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)