Unistack Services — Allow or Disable?

The Unistack Services are a series of services integrated into Windows 10, which allow primarily for the syncing of user data across multiple Windows devices through the user’s Microsoft Account. Additionally, these services also may be related to syncing other user data between Windows 10 apps, such as contacts, calendar events, or ad preferences–it may also be integrated with OneDrive. If you do a little Googling, you will see that many people have had issues with these annoying services.

For those of us who do not use any Windows 10 Store apps, any pre-installed Windows 10 apps, OneDrive, or even a Microsoft account–these services run persistently in the background and eat up system resources. Microsoft went so far to prevent users from disabling these services, that if you view the services tab in task manager, you will find them with a unique name every time you boot up your computer. For example, you may find “MessagingService_xxxxxx” where xxxxxx is a unique and random string of numbers every single time you reboot your PC.

I do not know why Microsoft is literally using techniques reminiscent of malware for their own programs, but this convention makes it difficult to disable these services permanently. Typically, these services can be disabled to some degree by going to Windows 10 Settings > Privacy, then you simply proceed to disable every single privacy setting that Microsoft will enable by default. However, I have found that this does not work on every PC–especially those that must use a Microsoft Account.


You can permanently disable these services by using the registry keys listed below, or download and import the keys in one step using the registry export I’ve compiled here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pnYaUhvkErwSsWI8zKo6XhVzaYhRByMN/view?usp=sharing

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\CDPUserSvc]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\MessagingService]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\PimIndexMaintenanceSvc]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\UnistoreSvc]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\UserDataSvc]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\WpnUserService]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\BackgroundAccessApplications]
“GlobalUserDisabled”=dword:00000001


If you want to disable XBOX services as well, you can use the keys posted below, or the registry export I’ve linked here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s9-hA5TO8jkoWuITusrfOMxGlYGhjrlw/view?usp=sharing

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\xbgm]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\XblAuthManager]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\XblGameSave]
“Start”=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\XboxNetApiSvc]
“Start”=dword:00000004

 

Please note that I am a gamer and disabling these services has not affected me at all. You can still play your favorite games and use an XBOX controller. These only disable Windows 10 XBOX LIVE-related services.


If any of this helps you out, let me know in the comments. If it causes a problem, I’d be curious to hear what that problem is. I’ve been running my own Windows 10 machines with these services disabled for quite a while and haven’t had a hiccup.

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