Oct 222012
 

It can sometimes be useful to monitor specific windows services – especially for power users or when troubleshooting services. Windows includes the MMC snap-in ‘Services’ – to stop, start and configure services.

This can be launched from the Windows Control Panel (Administrative Tools) or by typing ‘Services.msc’ in the Run command on Start menu. However, it’s time consuming to check up on the current status of each service and difficult to detect if one suddenly stops.

Windows Service Monitor is a little utility (for XP, Vista and Windows 7) that makes it much easier to monitor Windows services – and stop or restart them.

Using Windows Service Monitor – Download the program (zip file) from Codeplex here then unzip the file and run setup.exe to install the utility.

The program is represented by an icon in the windows system tray. This icon has different colors based on the status of the services monitored:

  • Green icon – all monitored services are started
  • Yellow icon – some monitored services are stopped
  • Grey icon – all monitored services are stopped

Right click on the icon and choose ‘Configuration’ to access the configuration menu. Choose which services to monitor – by default the program is set to start up automatically with Windows:

services1

When you have completed your selection, press OK to finish – the program icon will change color whenever any of the monitored services are started or stopped.

To manually stop or start a selected service – right click the program icon and click the service you want to stop/start (some may take a few seconds to take effect):

services2

This is much quicker than having to open Services.msc, find the right service and then start/stop it.

The program may be of most benefit for services that you have to change frequently e.g. monitor the Print Spooler service to quickly stop/start it (whilst you clear the print queue) if a document gets stuck in the print queue.

Conclusion

Windows Services Monitor is a simplified version of Services.msc which makes it easy to monitor (and stop or start) just those services you select.