Services.msc not opening or not responding [Full Fix]

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • When your Windows cannot find MSC files, it is surely due to corrupted registry files.
  • Make sure you use a third-party cleaner app to quickly fix the file error message.
  • Try letting the system file checker diagnose and fix the services.msc not opening issue.
  • You should also try registering some .DLL files using the Regedit and Command Prompt.
msc windows file error fix

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An MSC is a snap-in control panel file that the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) opens. Device Manager, Task Scheduler, Disk Defragmenter, Group Policy Editor and Shared Folders are just a few of the MSC tools.

However, some Windows 10 users have found they can’t always open MSC files with an error message stating, MMC cannot open the file.

When this happens, services.msc opens but is blank, and you don’t have access to its functionality.

Are you getting an error message similar to MMC cannot open the file error for a Windows utility? If so, these are a few potential fixes for MSC files that are not opening.

How do I fix the MSC file not opening?

1. Run the system file checker

  1. Press the Windows key + X.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Alternatively, enter cmd in a Windows search box.
  4. Hold the Ctrl + Shift keys and then select Command Prompt to open it as an administrator.
  5. In the Prompt window, input the following and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  6. The SFC will scan for about 20-25 minutes.
  7. If SFC fixes anything, it will state, Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
  8. Restart Windows if the SFC does repair something.

The services.msc not opening might also be due to corrupted system files. System File Checker is a tool that scans for and fixes corrupted Windows system files, so it might help when services.msc is not working.

2. Roll Windows back to a Restore Point

  1. Enter system restore in the Windows search box.
  2. Select Create a restore point to open the System Properties window below.
  3. Press the System Restore button there.
  4. Click Next and select the Show more restore points option.
  5. Select a restore point that dates back a few months.
  6. Press the Next and Finish buttons to restore Windows to selected date.

System Restore is a handy Windows troubleshooting tool that undoes recent system changes. If your MSC tools were working fine a few months back, then rolling Windows back might fix the MMC cannot open the file error.

Use a third-party restore app

One other thing you can do to restore your system files is using a third-party restoration app that will do the job for you. This program will scan your device for corrupted and faulty data and repair it.

In addition, the software will also remove any malware, thus keeping you safe. If you want safety and a healthy system, this is a great choice for you.

Windows Update is meant to improve the overall performance of your operating system, integrate new features, and even upgrade the existing ones. However, there are times when certain errors may occur out of the blue.

Thankfully, if you happen to run into such issues, there is a specialized Windows repair software that can help you solve them in no time, and it is called Restoro.

This is how you can fix registry errors using Restoro:

  1. Download and install Restoro.
  2. Launch the application.
  3. Wait for the application to find any system stability issues and possible malware infections.
  4. Press Start Repair.
  5. Restart your PC for all the changes to take effect.

After the process is completed your computer should work perfectly fine and you will no longer have to worry about Windows Update errors of any kind.

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Disclaimer: This program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

3. Register DLL Files with Regsvr32

  1. First, press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Then type regsvr32 in Run.
  3. Press the OK button.
  4. Open this folder path in the File ExplorerC:/DocumentsAnd Settings/username/Application/Data/Microsoft/MMC.
    • You’ll need to replace the username in that path with the actual username folder title.
    • That folder contains MSC files.
  5. Look for the MSC tool that isn’t opening for you.
  6. Next, right-click the MSC tool that isn’t opening.
  7. Select the Rename option from the context menu.
  8. Enter filename_old as the new title for the MSC file.
  9. Then restart the Windows OS.

The Microsoft Management Console might have missing or corrupted DLL files that the MSC utility needs. In which case, Regsvr32 will come in handy for fixing the MSC error.

That’s a command-line utility that you can register DLLs with. This is one potential Regsvr32 fix for the MMC cannot open the file MSC error.

4. Register Msxml.dlls via the Command Prompt

  1. Open the Command Prompt from the Windows + X menu or by entering cmd in the Windows search box.
  2. Next, enter the following command: C:Windowssystem32cd %windir%system32
  3. Press the Return key.
  4. Now input the following commands in the Command Prompt, and press the Return key after entering each one: Regsvr32 Msxml.dll Regsvr32 Msxml2.dll Regsvr32 Msxml3.dll
  5. Enter Exit and press Return to close the Command Prompt.
  6. Then you can restart Windows.

Alternatively, you can also register MMC DLLs with Regsvr32 via the Command Prompt. To do it, follow the aforementioned steps.

5. Scan the Registry

  1. Download CCleaner from their page.
  2. Open the software to install it.
  3. Run the app, then click Registry.
  4. Select all the registry item checkboxes and press Scan for Issues.
  5. Then, click on Fix selection issues to delete or repair invalid registry keys.

MSC system errors can be due to corrupted or invalid registry entries. As such, a registry scan might help fix MSC files that aren’t opening.

Windows doesn’t have a built-in registry cleaner, but there are plenty of third-party utility packages that include a registry scanner.

You can scan your registry files and restore them with CCleaner. The software will also keep you safe from other types of harmful or corrupted files.

6. Fix MMC DLLs With File Association Fixer v2

  1. Download the app from their website.
  2. Open the software’s Zip folder in File Explorer.
  3. Press the Extract all button to extract it.
    • You can open either a FAF x86 or x64 version of the program.
    • The x86 is for 32-bit Windows platforms, and x64 is the 64-bit version.
  4. The software suggests that you set up a restore point.
  5. Click Fix Files to open the file type list in the snapshot directly below.
  6. Select the DLL check box, and press the Fix Selected button.
  7. Reboot your desktop or laptop.

File Association Fixer is software that enables you to fix broken file associations when the registry is corrupted, although the program seemingly doesn’t provide support for MSC file types.

You can feasibly fix Microsoft Management Console DLLs with File Association Fixer. So this might be a utility worth noting if an MSC file isn’t opening for you.

The issue has wider ramifications, such as when services.msc access is denied, in which case you’ll need to tweak your admin privileges.

On the other hand, even administrators can have blocked services.msc, in which care the solutions are a bit trickier.

Those are a few potential remedies for MSC files that aren’t opening. Full malware scans and installing all Windows updates might also resolve the issue and get your MSC tool up and running again.

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