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Cannot Open Services.msc: How to Fix Services Not Opening / Responding (Windows 10)

Windows 10 comes with quite a few stock apps that allow users to change and manage various system components. This includes being able to restart essential services, restart, quit, or disable system tasks, and manage disks and drives, among other things.

These apps include but are not limited to, the Event Viewer, the Disk Management tool, the Services tool, the Device Manager, the Task Scheduler, etc.

Services.msc not opening

Fix Services.msc not opening or not responding

Services.msc is a stock Windows 10 app that allows users to enable, disable, and modify how services are run on the OS. These services include OS services like the Printer Spooler service and they include third-party services like the Chrome Update service. 

The app is often needed to troubleshoot problems on Windows 10 where services need to be restarted or quit, or disabled to fix problems. To open Services.msc;

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter services.msc and tap the Enter key.
  3. The Services.msc app will open.

If the above steps do not work, and you’re unable to open the app, or it freezes as soon as it opens, try the fixes below.

Restart the system

Your system may have run into an error that is preventing it from opening the Services.msc app, or that is freezing it. Restart the system and then try opening the app. 

Check Microsoft Management Console association

An MSC or .msc app is in fact a file type, much like an EXE file is. This file opens with the Microsoft Management Console. If the app association is broken, i.e., Windows 10 doesn’t know how to open the MSC file, the services.msc file won’t open.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Select the Default Apps tab.
  4. Click the Choose default apps by file type option.
  5. Look for .msc and click the plus button.
  6. Select Microsoft Management Console.

Run a system scan

There may be a problem with the system files. You can repair them by running an SFC scan.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: sfc /scannow.
  3. Allow the command to complete and fix files/errors.
  4. Open services.msc.

Run services.msc with admin right

Services.msc requires admin rights to run. If you run it withount admin rights, it may freeze.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Enter this command: services.msc and tap Enter.
  3. The services.msc app will open.

Re-register DLL files

The Services.msc app may become unresponsive or fail to open if there is a problem with DLL files. The easiest way to fix this is to re-register them.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Next, run the following commands, one-by-one.
Regsvr32 Msxml.dll
Regsvr32 Msxml2.dll
Regsvr32 Msxml3.dll
  1. Once the commands have run, restart the system.

Change Services.msc settings in Safe Mode

Services.msc is an app and its settings may have been changed causing it to freeze or not open. You will need to boot into safe mode to fix this.

  1. Boot into Safe Mode with networking enabled.
  2. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  3. Enter services.msc and tap Enter.
  4. Double-click the Application Information service.
  5. Go to the General tab.
  6. Open the Startup type dropdown and select Manual.
  7. Click Apply and exit Safe Mode.
  8. Open Services.msc.

Conclusion

Services.msc is a useful app for managing services run by the system and by third-party apps. If you’re unable to open it, and other MSC apps (Device Manager, Event Viewer, etc), you may have a corrupted system on your hands. The SFC scan should fix the problem however, on the off chance it persists, you will have to reset the PC or try creating a new user.

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