Stop Windows Services with PowerShell

Windows PowerShell Stop-Service Cmdlet

This page will show you how to stop a Windows service.  If you prefer we can easily modify the script to Restart the service.  If you need a grounding in the PowerShell syntax associated with this ‘Service’ family of commands, I recommend that you begin with my Get-Service page.

PowerShell’s Stop-Service Topics


Preliminary Script to List Services Which Are Running

Stopping the wrong service could have disastrous effects on a server, especially if you append the -force parameter.  This is why I suggest that you run this script and select a less important service such as Bits, Spooler or Themes

# PowerShell script to list running services
Get-WmiObject Win32_Service |
Where-Object {$_.State -eq ‘Running’} |
Format-Table name, state, status -auto

Learning Points

Note 1: To highlight the modular nature of this script I have written it on three lines.  The first pipeline gets a list of Windows services, the second pipeline uses a where statement to filter Running services, while the final line merely formats the output.

Example 1: How to Stop a Windows Service

I have chosen the 'Themes' service as a vehicle to test the stop service command.  However, you may wish to substitute a different value for $SrvName.

# PowerShell cmdlet to stop the named service "Themes"
$SrvName = "Themes"
$SrvName + " is now " + (Get-Service $SrvName).status
Stop-Service $SrvName
$SrvName + " is now " + (Get-Service $SrvName).status

Note 2: Naturally, for a production script you could simplify to:

# Production script to stop a service
Stop-Service -name "Themes"

Note 3: To restart a service, simply change the verb from 'Stop' to 'Restart' thus:

# Production restart service
Restart-Service -name "Themes"

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Example 2: Stop Service Safety Procedure

Before you stop a service, especially if this is the first time, and you are not familiar with its dependencies, I suggest you run this script.

# PowerShell script to check service dependencies
Get-Service | Where-Object {$_.DependentServices.count -gt 0} |
Format-Table Name, @{Label="Number"; Expression={$_.dependentservices.count}} -auto

Note 4: This script employs Get-Service (rather than Stop-Service) to lists all services with more than one dependent.  See more on the $_ variable.

Example 3: Stop Service – Force Parameter

# PowerShell cmdlet to force a service to stop
$SrvName = "Themes"
$SrvName + " is now " + (Get-Service $SrvName).status
Stop-Service $SrvName -force
$SrvName + " is now " + (Get-Service $SrvName).status

Note 5: While -force probably is not needed for the Themes service, there maybe times when you need this power.  However, don’t abuse the -force parameter or else your server may stop functioning in the way that you intended.

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More Research for Stop-Service Parameters

Before we use the -force parameter, let us see how we can research all the parameters for a cmdlet.

# Research Stop-Service parameters
Get-Help Stop-Service -full

Note 6: This was how I discovered -force was available for this parameter.

Note 7: For 'Dependencies', turn Get-Help on the sister cmdlet Get-Service

Stop Service Example

Here is an example designed to stop a service, but with a built-in wait command before continuing.

Scenario: You want a script to stop a service then shutdown the computer.

# This script stops the Print Spooler service.
# However, it will wait while the service is stopping ….

$ServiceName = 'Print Spooler'
Stop-Service $ServiceName
Write-Host $ServiceName'…' -NoNewLine
$TestService = Get-Service $ServiceName
While($TestService | Where-Object {$_.Status -eq 'Running'}){
Write-Host '.'-NoNewLine
Start-Sleep 3
Write-Host "`n$ServiceName stopped"

Note 8: To see the effect alter $ServiceName to $ServiceNamexxx.

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Remoting with Services

One aspect of remoting in PowerShell v 2.0 is simply to append -computerName xyz to the command that you ran on the local machine.  For further research try:

Get-Command | Where { $_.parameters.keys -Contains "ComputerName"}

Surprise!  Get-Service is amongst the cmdlets that support remoting, but stop, start and Restart-Service are not on the list.  More bad news, stop, start and Restart-Service really don’t work on network machines.  Thus you have to employ different techniques such as Get-WmiObject and InvokeMethod.  Alternatively, you could enter-PSSession and then run Restart-Service as if you were on the local machine.  However, to get that working you have to first install and setup WinRM

The Service Family (Each member has a different verb)

Get-Service:  Useful for listing the services
Set-Service:  Crucial parameter -startuptype
Start-Service:  The verb ‘start’ says it all
Stop-Service:  Handy for scripts which prevent unwanted services running e.g. Telnet
Restart-Service:  A nice touch by the creator’s of PowerShell; this cmdlet removes the need to explicitly stop then start the service.

See also a function I created called Get-ServiceStatus »

Summary of PowerShell’s Stop-Service Cmdlet

This page will show you how to stop a Windows service.  If circumstances demand, then you could modify the script to force a stop even thought there are dependent services.

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See more PowerShell examples of process and service

PowerShell Home   • Get-Process   • Stop-Process   • PowerShell Start-Process   • Set-Service

Get-Service   • Start-Service   • Stop-Service   • Restart-Service   • Free WMI Monitor

PowerShell Start-Sleep   • Get-WmiObject win32_service   • Windows PowerShell

Please email me if you have a better example script. Also please report any factual mistakes, grammatical errors or broken links, I will be happy to correct the fault.