There are times when Windows Services are installed and for various reasons, that hopefully are not important to the answer, the service no longer has the installer attached to it. Therefore, this particular service shows up in the list of Services, but cannot be uninstalled through normal practices.

In situations like this, how does one go about manually removing the orphaned service?

1 Answer 1


Using sc.exe from system32 dir:

sc delete <service_name> 

(be sure to stop the service first)

  • 1
    And then (and only then) remove files (executable or otherwise).
    – Richard
    May 1, 2009 at 15:26
  • 2
    One comment, if your service has a space in the name, you should use: sc delete "<service name>"
    – Saariko
    Jun 5, 2012 at 7:26
  • What if there was an uninstaller and it removed the files, but did not remove the service? Mar 1, 2016 at 9:40
  • 1
    Never mind - It seems to work. BTW, the Service Name is not the same as the display name. You have to right click the service and select properties to see the actual name. Mar 1, 2016 at 9:47

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