How to Delete a Service which is Leftover in Windows 10 and Earlier


Have you come across a situation where uninstalling a software leaves its Service or driver entries in the registry, and Windows tries to load them at every boot, fails and logs the error to the System Event log at every startup? This post tells you how to delete a service which is leftover in Windows using three different ways. Instructions apply to Windows XP through Windows 10.

Services MMC

When a driver or service entry is leftover in the registry but the corresponding files are missing, the Event Log would record an entry with ID:7000 at every start.

Log Name: System
Source: Service Control Manager
Event ID: 7000
Level: Error
The DgiVecp service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified.

This post tells you how to remove an orphaned service using the registry, SC command-line or using Autoruns. Before proceeding further, create a System Restore point and/or a complete Registry backup.

Table of Contents

View Dependents of a Service

When you remove a service, others that depend upon the service would fail to start, returning error “System error 1075 has occurred. The dependency service does not exist or has been marked for deletion.”. So, it’s advisable to first check if there are any dependents.

You can check that in Services MMC by double-clicking on the item you’re going to delete and clicking the Dependencies tab. The list of components that depend on that service are shown below. Here is an example, where “Fax” depends on “Print Spooler” to start.

Delete unwanted services

While most third-party services don’t have any dependents, some do. It’s always advisable to take a look at this tab before clearing the item.

Another way to verify the dependents is to run this command from a Command Prompt window. (example, Print Spooler)

sc enumdepend spooler

Delete unwanted services

How to Delete a Service in Windows?

If you find that no dependents exist for a service, you can proceed to deleting the leftover or unwanted Service in Windows using one of the following methods.

Method 1: Delete a Service Using Autoruns

Autoruns is a must-have tool which helps you manage Windows startup, services, drivers, Winsock providers, Internet Explorer add-ons, Shell extensions and much more.

  1. Download Autoruns and run it
  2. From the Options tab, tick Hide Microsoft Entries, so that only the third-party entries are listed.
  3. Press F5 to refresh the listing.
  4. Click the Services tab, from where you can delete the service(s) which are unwanted or leftover.
    Delete unwanted services
  5. Close Autoruns.

Method 2: Delete a Service Using the SC.EXE command-line

The SC command-line tool in Windows can be used to create, edit or delete Services. To delete a service in Windows, use the following command-line syntax from elevated or Administator Command Prompt window:

sc delete serviceshortname

Where serviceshortname refers the short name of the service, instead of its display name.

To find the short name, open Services MMC and double-click a service.

  • Example 1: Short name for Automatic Updates is wuauserv, and display name is Automatic Updates.
  • Example 2: Google Update Service (gupdate) is the display name, and gupdate is the shortname
    Delete unwanted services

Another way to find the short-name of a service is using this command-line:

sc getkeyname "service display name"

which in this example is:

sc getkeyname "Google Update Service (gupdate)"

delete a service which is leftover

Once the service short name is obtained using any of the above methods, use this command to delete the Service:

sc delete gupdate

This removes the Google Update service.

Method 3: Delete a Service Using the Registry Editor

To manually remove a service from the Windows registry, use these steps:

  • Start Regedit.exe and navigate to the following branch:
    delete a service using registry editor
    Services registry key.

    Each sub-key under the above registry key represents a driver or a Service. The key name is also the short name of the service. Also, you should be able to identify the entry easily by looking at the DisplayName and ImagePath values in the right-pane in the Registry Editor.

  • Find the entry you want to delete. Right-click the appropriate key, and choose Delete.
  • Exit the Registry Editor.

That’s it! You’ve now deleted a Service in your Windows 10 computer. The method applies to earlier Windows Operating Systems as well.

See also


About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

11 thoughts on “How to Delete a Service which is Leftover in Windows 10 and Earlier”

  1. Thanks. Great instructions. I used the elevated command prompt method.

    Removed the Dock Login Service that came with Dell Dock, because it wasn’t removed with the uninstaller. (Win 7 64 pro)

    If you want a dock, get a Mac

  2. SC worked fine in removing the MySQL service reference after I uninstalled xampp.


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