[Windows] ServiceSuite: A portable soft that allows users to easily manage Windows services via drag and drop

Ever open Windows’ native services manager and wish there was some way to easily modify the startup type of multiple services at a time? Well you know what they say — be careful what you wish for because you may just get it. (Do “they” really still say or am I pulling [bleep] out of my [bleep]?) ServiceSuite, a small, portable app by an independent German developer, is the answer to your wishes.

ServiceSuite is a very simple program that allows users to easily manage Windows services via drag + drop. When you run ServiceSuite – as already mentioned it is portable, so no installation necessary – you are shown a list of all the services on your computer; each service is categorized by its current startup type into one of three columns – automatic, manual, and deactivated:

[Note: ServiceSuite is in German and English. For me ServiceSuite automatically loaded in English – probably because it detected my locale – but if for you ServiceSuite loads in German and you want English (or vice versa) you can easily change the language by going to the second menu option in the text menu at the top and selecting the language you want.]

To change the startup type of a service all you have to do is drag it and drop it into the column of the startup type you desire; then click the checkmark button located near the top-right corner to apply the change. For example, if I wanted to disable Adobe Acrobat Update Service I would simply drag it from the automatic column and drop it into the deactivated column. Then to apply the change i would click the blue checkmark button. It is as simple as that.

The cool thing about ServiceSuite is it allows you to modify the startup type for multiple services at a time. You can either select all the services you want to modify and drag + drop them at the same time (if you want to move multiple services from the same column to the same column); or you can drag + drop one at a time and wait to hit the checkmark button until you have moved the last one (if you want to modify multiple services but they aren’t in the same column).

If you find yourself moving around services but then decide you don’t want to do what you just did, if you have not hit the checkmark button yet you can easily “undo” all changes you have made by hitting the refresh button (the button next to the checkmark). This refresh button reloads the current services settings on your computer, so it essentially undos any changes you make, assuming you have not applied them yet.

Other than that, the only other functionality ServiceSuite has is:

  • Right clicking a service allows you to start/stop it and access the registry entry for that service;
  • Going to File allows you to export your current services structure (from an XML file) or import a services layout (from an XML file).

As an added bonus, the developer of ServiceSuite includes two XML files of “optimized” services settings for XP and Win7. The idea is for you to import them into ServiceSuite so your services settings can be optimized. If you want to use them you can, but I have not tested either XML file so I cannot vouch for how good the definitions are. I would recommend simply ignoring them unless you are the curious type.

That said, ServiceSuite is very simple to use, yes, and potentially very useful. However, I do dislike two things:

  • ServiceSuite doesn’t provide as much information about a service like Windows’ services manager does. ServiceSuite literally only gives you the name of services and you need to either know what they are or you need to look them up. That is not to say Windows Services is very informative about what each service is; but at least it gives a description of services. I understand ServiceSuite would have to be a larger program to add this functionality but I feel the extra weight would be worth it.
  • ServiceSuite doesn’t color code changes you make. After you drag + drop a service into another column, there is no visual indication of the change you made. In other words, I would like ServiceSuite to do something like change the background color of a service to gray after it has been moved to indicate it has been manually modified by the user. This would make it easier for users to keep track of what they have changed so they can double check their work prior to applying the changes.

ServiceSuite was last updated in 2010 and it doesn’t appear the developer plans on updating it again anytime soon. So my advice may fall on deaf ears. Nonetheless, even in its current form, ServiceSuite is potentially a very useful piece of software.

You can grab ServiceSuite from the links below:

Version reviewed: v1.007

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7

.NET Framework v2 is required

Download size: 60 KB

Malware status: VirusTotal scan report (2/42)

ServiceSuite homepage [direct link download page]

Thanks Jeanjean!

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21 comments

  1. Dru

    @GC: Comparison yields only 2 items that are currently identified that differ from original snapshot (when I started):

    1: Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0 (FontCache3.0.0.0) is now in my registry with a startup of 0, whereas it wasn’t in my export when I first started.

    2: Windows CardSpace (idsvc) initially had a startup of 3 but now it’s a 0.

    Would you recommend changes to either of these?

  2. Dru

    @GC: Thank you! Sorry I mixed up the exports in my mind. So, the value you pull when I mouseover an item is the value the other tool exported. I shall paste into XL and use your subkeyname to match things up. Thank you again!

  3. GC

    @Dru:

    -> I later realized I’m 32-bit or x86. Could that import have introduced a problem to my system?

    actually i dont think so at least not the case that it is an export of x64 XP.
    The tool itself checks before writing anything so if the service u want to import is not in your registry then it wont change anything in the registry and skips to the next service in list

    but i dont know if u deactivated any service of your capture cards yourself
    the tool wont do it by itself coz the imported optimized xml file doesnt have the services of your OS

    The values from the other tool u used u can check them up with SS
    just get the name of the entry of that export and find the service in SS right click jump to registry and look what property matches that value u wanna know about

  4. Dru

    @GC: Sorry about the video capture comment. I have two Hauppauge PVR cards which I use to record TV (coax in). Capture and view of the tv stream is very broken, stuccato-like. This happened after using SS and/or Turbo Services Manager. I think I first used SS, did an export (to get initial snapshot), then imported “XP_optimized_x64.xml”. I later realized I’m 32-bit or x86. Could that import have introduced a problem to my system?

    The Services.exe error happens on startup, yes. Most startups… on some rare occassions I don’t get it, always when I press the reset button versus power-off button or start > shutdown or restart.

  5. Dru

    @GC: Thank you GC.

    1: Thx for explaining about the color thing. Guess I’m smart (or just lucky!) if you thought of it :)
    2: Thx, will reload. BTW, showing description was the default state when I ran it for the first time, but there was no checkmark in the menu, just fyi.
    3: You provided startup values, right? 1= boot, 2= auto, 3= manual, 4= deactivated. What about the “state” values? I only see 1 and 4. I assume 1= running, and 4= stopped??

    I was surprised and really appreciated your response. Thank you! :)

  6. GC

    @Dru

    ->Color change implementation is a welcome addition…

    did that at first but then i thought some ppl would get confused because of the red color from deactivated list

    ->The addition of description is great. However, it always shows …

    u have to reload everytime u check/uncheck … didnt want to trigger it from the menu

    ->but what do the numbers mean? 1= stopped? etc. …

    2 = auto
    3 = man
    4 = deact

  7. Dru

    I should clarify one statement. My video capture is capturing stuccato after I mucked around with my services. I captured a before snapshot and restored it, but that hasn’t resolved my issue. I shall reinstall my capture drivers and hope for the best.

    BTW, process hacker tells me my “Services.exe” error (“The instruction at __ referenced memory at __. The memory could not be ”read”.”) is coming from csrss.exe. It happens after I see my desktop and before most of my startup stuff runs. I think it may have started after changing some of my services settings because I was in an “optimize” mood with my xp system. Sigh…

  8. Dru

    Very cool program. However, my video capture now fails me (it’s like stuccato) on top of my Services.exe error. Trying to figure out how that happened…

    Color change implementation is a welcome addition. Might be cool to have the colors denote where the item came from (corresponding to the original’s label–automatic= green, manual= blue, etc.

    The addition of description is great. However, it always shows. I check and uncheck and it still shows.

    Nice addition of being able to export by type. I wish there was doc that tells me what the values are in the XML exports. For example, when I compare extracts I see different states but what do the numbers mean? 1= stopped? etc.

    This appears to be a fine program to manage services in bulk manner. Thank you!

  9. GC

    made an Update to 1.0.0.8

    new stuff:
    – see changes you made by highlighting the changed Services
    – export individual Lists : auto/manual/deactivated/full
    – added an option to turn on Descriptions (slow)

    in Win7 Service Description and some Service names are not written into Registry anymore and
    the Service API has no property “Description” therefore i need to do it via WMI which is slow as hell. Therefore i made it optional

    hope you like it

    GC

  10. Dru

    I have been looking this past week for a program to make changes to my services in bulk manner. This appears to foot the bill. I’m on XP and get a services.exe error that process hacker says is coming from crss when I boot up. I’m wondering if it’s because of my services configuration. I will try the optimized file and also some suggestions from other sites on what should be automatic, manual, and disabled. May start by setting all to automatic and see if that resolves my error. I’ve uninstalled all programs I installed just before this error started cropping up.

  11. mukhi

    i can never express enough love for portable SW. dottech should get an article listing all good free portable SW (although there will be too many to mention) but there is no harm in getting yet another free portable app since it never makes registry bloated. i was surprised when i made a portable scifinder (for myself only as it is a paid SW) and saw the usefulness of it.

  12. Jeanjean

    An article much much better that if I had written it.
    I found this software by searching for a way to easily get rid of “jqs.exe” (java) that consumed uselessly cpu.
    The only procedure originally found on the net was relatively complicated (via DOS).
    Thanks Ashraf.