Updated: 12/26/2023 by Computer Hope

A service may refer to any of the following:

Service level dial with needle on Excellent.

1. In general, a service refers to work that is performed by one or more people that benefits others. For example, Computer Hope performs the service of helping everyone with their computer-related problems and questions. Another example is customer service that is a department within a company that assists customers with general company related questions.

2. With computer software, a service is software that performs automated tasks, responds to hardware events, or listens for data requests from other software. In a user's operating system, these services are often loaded automatically at startup, and run in the background, without user interaction. For example, in Microsoft Windows, many services are loaded to accomplish different functions. They respond to user keyboard shortcuts, index and optimize the file system, and communicate with other devices on the local network. An example of a Windows service is Messenger, which allows users to send messages to other Windows users.

Viewing running Windows Services

You can view all currently running Windows Services by opening the Windows Task Manager and then clicking the Processes tab. You can also get a list of services in the System Information utility.

From the Windows command line, you can use the sc command to communicate with the Service Control Manager and services.

Managing Windows Services

Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, and above users can view and adjust what services are loaded each time Windows loads by following the steps below.

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Administrator Tools icon.
  3. Double-click the Service icon.


  1. Click Start.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter.

You may be unable to complete the above steps if you do not have the proper permissions on your computer.

3. Service is also a Linux command line command to start and stop services. See the service command page for further information on this command.

Business terms, Component Services, Customer Service, Daemon, Product, Self-service, TSR, Windows Accessories