Using the Get-Service Cmdlet

Listing Service Information

This will probably shock you, but - just in case - you better sit down: the Get-Service cmdlet is designed to retrieve information about the services installed on your computer. (And to think that some people say Windows PowerShell is too complicated!) Do you want information about all the services installed on your computer? Then just call Get-Service without any additional parameters:


Here’s the kind of information you’ll get back:

Status   Name               DisplayName
------   ----               -----------
Running  AdobeActiveFile... Adobe Active File Monitor V4
Stopped  Alerter            Alerter
Running  ALG                Application Layer Gateway Service
Stopped  AppMgmt            Application Management
Running  ASChannel          Local Communication Channel

Alternatively, you can take advantage of the Windows PowerShell filtering capabilities to return just a subset of the services installed on your computer. For example, this command takes the data returned by Get-Service and pipes it through the Where-Object cmdlet. In turn, Where-Object filters out everything except those services that are stopped:

Get-Service | Where-Object {$_.status -eq "stopped"}

In the preceding command, the $_. represents the object passed across the pipeline (that is, the collection of services and their properties), while status is simply the service property we want to filter on. And because we’re interested only in services that are stopped, we use the syntax -eq “stopped”. What if we were interested only in services that were running? In that case, we’d use this command:

Get-Service | Where-Object {$_.status -eq "running"}

So what kind of data will we get back when we request only services that are currently stopped? This kind of data:

Status   Name               DisplayName
------   ----               -----------
Stopped  Alerter            Alerter
Stopped  AppMgmt            Application Management
Stopped  aspnet_state       ASP.NET State Service
Stopped  BITS               Background Intelligent Transfer Ser...
Stopped  Browser            Computer Browser

By default Windows PowerShell returns services sorted in alphabetical order. By using the Sort-Object cmdlet, however, you can sort that returned data any way you want. For example, this command sorts services first by Status, and then by DisplayName:

Get-Service | Sort-Object status,displayname
Get-Service Aliases
  • gsv