When managing your computer, you may occasionally encounter scenarios where you are unable to modify the startup type of a service in Windows 11 or 10 because it is greyed out. The issue where the “Startup type” option appears greyed out in the “services.msc” utility is a common problem that confuses many users. This article will provide you with a thorough understanding of the issue, its causes, and multiple solutions to resolve it.
What is the problem?
The Windows operating system (OS) relies on various services running in the background to deliver its functionalities. These services, managed via the Services console (
services.msc), each have a specific startup type. The startup type determines when and how a service begins operation:
- Automatic: This service starts automatically when you boot your computer, providing its functionalities without requiring manual initiation.
- Manual: This service starts only when explicitly started by the user or when triggered by a system process or event that depends on it.
- Disabled: This service doesn’t start at all unless it is manually enabled by the user.
Occasionally, you may encounter a scenario where you attempt to modify the startup type of a service, but the option is greyed out and unresponsive. This startup type “greyed out” issue signifies that the system prevents you from altering the startup behavior of that specific service.
What causes the “Startup type” to be greyed out in Windows Services?
The greyed out startup type in Windows Services typically happens due to the following reasons:
- Insufficient permissions: Windows Services are integral parts of the OS, and altering their settings can impact system behavior. Therefore, modifying these settings usually requires administrative permissions. If your user account lacks these permissions, you may be unable to change a service’s startup type.
- Service status: If the service is currently running, you may not be able to change its startup type until it is stopped. Active services often have their startup type locked to prevent disruption during operation.
- System dependencies: Services often depend on one another to operate correctly. If the service you’re attempting to modify has dependencies, or if other services or processes depend on it, you may find its startup type greyed out. The system does this to maintain its stability and integrity.
Understanding these causes helps in determining the appropriate method to deal with the greyed out startup type issue in services.msc.
How to fix the “Startup type” greyed out issue in Services.msc
Solution 1: Running services.msc as administrator
To ensure that you have adequate permissions to modify service settings, the first troubleshooting step is to run the Services console with administrative rights:
- Press the Windows key and type “Services” in the search bar.
- From the search results, right-click on “Services” and select “Run as administrator”.
This will launch the Services console with enhanced permissions. Try to alter the startup type of the service. If the option remains greyed out, proceed with the next solution.
Related resource: Run a Program as SYSTEM user in Windows 11
Solution 2: Temporarily stopping the service
If a service is currently operational, it might restrict any changes to its startup type. In this case, stopping the service momentarily could enable the modification:
- Open the “Services” console as an administrator (as outlined in Solution 1).
- Find the service you’re attempting to modify, right-click on it, and select “Stop”.
- Once the service is stopped, attempt to modify its startup type.
If the startup type remains greyed out and unchangeable, proceed to the next solution.
Relevant guide: How to Disable Startup Services on Windows 11 or 10
Solution 3: Directly modifying service settings through the Registry Editor
If previous steps have not resolved your issue, you may need to modify the startup type directly in the Registry Editor. This tool allows you to make changes to many of Windows’ underlying settings, including service configurations.
Warning: Modifying the Windows Registry can have serious implications for your system. It is crucial to proceed with caution and take appropriate precautions before making any changes. It is highly recommended to create a system restore point before proceeding with the following steps. This allows you to revert to a previous state in case any issues arise during the process.
- Press Windows + R, type “regedit”, and press Enter.
- In the left pane of the Registry Editor, navigate to
- Locate and click on the service with the greyed out startup type. For instance, if the service in question is the Gaming Services, the key would be
- In the registry’s right pane, right-click, select New -> DWORD Value.
- Name this DWORD as “DelayedAutostart”. If you face issues creating the new DWORD, such as receiving the “Access is denied” error, you may need to take ownership of the service’s registry key.
- Double-click on “Start” and “DelayedAutostart” DWORDs to modify their values, as per your required startup type:
- For Disabled, set “Start” to
4and “DelayedAutostart” to
- For Manual, set “Start” to
3and “DelayedAutostart” to
- For Automatic, set “Start” to
2and “DelayedAutostart” to
- For Automatic (Delayed Start), set “Start” to
2and “DelayedAutostart” to
- For Disabled, set “Start” to
- Click “OK” and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
To verify whether the service’s startup type has been successfully modified, you can check the service properties in the services.msc. Even if the startup type setting is greyed out, it will still accurately display the current option.
The inability to modify the startup type of services due to the options being greyed out can indeed be frustrating, particularly when you need to quickly change the behavior of a specific service in your Windows 11 or 10 system. However, the registry editing workaround provided in this guide offers a solution to overcome this limitation and modify the startup type option for any service with the greyed-out setting in the services.msc.
Always remember to prioritize administrative access when necessary, ensure services are stopped before attempting modifications, and exercise caution when utilizing advanced tools such as the Registry Editor. If you ever find yourself uncertain or uneasy, seeking assistance from a professional or experienced user is highly recommended.