Running unnecessary Windows XP services can increase your vulnerability to exploits that might use those services as attack vectors. Disabling unnecessary services can be an important step in securing Windows XP. However, the typical Windows XP system has more than 80 services. Knowing which ones you can safely turn off can be tricky.

In this IT Dojo video, I show you how to disable Windows XP services and discuss the following five services that you may want to disable:

1. Simple File Sharing

2. SSDP Discovery Service

3. Universal Plug and Play Device Host

4. Telnet

5. Windows Messenger Service

The five services I mention in this video are just the beginning. Our download, “Windows XP services that can be disabled,” contains a complete list of Windows XP services that can be disabled. This reference sheet lists each Windows XP service, describes each service’s function, specifies whether you can safely disable the service, and outlines the ramifications of doing so.