Managing Windows Services from the command line

Sometimes people disable Windows Services and can’t get the Windows Services screen to enable a necessary service. The easiest route is to bypass that interface and go straight to the command line. Also work from Safe Mode.

  • Click on Start, then Run or press windows + R to open Run.
  • Type in CMD and click OK to enter the command line mode

Now go to C:\ directory using cd .. and type following line in cmd

“sc query type= service state= inactive > C:\broken_services_list.txt”


The sc query is a command to tell Windows you want to query a service. The type tells it what specific group you want and the state tells it you want to see a grouping by it status: active, inactive and all respectively.

Run that command and then you can open the file C:\broken_services_list.txt in notepad (see the below screen)


This gives you a nice little text file you can open, edit, take notes, etc.

It may help you to copy and paste the service name to avoid misspelling it.

Once you map out your problems, you can start enabling services again.

The syntax is:
sc config servicename start= auto

To step backward, just change a few commands. If you wish to stop and then disable a particular Windows Service the following will work.

To stop the service:
sc stop servicename

To disable it:
sc config messenger start= disabled

Happy Coding 🙂