Top 10 Windows Computer Services You Can Disable for a Faster PC or Laptop

Speed Up Your PC or LaptopWant a faster PC or Laptop? Faster startup times and smoother performance? Did you ever wonder about all those background programs running on your PC? Do you need all these running all the time? Here are some tips to help you.

Windows has a core set of programs, called “system services” that must run in the background so that the system can perform basic operations. However, you may not need to have all the services running, and disabling unnecessary services can enhance performance.

Here is a list of 10 services you can disable on your Windows 7 systems that will probably not negatively affect you at all. I say “probably” for a reason. Before you take drastic action, such as disabling a service on your PC, make sure you don’t need the service. This is not a definitive list of unneeded services, just some obvious ones.

Test your changes and undo them if you have problems. Create a System Restore point before making any changes, so you can undo them if you get into trouble.

1: IP Helper: Provides connectivity using the new IPv6. If this service is stopped. Most websites and companies haven’t even started testing IPv6, much less fully deployed it. Therefore, you don’t need it.

2: Offline Files: The Offline Files service performs maintenance activities on the Offline Files and keeps these files stored in the machine’s cache (a sort of memory). Unless you are synchronizing files across a business network, you can disable this service. This has nothing to do with 3rd party services, like Drop Box, Sky Drive or Google Docs, so if you use these, you can still turn this service off.

3: Network Access Protection Agent: The Network Access Protection (NAP) agent service collects and manages health information for computers on a network that uses a server-based program (like a database or other major business software). If you’re a home or small business user, chances are you’re not using this type of software, so this service can be disabled.

4: Parental Controls: This service is a “stub” for the Windows Parental Control functionality that existed in Vista. It is provided for backward compatibility only. Since this is a leftover service from Windows Vista,  you don’t need it. Besides, if you do want to use Parental Controls, you’re much better off with 3rd party software, such as Net Nanny.

5: Smart Card Service: Manages access to smart cards read by a computer. What is a “Smart Card”? Organizations use smart cards for secure login and authentication purposes, like an electronic “key”. These are not the same thing as the Media Cards we use in our cameras and phones. Yes, some use the word “Smart” in their name, but it’s only a name.

6: Smart Card Removal: Allows the system to be configured to lock the user desktop upon smart card removal. Again, if your business does not use smart cards for authentication purposes, you can safely disable this service.

7: Fax Service: Enables you to send and receive faxes, utilizing fax resources available on a business network. This is used in larger businesses only. Most of us just use the fax function built into our multifunction printers. Others use web-based services, such as “e-fax”. Neither of these use this service, so you don’t need it.

8: Tablet PC Input: Enables Tablet PC pen and ink functionality. Unless you use writing or drawing tablet, like those made by WaCom, to do hand writing and drawing input to your PC, you don’t need it.

9. Telephony: This is a throwback to the dial-up modem days. Unless you still use one, disable this service.

10. Bluetooth Service: Unless you use a Bluetooth device on your PC, such as a mouse, headphones, etc., you can stop tis service. It has nothing to do with USB (some people confuse the two).

How To Disable Windows Services:

Simply click the Start Button, and in the search box type in “msconfig”. This will bring up a window called “System Configuration”.

Click on the tab called “Services”. From there, go down the list and uncheck the box next to the service you wish to disable. The changes will take effect when you reboot the PC.

Remember, always create a System Restore Point before making these changes, so you can undo them in case you get in trouble.

We perform this service in addition to other tweaks and optimizations as part of our “Computer Clean and Tune Service”. Visit our Tucson Computer Service website or call us today to learn more.

About Steve Frantzis

Steve Frantzis is the Owner of Saguaro PC Tech, LLC, a computer repair shop in Tucson. If you have any questions or need help with your laptop, desktop, Mac, or mobile device, please call Us at (520) 250-5948.