Windows services are background programs that are part of Windows or other software. They provide important functions for the operating system and applications. Services run on both Windows client and server versions.
Each service can be configured individually. I will explain how to configure Windows services using group policies.
Group policies allow you to set rules and settings across multiple computers. We can use them to control the startup mode and access permissions for services on several machines simultaneously.
This provides an efficient way to manage services across an organization’s Windows devices. I will walk through the group policy options for services step-by-step.
Configure Windows services via GPO
Configuring services through group policies rather than manual adjustments offers the advantage of automatically applying specific settings to multiple computers. This eliminates the need to approach each computer individually, streamlining the process more efficiently.
For instance, you can utilize group policies to deactivate unnecessary services on a Windows server post-installation. Alternatively, you can set specific services on Windows 10 to “Manual,” activating them only when necessary.
To access the required settings, navigate to Computer Configuration -> Settings -> Control Panel Settings. Within this menu, you’ll find an option for “services,” allowing you to manage each service individually or create new entries for distinct configurations.
Automatically disable Windows services.
I will show how to disable the Remote Registry service using group policy.
First, create a new entry in the Group Policy for managing services. Right-click the “+” button to open the “New Service Properties” window.
Set the value to “Disabled” and select “Remote Registry” from the service name drop-down. If your desired service is not listed, you can manually enter its exact name from the Services management console.
That’s the key step. The “Service Action” dropdown lets you choose what happens when this group policy gets applied, like immediately stopping the service.
In this example, I selected “Stop Service” to stop the Remote Registry when the disabling group policy occurs on target computers.
So in just a few clicks, you can disable services across multiple machines using group policy. The same method configures other service behaviors like start mode or permissions.
Additional setting options for Windows services
The “Recovery” tab lets you configure how Windows responds to service errors. For example, you can set services to restart if errors cause them to stop automatically. Or run programs like scripts if a service fails to start.
The “Common” tab is standard for all Group Policies. Use it to set which user context the policy applies to. Also, target specific computers, users, or groups that should receive the policy.
So, the Recovery settings handle service resiliency while the Common settings control policy scope and assignment. Together, they allow comprehensive configuration for services across many Windows machines.