Its common to disable unneeded services in Windows 2008 R2, but sometimes I come across installations that use Windows Firewall and related services. More info: see service dependencies for Windows Firewall.

I've come to realise that Windows services have unexpected side effects when restarted / disabled, etc, so I think it's worthwhile to ask what is purpose and effect of disabling the following services?

This will benefit those who want to use Windows Firewall, yet still disable unneeded services.

  • Base Filtering Engine
  • Group Policy Client
  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
  • IP Helper
  • IPsec
  • Network Location Awareness
  • Windows Firewall
  • Windows Firewall Authorization Driver
  • Network List Service

1 Answer 1


Network List Service

Service name: netprofm

Description: Identifies the networks to which the computer has connected, collects and stores properties for these networks, and notifies applications when these properties change.

Critical for Windows Operation?: No, not at all, but it is managing properties such as TTL on various parameters cache'ed in our PC memory. Simply explained, its use is similar to how we cache a domain name's IP in our memory, and need to update this IP at a TTL interval when it is changed on our DNS server. If the service is disabled they it can cause properties set by other computers to not change or not be managed efficiently, but it is not critical for OS operation.

Network Location Awareness

Service name:NlaSvc

Description: The Network Location Awareness (NlaSvc) service looks for and remembers networks that you have connected to in the past and re-connects to them when they are available.

Critical for Windows Operation?: No, but if another program depends on it for auto-reconnect then it will not be able to if disabled. Its behavior can be compared exactly to that of how we reconnect automatically to known Wifi points. Disabled that doesn't cause a problem unless we're disconnected of the network and then we need to manually connect back in since the service is disabled. It is generally recommended to allow windows to manage service optimization here but if you think this is a problem you will not have then you can disable it.

IP Sec

Reference Link: http://etutorials.org/Server+Administration/securing+windows+server+2003/Chapter+8.+IP+Security/8.2+How+Does+IPSec+Work/

Advice: Leave this one alone. :P


I got this from a a bunch of Maximum articles and one NLA from personal experience. Hope I was of some help. :)

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