Fix: ‘Failed to connect to a Windows service’ in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
5 minute read

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Services are a crucial part of every Windows 10, however, some service related issues can occur from time to time. Users reported “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message on Windows 10, so without further ado, let’s see how to fix this issue.

But first, here are some more examples of this issue:

  • Failed to connect to a Windows service this problem prevents standard users – This issue usually happens if you’re not connected with your Administrative account.
  • Failed to connect to a Windows service windows Group Policy 
  • Failed to connect to a Windows service windows system event notification service

“Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message on Windows 10

Table of contents:

  1. Use netsh winsock reset command
  2. Use Registry Editor
  3. Disable Fast Startup
  4. Stop Windows Font Cache Service service
  5. Go to Safe Mode
  6. Uninstall Soluto and Bing Bar
  7. Disable User Account Control
  8. Disconnect your earphones before you shut down your PC

Fix – “Failed to connect to a Windows service” in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Use netsh winsock reset command

In order to fix “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message on Windows 10, you need to run netsh from Command Prompt. You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt from the menu.
    command-prompt-start-menu
  2. When Command Prompt starts, type netsh and press Enter.
  3. Now enter winsock reset and press Enter to run it.
    cmd-netsh-winsock-reset
  4. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 2 – Use Registry Editor

“Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message can sometimes appear if certain registry keys and values are missing, and if that’s the case, you’re advised to add them manually by changing the registry. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
    regedit
  2. Once Registry Editor starts in the left pane navigate to:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\gpsvc
      regedit-gpsvc
  3. Locate ImagePath value and check its data. In our case, Data is svchost.exe -k netsvcs. This means that svchost and netsvcs keys are in charge for this service.
  4. On the left pane navigate to:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost
  5. Locate netsvcs on the right pane and double click it.
    svchost
  6. Check the Value data field. If gpsvc is missing make sure to add it. Do not delete anything from Value data list, just add gpsvc if it’s missing.
    gpsvc
  7. If netsvcs Key is not available under the SvcHost in the left pane, you need to create it manually. To do that, right click on SvcHost and choose New > Key. Enter netsvcs as the name of the newly created key.
    new-key
  8. Select the netsvcs key you just created, and in the left pane click on empty space and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  9. Enter CoInitializeSecurityParam as the new for new DWORD and double click it.
  10. Set Value data to 1 and click OK to save changes.
    reg-value-1
  11. Create a new DWORD value and name it CoInitializeSecurityAllowLowBox. Double click CoInitializeSecurityAllowLowBox DWORD and set its value to 1.
    reg-value-2
  12. Create a new 32-bit DWORD and name it AuthenticationCapabilities. Set its value to 3020 and click OK to save it.
    reg-value-3
  13. Optional: Create CoInitializeSecurityAllowInteractiveUsers DWORD and set its Value to 1.
  14. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Solution 3 – Disable Fast Startup

Users reported that Fast Startup option can cause “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message to appear, and in order to fix this issue, it’s advised that you turn off Fast Startup. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type Power Options. Choose Power Options from the list.
    power-options

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  3. Click Choose what the power button does.
    power-options
  4. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
    power-options-2
  5. Scroll down to Shutdown settings and uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).
    power-options-3
  6. Click Save changes.

We have to mention that by turning off fast startup your computer might boot a bit slower than before, but all issues with services should be resolved.

Solution 4 – Stop Windows Font Cache Service service

According to users, Windows Font Cache Service can sometimes cause issues with other services, therefore, you need to disable it and delete FontCache dat files by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    run-services
  2. When Services window opens, locate Windows Font Cache Service. Right click it and choose Stop.
    services-stop
  3. Minimize Services window (you’ll need it for future steps) and press Windows Key + R. Enter %localappdata% and press OK.
    localappdata-run
  4. In the AppData > Local folder locate and delete FontCache dat files.
  5. Go back to Services window, right click Windows Font Cache Service and choose Start from the menu.
    services-start

Solution 5 – Go to Safe Mode

Few users reported that entering Safe Mode fixes “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error. In order to access Safe Mode you need to do the following:

  1. Press Start Button, click Power button, then click Restart while holding Shift key pressed.
    restart
  2. When your computer restarts you should see three options available. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings. Click Restart.
  3. After your computer restarts again, you should see list of options. Press F5 to enter Safe Mode with Networking.
  4. After you enter Safe Mode, you can restart your computer and the issue should be resolved.

Solution 6 – Uninstall Soluto and Bing Bar

According to users, certain programs such as Soluto and Bing Bar can cause this problem, and if you have any of these programs installed, it’s advised that you remove them. To uninstall certain software just open Settings app and go to Apps & features section, find the program and click the Uninstall button.

Solution 7 – Disable User Account Control

Users reported that “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error message is caused on administrator accounts when UAC is turned on. In order to fix this problem we need to turn off UAC, and we can do that by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type User Accounts. Select User Accounts from the list of results.
    user-accounts
  2. When User Accounts window opens, click on Change User Account Control settings.
    user-accounts
  3. Move the slider on the left all the way down to Never notify.
    user-account-control-settings
  4. Click OK to save changes.

Turning off UAC comes with slight security risk, and by turning it off you won’t get any notifications when you make changes that require administrator privileges.

Solution 8 – Disconnect your earphones before you shut down your PC

This is a peculiar solution, but few users claim that it works. If you’re getting “Failed to connect to a Windows service” error, you might want to disconnect your headphones before you turn off or restart your computer. If this workaround works for you, you’ll have to repeat it every time you turn off or restart your PC.

“Failed to connect to a Windows service” message on Windows 10 can be troublesome, and if you have the same problem on your PC, make sure to try some of our solutions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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