SC Command – Manage Services in Windows
You can use the
sc (service controller) command to manage Windows services from the command line.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to start, stop, and view Windows services using the
Check Service Status
sc query command list all running services on a Windows computer:
To list all services, including services running, stopped, or paused, run the
sc command as follows:
sc query state=all
The following command list inactive services:
sc query state=inactive
In the following example, we save the output of the
sc query command to a file called services.txt:
sc query > services.txt
To get information about a specific service, run the
sc query command followed by the name of the service:
sc query service-name
The service-name should be the
SERVICE_NAME output from the
sc query command. We are using the Spooler (Print Spooler) service for the following example:
sc query Spooler
Here is the output of this command:
queryex option display more information, including the
PID of a running service:
sc queryex Spooler
To see the configuration of a particular service, you can use the
sc qc command:
sc qc Spooler
Here is the output that includes startup type, dependencies, and the full path of the executable that runs the service.
To see the description for a service, use the
sc qdescription Spooler
Start, Pause, Continue, or Stop a Service
You can stop and start services on a Windows computer using the
sc stop and
sc start commands, respectively.
The following example stops and restarts the sshd service on Windows:
sc stop sshd sc start sshd
When you stop and start a service, the service starts from scratch. When you pause a service, it retains all of its data.
When you restart a paused service with the continue command, the service begins right where it left off (note that some services are not pausable).
sc pause service-name sc continue service-name
Configuring Startup Type of a Service
We use the
sc config command to configure the startup type of a Windows service. The syntax of this command is as follows:
sc config Service-Name start=StartupType
The startup type can be either auto, demand, or disabled.
|Auto||The service will automatically start when the system starts.|
|Demand||The service will start only when manually started or when called by another process.|
|Disabled||Disabled - The service cannot be started. You have to change the startup type to either Auto or Demand before you can start a service that is set to Disabled.|
The following command will configure the sshd service to automatically start on system startup:
sc config start=auto
Note that the administrative commands like
sc config require you to launch CMD with administrative permissions (Run as administrator).