Is it safe to disable service Server?  


  1. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Is it safe to disable service Server?


    Hi!

    when I google for services that are safe to disable, none of the articles seem to mention Server. But service called Server is responsible for all kinds of shares like \\localhost\c$ which could potentially be security problem. Is it sefe to disable it or if I do then what functionality will it break? If I google the how to disable admin shares on windows then all the articles tell how to disable shares via computer management or regedit or control panel and so on while not even mentioning the most effective way - disable the service Server. Is there reason for that, or is it just something that tutorial makers have overlooked?
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  2. Posts : 5,216
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    You can disable administrative shares with the batch script i have posted.
    Is it safe to disable service Server? Attached Files
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  3. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks for sharing!

    However I was rather interested in that service that has display name Server and service name LanmanServer. I wanted to know if it is safe to disable it and if I do disable it, what else would break that I might not expect to break? I also was curious to know that online lists of services that are safe to disable usually dont mention it, and tutorials on dsabling network shares also usually dont mention that service. That made me ask if there was some good reason for that?
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  4. Posts : 5,216
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #4

    If you're not sharing anything you can disable that service with no problems.
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  5. Posts : 1,254
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Safety is always relative. There is no such thing as absolute safety.

    Disabling the Server service will disable all sharing on a network. But it may have other functions as well. All publicly available documentation of services is incomplete. Nobody outside Microsoft knows for sure what might happen if the Server service is disabled. And this could change with even a minor OS update.

    Setting Service startup to "Manual" is not a safe alternative to disabling a service unless that is the default state. In this state a Windows function or application could start it if needed. But you can't assume this will happen. Most applications have no knowledge of the services they rely on and will simply fail if one is not running, usually with an uninformative error message or none at all.

    In my opinion it is not safe to disable the Server service.

    What do you hope to gain by doing this?
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  6. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    It just looks like 1 solution for multiple security threats. If I follow some tutorial that for example show how to disable admin shares, then how can I be sure that there is not something else shared? Printers for example. If I follow an other tutorial that tells how to disable printer sharing then how do I know there is not a third thing that also gets shared? and so on. While disabling Server service disables both everything that is mentioned by tutorials and also everything that is not mentioned by tutorials. I know it's not a silver bullet but to me it looks like if I disable this I have less worries about "what if I overlooked/forgot something?". And if shares are disabled but service is still up and running and listening on a port then attacker could potentially exploit it's vulnerabilities even if all the shares are turned off. If the service itself is turned off I dont have to remember to disable every possible share. I also dont have to worry about potential attacks that could still be done against it even if shares are disabled.
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  7. Posts : 405
    Windows 10 21H1
       #7

    I agree that disabling Server might not be the best idea. If you want to disable all things shared, why not just use the Group Policy? There are multiple entries about different kinds of shares but there are also multiple tutorials on this forum and on the internet.

    Now, if your main purpose is to avert a potential attack, then a way better solution is a good firewall. Unless you're hiding some corporate secrets, the firewall in your router should be sufficient. if you don't have one, then it may be worth changing your router.
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