Behind the scenes of every Windows 10 PC is an ecosystem of interconnected processes. They control how programs interact, how your computer interacts with peripheral devices such as printers and cameras, and even how you connect to the Internet.
Windows has an Internet Protocol (IP) helper service that appears in the Task Manager as iphlpsvc.dll. Since this is an unknown process in your operating system, you may be worried that it is some kind of malware. IP Helper is safe and an official Windows service, but it can take up some of the system memory. Today you will find out what the service is, if you need it, and how to safely disable it.
What is Iphlpsvc in Windows 10?
Iphlpsvc is an IP Helper service in Windows 10. It is a tool designed to help users get information about their network and easily configure the network with code. Most Windows users do not realize that this is even part of their system, as it is not something you would ever encounter in normal day to day use.
Usually, the only people who ever needed to use IP Helper are software developers working with IPv6 connections, ad hoc networks, or accessing online databases with specific connection requirements.
Is Iphlpsvc safe to remove?
If you come across Iphlpsvc in the task manager, you may wonder if it is necessary software or even something malicious running in the background. IP Helper is part of a suite of tools and services included with every Windows 10 installation. Running is perfectly safe and best left alone unless you have a reason to stop or remove it.
If you notice that IP Helper is taking up a significant amount of memory, there are several ways to disable the service. If you choose to disable it, stopping IP Helper is safe and should not adversely affect your system.
How to disable IP Helper using services
The easiest way to disable IP Helper is to use the Services window.
- Select Start and type Services to open the Services window.
- Scroll down to IP Helper and right click to open the context menu.
- Select Stop and click OK in the next dialog box.
Windows will stop the service and it will remain shut down until you restart your computer. If you want to disable the service permanently, there is an additional step:
- Open the services window
- Right click on the IP Helper and select Properties
- Select Disabled from the Startup Type dropdown menu.
- Select Apply or OK to save your changes.
The service will now remain disabled between reboots.
Restart IP Helper service
The above steps stop the IP Helper service from starting when the computer boots. If you need to use the service later, turning it back on is a simple process.
- Open the services window.
- Right-click the IP Helper and select Properties.
- Select Automatic from the Startup Type drop-down menu.
- Select Apply or OK to save your changes.
The next time you restart your computer, the service will resume. If you want to make your computer boot up faster, you can select Automatic (Delayed Start) from the same list. This will delay the launch of the IP Helper process by 1-2 minutes at startup, which will save your computer from having to perform the initial boot.
Disable Iphlpsvc using Command Prompt
Optionally, you can use the Windows command line to disable the IP Helper service.
- Find cmd in the Start menu and select Run as administrator.
- Select Yes when prompted in the User Account Control dialog box.
- To stop the IP Helper service, enter net stop iphlpsvc.
- When prompted, enter y to stop the service.
You will notice that stopping a service generates a warning that it might affect another service. In this case, the Intel (R) Dynamic Application Loader Host Interface Service is not what most users want. However, this is not always the case, and many Windows services are interdependent. Stopping one service can cause others to stop working.
To permanently disable the IP Helper service at the command line, enter:
REG add “HKLM SYSTEM CurrentControlSet services iphlpsvc” / v Start / t REG_DWORD / d 4 / f
Press Enter and you will see a confirmation that the service is disabled.
As with the previous method using the services menu, this will stop the IP Helper service from starting at boot. To cancel the process, enter:
REG add “HKLM SYSTEM CurrentControlSet services iphlpsvc” / v Start / t REG_DWORD / d 2 / f
Press Enter to have the service start automatically after the next reboot.
Not all services are created equal
Stopping services that you are not using may seem like an easy way to speed up your computer, but be sure to research what each one does and whether other services depend on it before disabling it.
While it might have seemed like a good idea at the time, there is a strong case for never turning off Windows services to avoid unwanted and hard-to-debug bugs.