Operating Systems/Programming

Minimizing Running Services and Processes



The services that are running on a computer can add up quickly if not correctly routinely checked. Although, while some applications, services, and processes rely on each other to function, it is important not to stop many of them. Windows does an excellent job at managing all the active services that are currently running at a given time. However, there can be many situations that require manual management. For example, when installing a new program such as a computer game, there could be many files and services that run in the background; an automatic update program is a standard item in most of today’s computer games. These programs generally run all the time in the background and check for new updates or hot-fixes that the game’s developer sends out.
While this is important to have while you use the game, what is its purpose when you wish to uninstall it? When you delete the computer game, it is entirely possible that all the files and services that initially came with it didn’t get removed entirely. If this is the case and the game’s automatic update program is leftover, it will continually run in the background, unseen from the user, and steadily take up valuable computer resources. For someone such as myself who installs and removes numerous programs, these leftover services can quickly add up and cause serious problems.
By using the Windows Task Manager, a handy tool which helps a user view and manages the various services, processes, and programs that are running on a computer, these situations can be quickly solved. It is essential to perform regular checkups on your computer to ensure peak operating conditions. While one would think that they would want this process automated, I for one would think that it would cause more problems than it would solve. If the wrong program or service is deleted, it can cause other applications or services to malfunction or not work. These are often called dependencies.
I have personally used CCleaner in the past to perform regular cleanups of files and services on my computer and found that it deleted some critical files that one of my favorite programs, Photoshop, used. These deleted files rendered the program inoperable, and I had to revert to a system restore file I had created, which in turn deleted many of the current files I was working on. While manually stopping, starting, and restarting services can be necessary when diagnosing or fixing issues, it is always recommended to research what the services are and which other services or programs they are associated with. I did not use any references for this assignment as it was all known from my own experiences.

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