Windows Services: Everything you want to know about them

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Windows services are applications that usually start when the computer starts and runs in the background until it stops. Strictly speaking, a service is any Windows application implemented with the Services API. However, services generally perform low-level tasks that require little or no interaction with the user.

Windows Services

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Although services are often virtually invisible to the user, Windows cannot function normally without them. A number of important operating system functions are managed via services such as network, hardware and remote access.

In addition to services that are part of Windows, most computers also have multiple third-party applications that run partially or completely as services. Firewalls and antivirus applications are common examples of third-party services.

This Microsoft white paper provides an overview of changes to the service model introduced in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows. You can also learn more about svchost.exe.

It covers the following subjects:

  1. How services work
  2. Changes to Windows services from Vista
  3. Security enhancements for Windows services
  4. Operation with fewer privileges
  5. Operational isolation
  6. Restricted network access0ry
  7. Session isolation
  8. Performance improvement
  9. Delayed auto execution
  10. Startup
  11. Service status change notifications
  12. Other enhancements
  13. Pre-notifications Stop and Stop Control
  14. Troubleshooting

It also provides best practice guidelines for developers, who intend to implement services for these versions of Windows.

You can download the Microsoft white paper.

Microsoft has made some changes to the way services work under Windows 8/10, read more here.

This article shows you how to open Windows services.

SMART, Windows 7, Vista, XP Services Tweaker is a free utility that helps you optimize Windows 7 services based on BlackVipers’ proposed configurations, and also allows you to reset service values to their default values. You can watch it!

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