How to Delete a Service in Windows 7, Vista, or XP

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Malware often installs itself as a Windows service in order to load when Windows is started. This allows the malware to run and control designated functions without requiring user interaction. Sometimes, antivirus software removes the malware but leaves the service settings behind. Whether cleaning up after an antivirus removal, or attempting to remove the malware manually, knowing how to delete a service in Windows 7, Vista, or XP will help.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking the Start button and selecting Control Panel. (In Classic View, the steps are Start | Settings | Control Panel).
  2. XP users: Select Performance and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Services
    Windows 7 and Vista: Select Systems and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Services
    Classic View: Administrative Tools | Services
  3. Locate the service you want to delete, right-click the service name and choose Properties. If the service is still running, select Stop. Highlight the service name, right click and select Copy. This will copy the service name to the clipboard. Click OK to close the Properties dialog.
  4. Open a command prompt. Vista and Windows 7 users will need to open a command prompt with administrative privileges. To do this, click Start, right-click Control Panel, and choose Open as Administrator.
    Windows XP users simply need to click Start | Control Panel.
  1. Type sc delete then right click and choose Paste to enter the service name. If the service name contains spaces, you will need to type sc delete " then right click and choose Paste to enter the service name, type a closing ". Examples:

    sc delete SERVICENAME
    sc delete "SERVICE NAME"

  2. Press Enter to execute the command and delete the service. To exit the command prompt, type exit and press Enter.