msconfig: understanding the difference between "disabled" and "stopped"


classic35mm

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Windows 11 23H2 22631.3527
I'm new to Windows 11 (I'm currently running 23H2, 22631.3447); previously I used Windows 7.

I used Run... msconfig and clicked the Services tab to take a look at what's running in the background.

I see a huge list of services, the majority from Microsoft. Here's a sample of the long list:
msconfig_services.png
Could you please help me to understand the difference between a service being "stopped" and a service being "disabled"?
  • All of the services have a checkmark on the left-hand side. I think this means these services are enabled.
  • Some services -- many, in fact -- have status "Stopped," listed on the right-hand side of the list.
What's the difference between disabled and stopped? Are the stopped services still using system resources (even if minimal)?

Is anyone aware of a resource (tutorial, website, etc) that will help me know what the services do, and which ones I can safely disable (uncheck)?
  • For example, what in the world is Function Discovery Resource Publication and can I live without it?
  • Similarly, what is GameInput Service? I don't typically play games (except for web browser-based games), so I can probably live without GameInput Service enabled. But if I would install games on my system, would I need to enable GameInput Service in order for some games to run properly on Windows 11?
In other words, how do I know which Microsoft bloatware I can uncheck in msconfig's Services tab? Do I have to learn by trial and error, or are there tutorials that can help me with this?
 
Windows Build/Version
23H2, 22631.3447

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 22631.3527
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkStation P3
A stopped service just means that that service is no longer running but can be changed to a running state. If it has been set to disabled then it can't be started again until it has been enabled.

Each service will have a description associated to it, which usually gives a good indication of what that service might be used for, if you open services.msc then you'll be able to view that information.

I think you'll be quite hard pressed to find an official source about which services are safe to disable but you if you want to remove "bloatware" then look at removing any unnecessary programs and apps first, their services may be removed at the same time.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, Windows 10, Linux Fedora Cinnamon
Is anyone aware of a resource (tutorial, website, etc) that will help me know what the services do, and which ones I can safely disable (uncheck)?
  • For example, what in the world is Function Discovery Resource Publication and can I live without it?
You can see a description of what each service is for if you look in Services rather than msconfig. Function Discovery Resource Publication is what lets other PCs on your network see your PC and any shares it may have. Function Discovery Provider Host lets your PC find and see other PCs on the network.

1713980415939.png
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
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    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
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    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
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    50 Mbps
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022. It got the 23H2 Feature Update on 4th November 2023 through Windows Update.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i5-520M
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
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    8GB
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    (integrated graphics) Intel HD Graphics
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    500GB Crucial MX500 SSD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
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    Defender
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround. Feature Update to 23H2 by manually installing the Enablement Package. Also running Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro (and all my Hyper-V VMs).

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 8GB RAM, 256GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro RTM and Insider Beta as native boot vhdx.

    My SYSTEM FIVE is a Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1, Pentium Silver N5030, 4GB RAM, 512GB NVMe ssd, supported device running Windows 11 Pro, plus the Insider Beta, Dev, and Canary builds as a native boot .vhdx.
Exactly what x BlueRobot and Bree said. These services are not always stand alone services, either. Some services depend on other services and we do not know what all those dependencies are so what you may think is "bloatware" not always is. If you want to debloat as you call it, it's my recommendation changing services is not the way to do it.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium

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