At your service(s)

Create and load custom Windows services profiles with this free utility.

Programs like automatic update checkers and "helper" apps create Windows services that on startup whether you use them or not. You can manage Windows services from the Windows Task Manager or Microsoft Management Console, but it can be tedious to turn services on and off that way. Mz Services Manager is a free tool that builds on Windows' native services management capabilities with custom services profiles. You can create special gaming profiles, or a home theater profile, or custom profiles optimized for specific software or processes, then save them and load them almost instantly.

Mz Services Manager's skinnable interface resembles the Windows services manager in function, with a few exceptions, notably the ability to create, save, and load custom profiles and a user-friendly wizard for optimizing your system services. The main view displayed all our system services by name, status, start-up type, and path; clicking any heading rotated the list view to that heading, just like Windows. The Service description box offered clear explanations of each entry, while the left-hand Tasks panel contained the familiar controls for stopping, starting, delaying, and disabling services as well as one labeled Optimize Services, which we clicked. This offered a series of checkboxes and common-sense descriptions such as "I do not have a printer or camera" and "I do not use offline files." We checked those that applied, clicked Optimize, and Mz Services Manager loaded our custom settings, just like that. We perused the services list, finding a few recent, unnecessary additions. Using the Tasks panel, we disabled some, creating a custom services profile for everyday computing. We saved the profile, restarted some of the services, and reloaded our profile. The Load Profile dialog included an option to force start Manual processes, a nice extra touch. A green progress bar tracked the program as it loaded our saved profile, and the main display automatically refreshed to show our newly loaded profile. In this manner, we could create as many custom profiles as we like.

Mz Services Manager is the sort of free system utility we like to see: It adds useful functions instead of just collecting and reskinning system utilities. The ability to create and quickly load custom services profiles definitely sets it apart.

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