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What Are WLIDSVC.EXE and WLIDSVCM.EXE and Why Are They Running?

You’re no doubt reading this article because you’re wondering what those two processes are doing cluttering up Task Manager, and also wondering why they are in capital letters. You’ve come to the right place.

This article is part of our series explaining various processes found in Task Manager, including: svchost.exe, jusched.exe, dwm.exe, ctfmon.exe, wmpnetwk.exe, wmpnscfg.exe, mDNSResponder.exe, conhost.exe, rundll32.exe, Dpupdchk.exe, and Adobe_Updater.exe.

Do you know what those services are? Better start reading!

So What Are These Processes?

These two processes work together to form the Windows Live Sign-In Assistant service, which helps you stay logged into Windows Live. The WLIDSVC.EXE is the actual Windows Service, and the WLIDSVCM.EXE is the “Service Monitor”.

This service provides a number of benefits, including easier sign-in for multiple accounts when using Windows Live (screenshot from Microsoft’s site).

image

It’s also absolutely required if you’re using Windows Live Messenger. In fact, if you disable the services, you’ll get the error message “Signing in to Windows Live Messenger Beta failed because the service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later. Error code 800706ba”.

image[29]

But Wait, I’m Not Using Windows Live Messenger?

That’s exactly the problem that I ran into and which prompted this article. I’m using Pidgin for all my instant messenger needs, and the only Windows Live application that I’ve got installed is Windows Live Writer, which I’m using to write this post.

You can see in the installer that there’s no way to de-select the Sign-In Assistant:

image

Let’s Delve Into the Processes

If you’re looking at Task Manager, you should see the two processes at the bottom of the window. You can right-click on the processes and either choose “Go to Services” or you can “Open File Location”, which is what we’ll do here.

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Once you’re there, you can either view the properties or hover over the file name to see what it is. You’ll see the full name of the service in the tooltip.

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If you had selected Go to Services, you’ll see that this is a Windows Service, and you can immediately identify which one it is.

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Disabling WLIDSVC.EXE and WLIDSVCM.EXE

If you want to disable the service, simply open up Services.msc through the Start Menu search or Run box, or search in Control Panel for services. Once you’re there, you can find the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant in the list.

Important Note: if you are using a Windows Live application that requires sign-in, like Windows Live Messenger, you should NOT disable this service.

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Once you’ve double-clicked on the service, you can set it to Disabled in here.

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Second Step: Disable the IE Add-on

If you aren’t using Windows Live, but you do use Internet Explorer, you should probably get rid of the Sign-in helper plugin that’s installed into Internet Explorer. Head into Tools –> Manage Add-ons and change the dropdown to say “All add-ons”, and then find Windows Live ID Sign-in Helper in the list and click the Disable button.

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Did You Learn Anything? Let’s Recap

This service is used to provide helpers for Windows Live Sign-in, and if you are using Windows Live Messenger or another Windows Live application that requires sign-in to Windows Live, you need to leave it alone.

Also, we’ve got no clue why they are named in capital letters. Lazy programmers?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/30/10

Comments (22)

  1. Bytesponge

    This article was very helpful! I do use Windows Live!
    Thanks
    Bytesponge

  2. Indru

    I always wondered what these services were and I was afraid to touch them. Since I do not use Windows Live, now I can safely disable them.

    Thanks for sharing this article.

    Indru

  3. Surferbill

    This article makes me happy to see howtogeek.com in my email! It is one of the more useful articles I have read. Thank you!

  4. rajatubisoft

    nice stuff

    thanks fo daily stuffs

    good day

  5. donnamarie

    Never use Live Messenger, except on my mobile. Thank you so much for all the howtogeek articles. Love you on my Facebook Page,
    Keep em coming!
    donnamarie

  6. vijay

    its very essential to use now. it was just amazing

  7. Terri G

    Reading your article on “What Are WLIDSVC.EXE and WLIDSVCM.EXE and Why Are They Running?” and my question is,How do I know which ones are needed and which ones should I tun off? Thank You.

  8. alienkid

    Keeping this will include if you have any Hotmail domain email addresses?

  9. nohairs

    Thanks for the tips, particularly about the IE add-in. These new Windows Live components were dumped on my system with a recently applied and unavoidable update.For those who want more control over their computers and are willing to work for it (any obsessive tech geeks in the house?) here is a workaround (cut/pasted from another forum where I posted it).

    The Windows Live Sign in Assistant is a nasty bit of bloat that has been added to Windows Live and is one of the most intrusive pieces of junk I’ve had to allow on an otherwise well tweaked machine – yet I need it to play certain games. Rivaling the similarly intrusive services that run Windows Mobile Device center, this Windows Live related service uses system resources and adds to startup and time and quite significantly and needlessly to shut down time. I endure Windows Live in the interest of certain video games and here is what I’ve learned about it in that context – testing with Gears of War and GTA4 on Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit.

    - The “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” runs as a service (wlidsvc) and initiates the running of 2 system processes WLIDSVC.EXE and WLIDSVCM.EXE.

    - When the “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” is uninstalled via programs and features you can not log-in to “Games for Windows – Live” from within a Windows Live based games or through the native Games For Windows – Live (Games For Windows Marketplace) application.

    - When the “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” is left installed on the system but with it’s service (wlidsvc) disabled, games will not be able to log-in to Windows Live but the native application will trigger the starting of the service (wlidsvc) even if it was turned off and set to disabled.

    Workaround that puts you in control

    Even on a system with ample resources this service is intrusive so I created a batch file that will turn on the service and set it to Automatic and another that will turn off the service and set it to Disabled. Be warned, this is only for folks who don’t mind taking some extra steps (such as running batch files to turn services on/off) and if miss-managed could cause the loss of saved games. There are a few such combinations of services that I already switch on and off this way but that mode of operation may not be for everyone.

    To more easily disable the “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” (wlidsvc) service create a batch file with the following 2 lines. Note: “yourcomputername>” = the “Full computer name” value from your System Properties – Computer Name configuration tab. Except for that variable enter or cut/past all this text as is.

    *********************
    sc \\yourcomputername config “wlidsvc” start= auto
    net start wlidsvc
    *********************

    Conversely, to enable “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” (wlidsvc) service create a batch file with the following 2 lines

    *********************
    net stop wlidsvc
    sc \\yourcomputername config “wlidsvc” start= disabled

    *********************
    Not for everyone but might be of use to some of the more tech geeky amongst us.

  10. nohairs

    CORRECTION: I inverted the batch file instructions which should read like to;

    To disable the “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” (wlidsvc) service create a batch file with the following 2 lines. Note: “yourcomputername” = the “Full computer name” value from your System Properties – Computer Name configuration tab. Except for that variable enter or cut/past all this text as is.

    *********************
    net stop wlidsvc
    sc \\yourcomputername config “wlidsvc” start= disabled
    *********************

    Conversely, to enable “Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant” (wlidsvc) service create a batch file with the following 2 lines

    *********************
    sc \\yourcomputername config “wlidsvc” start= auto
    net start wlidsvc
    *********************

  11. Mr.sexy

    My friend was wondering WTH is that, he was about to start the Regedit and start deleating everything has that name XD, he looks stupid now!!

  12. Fuc*Microsoft

    WLM ON.cmd
    sc config wlidsvc binpath= “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WLIDSVC.EXE” start= “auto”
    sc config wlidsvcm binpath= “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WLIDSVCM.EXE” start= “auto”

    sc start wlidsvc
    sc start wlidsvcm

    WLM OFF.cmd
    sc stop wlidsvc
    sc stop wlidsvcm

    sc config wlidsvc binpath= “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WLIDSVC.EXE” start= “disabled”
    sc config wlidsvcm binpath= “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live\WLIDSVCM.EXE” start= “disabled”

    taskkill /f /im wlidsvc.exe
    taskkill /f /im wlidsvcm.exe

    just to make sure, they are realy killed…hehehe

  13. Ken in San Jose

    Simple way to disable WLDSVCM.EXE, WLDSVC.EXE run Autoruns.exe from Microsoft http://www.Sysinternals.com. Open the tab “Services”. Uncheck the line “wlidsvc.exe”. This does the same thing as described in the article, but easier.

  14. Freddie

    Very good instructions. I plan to blog about this site as “this is where to go when you have a techie question.” Thank you very much for the info. By the way…look for my blog in the next few days under “AlAboutNothing” @ WordPress

    Thanks again…

  15. Gimli

    Note that if you play games that use Games for Windows Live to save games (such as Fable 3 or Fallout 3) disabling that service will break those games.

  16. mixmix

    thanks, didnt want them running, now lets see if i can get into hotmail with thunderbird lol

  17. mixmix

    thunderbird hotmail access still works without the live id service going, GREAT, THANKS AGAIN.

  18. Kevin Williams

    Hey wait…I just wanna know if I can set it to manual in services so that it doesnt start up unless I use messenger link or log in from my shortcut icon for windows messenger. Does anyone know before in complete the task>?

  19. SimonB

    With this service set to “Disabled”, Windows Live Mail cannot be started. You can set the service to “Manual” rather than “Automatic” so it does not impact boot time and Windows Live Mail still works
    (tested today on Windows 7 32 bit with Windows Live Mail 15.4).

  20. Sarah

    Thanks. Helpful info.

  21. LegendsOfBatman

    I do believe the ALL CAPS on services is to help people better identify the letters. For example, to our eye I and l are identical. if however all caps are used we can more easily tell these apart: I and now L. Its certainly not perfect, but, better than trying to guess.
    One case came up with a fraudulent address with myspace.com vs. rnyspace.com with all caps one would have clearly noticed the difference: MYSPACE vs RNYSPACE,
    The question I have, is why isn’t it consistent?

  22. Monzilla

    You can create a command. Right click on your desktop “Stop Live ID” and you’re done!

    Create a .bat with the following text and then start it:

    REG ADD “HKCR\Directory\Background\shell\Stop Live ID” /v “Position” /d “Top” /f
    REG ADD “HKCR\Directory\Background\shell\Stop Live ID\Command” /d “net stop \”Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant”" /f

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