Services.msc: What Is It and How to Open and Use It

You can use an entire array of tools to access the Services Manager.

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows relies on various services running in the background, and there are times when you need to access them, run or stop one, or configure the startup type using Services.msc.
  • The fastest way to open services.msc is via the Run command.
  • You can also access the Services window from the Start menu or search for it.
all about services.msc
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A Windows computer has several services running, some native to the OS, while third-party applications install others. And to access these or changes the properties, you need to access Services.msc, a built-in tool in Windows.

Most users are unaware of the existence of such a tool and miss out on some great customizations and the ability to boost Windows performance. But since you are already here, check our detailed analysis of the Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

What is Services MSC used for?

Here are a few key features of Services.msc:

  • Lists all services in one place: With the built-in tool, you can view all the services in one place, that, too, in alphabetical or reverse-alphabetical order.
  • Allows starting or stopping a service: Several need to be run while other services are to be disabled for specific operations to complete, and the tool provides an easy way to do that.
  • Lets users change the startup type: Configuring the startup type comes in handy, as it allows you to choose whether a service starts running automatically at boot or has to be manually triggered.
  • Provides insights on dependencies: Services are often interlinked with each other in the sense that stopping one will stop the others that depend on it. And you can easily verify this through the built-in Services.msc.

What is services.msc file location?

Like any other tool and application, Services, too, has the relevant launcher files stored in the C: drive. Both the services.exe and services.msc files can be found in the System32 folder found in the following location:C:\WINDOWS\System32

System32 Folder

Besides the other methods listed here, you can always navigate the path and easily open Services.msc.

How can I open services.msc?

1. How to open services.msc from the Run window

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
  2. Enter services.msc and press Enter or click OK.
    run services windows
  3. The Services window will now appear.

This is the fastest method that you can use to access services.msc, and it’s one of the methods that we most commonly use.

2. How to open services.msc from Command Prompt

You can easily open Windows Services Manager through a command input in Command Prompt.

All you need to do is input the command line and press Enter.

1. Press Windows + S and type Command Prompt in the text field, then click on the relevant search result.

command prompt

3. Type services.msc in the box.

services cmd line

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4. Press Enter to execute the command.

5. The Windows Services Manager is now opened.

3. How to open the Windows Services Manager using Powershell

  1. Press Windows + X and select Windows PowerShell or Windows PowerShell (Admin).
    powershell windows
  2. Enter services.msc and press Enter.
    powershell services windows

As you can see, both methods are almost the same, and it doesn’t make a difference if you’re using Command Prompt or PowerShell.

You can also run both of these applications without administrative privileges, and you’ll be able to open the Services window without any problems.

Use our detailed guide if you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin. Our quick workarounds are exactly what you’re looking for.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search window, and type services in the search field.
  2. Now select the Services from the search results.
    search results for services

This is one of many different ways to access services.msc, and since it’s quick and easy, we encourage you to try it out.

5. How to open services.msc from the Start menu

  1. Press Windows to open the Start menu.
  2. Now scroll down to the Windows Administrative Tools section and expand it.
    administrative tools windows
  3. Select Services.
    services start windows

This is another easy-to-use method that you can use to open services.msc, but in our opinion, it’s not the fastest one.

6. How to open services.msc through the Control Panel

  1. Press Windows + S, then enter control, and select Control Panel from the list of results.
    control panel open
  2. Go to the Administrative tools section.
    control panel administrative tools windows
  3. Now select Services from the list of results.
    control panel services

7. Use Computer Management to open Services

  1. Open Computer Management. You can do that by using the search option or any other method.
    computer management search results windows
  2. Now expand Services and Applications from the navigation pane, and select Services under

This method can be useful if you’re using the Computer Management window frequently. If that’s not the case, then our previous methods might prove better.

8. Create a Desktop shortcut for Windows Services Manager

  1. Right-click your desktop and expand the New menu. Now select Shortcut.
    create new shortcut windows service manager
  2. Enter services.msc in the input field and click Next.
    open services.msc shortcut
  3. Now enter the name that you want to use for the shortcut and click on Finish.
    finish shortcut services

There are several different ways to access services.msc on your PC, and we encourage you to try them all. But once you are aware, choose one that seems the most convenient and quick.

How can I run services.msc as admin?

  1. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer, paste the following path in the address bar, and hit Enter:C:\WINDOWS\System32path
  2. Right-click on the services.msc file, and select Run as

Speaking of the Services window, many users reported that services.msc is not opening in Windows, but that, too, is easily fixable.

What is your preferred method of accessing the Services window? Do not hesitate to share it with us in the comments below.

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