interface with the operating system (to allow Windows to start, stop or pause it on demand),
a regular application without this interface will not function properly as a Service.
To solve the problem, Microsoft developed Srvany - an "adapter" (or "wrapper") that can accept the Windows Service commands and translate those into
actions that a regular executable can understand.
Like any good adapter, Srvany is installed in between Windows and the application and handles all interaction between them.
For example, when Windows says "Start the service", Srvany intercepts the request
and starts the application as if you had double-clicked on it yourself.
Srvany was developed in the late 1990's for Windows NT and remains mostly unchanged to this day. It is available as part of the
Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools package.
What is Instsrv?
Instsrv is a Microsoft-developed utility used to install a Srvany Service.
It does not participate in the actual running of an application as a service - it just helps with the installation.
Where can I download Srvany and Instsrv?
The most recent version of Srvany and Instsrv are freely available as part of the
Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools package.
How do I use Srvany to run my application as a service?
Microsoft's How To Create a User-Defined Service
article describes how to install an application as a Windows Service.
Is there a new version of Srvany for Windows Server 2008? For Windows 7?
No. Srvany and Instsrv were last released with Windows Server 2003 and no modifications have been made for Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2.
Note that these tools will work fine on Windows 2008 and Windows 7, but their lack of knowledge of recent developments in Windows Services
(Session Zero isolation, Service Triggers, etc.) can sometimes present problems. Please be cautions in a production environment!
Is Srvany supported on Windows Server 2008? Windows 7?
No. Srvany (and the rest of the
Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools)
are only supported on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP. And even then, the official documentation accompanying the resource kit cautions:
The SOFTWARE supplied in the Windows Resource Kit Tools is not supported under any Microsoft standard support program or service.
Is Srvany supported on 64-bit Windows?
No. Srvany (and the rest of the
Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools)
are not supported on 64-bit platforms.
Can a Windows Service have a GUI? Should a Windows Service have a GUI?
Can it? Yes.
Should it? No.
But things are never that black and white...
First, realize that the Windows Services architecture does not impose any GUI-related restrictions on a service.
Services are free to create windows, tray icons, alert boxes or any other GUI elements, just like conventional windows applications can.
The key question is this: When a service creates a window, where will it be shown?
By default, the GUI elements from a Service appear in Session 0 -- the session/desktop created by Windows when your PC boots.
A user logging in to Session 0 can see the windows from a Service and interact with them normally. Interactive services "just work" there.
On Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003, the first non-remote user to log in to the PC is placed in Session 0.
If you walk up to the keyboard and mouse and log in, you will almost surely end up in Session 0.
Remote users can log in to Session 0 by starting the Remote Desktop application with the "/admin" flag.
For these users, interactive services work as expected and many Windows programs were architected this way.
Microsoft recently changed the playing field for interactive services though.
In Windows Vista, 7 and Server 2008,
Session 0 is now "isolated", and no user is allowed to log in there.
(This was done mainly for security concerns -- a virus infecting a service could force itself onto any desktop, which
the folks at Redmond now consider a "security risk".) The upshot is that the windows from a Service will no longer
show up on any user's desktop, effectively dealing a death blow the whole notion of interactive services.
Realizing that it would be difficult to do away with interactive services by decree however, Microsoft made several concessions
to keep interactive services on life support. The Interactive Services Detection Service (ISDS) was introduced to alert a
user whenever a service shows a window or message box on Session 0. After flashing a few times on the task bar, the window it displays looks like this:
Clicking on the View the message button initiates a gut wrenching transition from the normal desktop to the very strange looking world of
Session 0 where the Service's windows are running (Notepad.exe in this case):
Despite the austere appearance, you can interact normally with your service's windows in Session 0. And when you are done,
clicking on the Return now button will magically transport you back you to your regular desktop.
It is easy to see that most users would be inconvenienced by always having to perform such an awkward
switch to Session 0 to interact with an application. This effectively limits the attractiveness of
an interactive service and any sane computer professional will certainly recommend against constructing
Why won't the Interactive Service Detection service start on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012?
Attempting to start the Interactive Service Detection (UI0Detect) service on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 can fail with the incomprehensible "Error 1: Incorrect function" message:
This is because Microsoft has disabled interactive services in these new operating systems!
Fortunately, it is easy to re-enable interactive services by editing the registry:
- Start the registry editor ("regedit.exe")
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows on the left side
- On the right, double-click the NoInteractiveServices entry and change its value from 1 to 0
- Click OK to record your change
- Close the registry editor
The Interactive Service Detection service should start properly after this change.
How do I disable/suppress the Interactive Services Detection Dialog?
There are three ways to prevent the
Interactive Services Detection Dialog from alerting you of a GUI application running in Session 0.
All involve stopping the Interactive Services Detection (ISD) service, which runs in the background and summons the ISD dialog
whenever it detects activity in Session 0:
Stop the Interactive Services Detection Service
Simply stopping the service will cause the dialog to disappear. This may not be a permanent fix though; the dialog may return if someone else (or another application) restarts the service.
To stop the service, run "services.msc", right-click on the Interactive Services Detection entry in the list and select Stop from the menu:
Disable the Interactive Services Detection Service
By changing the service's startup type to Disabled, you will ensure that no person (or application) can start the service. The dialog will never be shown.
To disable the service, run "services.msc", double-click on the Interactive Services Detection entry in the list and change the Startup type to Disabled:
Set the NoInteractiveServices registry key
When it starts, The ISD service checks the NoInteractiveServices registry key. If the value is 1, the service will refuse to start, and you will never see the ISD dialog.
Follow these instructions to set the NoInteractiveServices registry key - just set the DWORD value to 1 instead of 0.
Note that the Interactive Services Detection service also provides the ability to switch to Session 0 to view your Session 0 desktop. Switching to Session 0 will not be available when the ISD service is not running!
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