In Windows XP disabling services offered a good way to both increase performance and secure your computer. With the improved memory management of each successive Windows release, disabling services became less necessary. In Windows 8 and at least semi-modern hardware it offers no measurable performance benefit. Also, in Windows 8 services are often tied to functions that seem unrelated to the name or even the description of the services. In addition, following the advice of some popular services tweak guides can at the very least fill your error logs. At worst they can leave you baffled as to why something on your computer doesn’t work. Disabling services can lead to issues both immediate and further down the road.
My point is this (I’ll channel my inner Mr. Spock): If an action has no upside and has the potential for a severe downside then it isn’t logical to take that action.
Or, if you would prefer straight talk:
IMHO, Windows 8 memory management is fantastic and disabling services offers no performance benefit.
With Windows 8 my recommendations are as follows:
Average Users – Leave your services alone.
Advanced Users – See the advice for Average Users. If you still want to tweak your services…
First uninstall the stuff you know you don’t need via remove Windows programs.
To open services, press the Windows + R keys and type services.msc.
Next, order the services menu my services actually running* by click the Status column. Generally, if a service isn’t running you gain nothing by disabling it. Really, other than a few network related services there is nothing to tweak and the only gain for those is the possibility of a little less network chatter (“little” as in: tiny, miniscule, almost non-existent, statistically insignificant…).
*If a service isn’t running then what is the point of disabling it? To make yourself feel super-geeky?
On my own computers I currently disable the following because I’ve no use for them and find them annoying:
- Windows Media Player Network Sharing
- HomeGroup Provider
*It should be noted that I don’t stream / share media, or use the Home Group (although I did set one up for the creation of this guide).
For a complete list of Windows 8 default services see here.