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How to remove unwanted or orphaned system services in Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7

I guess many times you came across a situation where the system tried to start a service and it failed. One of the reasons might be that after uninstalling an application their service still exists. To fix this issue you have to remove the service manually. There are few methods to do that.

  1. From Command Prompt:
    • Open command prompt window (CMD.EXE) and use SC.EXE tool in the following format:
      SC DELETE <service_name>

      <service_name> can be found under Services Console (services.msc) -> double click the service you want to delete -> General tab -> Service name: <service_name>

  2. From Registry Editor:
    • Open Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) and navigate to the following key:
    • Under the above key you will find all the services and drivers existing in your system
    • Find the one you want to remove (make sure the values DisplayName and ImagePath are correct)
    • Right click on the key and choose Delete

Document version: 1.2

Last modified on:


Laura Lage
11 Jun 2013, 09:42
SC DELETE <service_name> works beautifully
Delete from the Registry Key does not remove the service from the console, not in Windows 7 anyway. The console now loads with an error displayed in the deleted service. It was good that I created a restore point before I did this so that I could go back and use the SC.exe tool to do it right.
Nick Harper
07 Mar 2018, 04:13
Reboot your machine and the removed services will no longer be there.
09 Mar 2018, 06:23
Just checked and you’re right Nick! Works!
Thanks for good tip :)
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