Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated September 27, 2021)
Windows 10 contains several services, which are programs that are added to the operating system to perform certain functions. Windows 10 is made up of many smaller services running simultaneously, allowing for functionality to improve the experience. Typically, services run in the background and are launched automatically when your computer starts up. Some services are more familiar and necessary for daily use, such as File Explorer, Networking, and printing.
While the vast majority of services are needed, there are some that average users do not need or use. If a service isn't used you might wonder if it is OK to turn it off or disable it. Most such decisions require a fair amount of research, consideration about how you use Windows, and (possibly) testing. I can, however, share with you five services that you can safely disable within the Services app. To disable any of these services you need to first launch the Services app by pressing theÊWindows key, typing (without quotes) "Services," then pressingÊEnter.
1. Windows Mobile Hotspot Service
Windows allows your computer to become a hotspot for other computers and devices. While this can be a helpful feature, for many users this is simply something that is not used.
To disable the Windows Mobile Hotspot Service choose and right-click "Windows Mobile Hotspot Service" from the list of services displayed within the Services app. This displays a Context menu. If the service is running choose "Stop" to end the current instance of the service. If "Stop" is greyed out, it means the service is not currently being used. To disable the service from being used choose "Properties" from the Context menu. This opens the Properties window for the Windows Mobile Hotspot Service. Change the Startup Type dropdown option to Disabled.
Disabling the service will keep the service from running until you reenable it later.
2. Fax Service
For many, the need to fax became obsolete with the advent of email. For some, though, faxing is still used. Because of this, Windows keeps the service going.
Disabling Fax Service is the same as previously listed. Choose and right-click on Fax in the list of services in the Services app. In the resulting Context menu choose Properties to open the Fax Properties window. Change the Startup Type dropdown option to Disabled.
3. Print Spooler Service
Print Spooler is used to queue print files when you are printing from your computer. While many do print, many never print or even have a printer hooked up to their computer. If you find you do not or have no need to print, you can disable this service.
From the list of services right-click on Print Spooler. Since the Print Spooler service is always running you should see the option to stop the service in the resulting Context menu. To disable the service completely, again choose Properties from the Context menu. In the Print Spooler Properties window change the Startup Type from Automatic to Disabled.
4. Windows Biometric Service
Windows Biometric Services is a pretty cool feature. However, it is only useful (or even useable) if you have the hardware needed to scan fingerprints or your face. Without the necessary hardware, there is no need for Windows Biometric Services to be running.
With the Services app open, find the Windows Biometric Service in the list and right-click on it. In the Context menu, select Properties. This will open the Properties window for Windows Biometric Services. In the dropdown for Startup Type choose Disabled.
5. Downloaded Maps Manager
Unless you regularly use the built-in Maps app within Windows 10, you will not notice the Downloaded Maps Manager service being disabled. Downloaded Maps Manager allows the Windows 10 Maps app to view and use maps that have been downloaded onto your computer.
Just like the other service, search for Downloaded Maps Manager in the list of services and right-click. From the Context menu choose Properties to open the Downloaded Maps Manager Properties window. In the dropdown for Startup Type choose Disabled.
While Windows 10 services helps in performing tasks on your computer, in the background, there is no reason to run unnecessarily. By ending and disabling background tasks you're freeing up resources for your computer to do other things.
This tip (11306) applies to Windows 10.
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