Failed to connect to a Windows service

How To Fix The "Failed to connect to a Windows service" Problem In Windows 10

Windows services programs operate in the background and are launched through Service Control Manager, which Windows users can utilize to start/stop and manage all services. For example, you can instruct a service to run when the Windows operating system is started, or when you trigger the service manually. Not all services found in the Service Control Manager services list are developed by Microsoft. Some applications or drivers can also install their own services to work correctly with Windows.

You may have encountered the "Failed to connect to a Windows service" error. As this is only the headline of the error message, further details might state that the Group Policy Client service, System Event Notification service, or other Windows service is failing to connect. There is no single solution to this problem because it largely depends on the specific service mentioned in the error. In this guide, we concentrate on the problem relating to the Group Policy Client service. To fix the problem, you might need to edit Windows registry, perform a clean boot, and turn off the fast startup feature. Read the guide below and try each method to see which works.

failed to connet to a windows service

Table of Contents:

Edit Windows Registry

Windows Registry, usually referred to as 'the registry', is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more. Many of the options exposed in the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. Please note that incorrectly changing Windows Registry can damage the operating system irreversibly. To open Registry Editor, open the Run dialog box. Press Windows Windows key + R or right-click Start and select "Run".

edit windows registry step 1

Now type the "regedit" command and press Enter or click "OK".

edit windows registry step 2

Now follow this path: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" and find and select the SvcHost key. Check if you see "GPSvcGroup" within the SvcHost key on the right pane. If not, create it manually by right-clicking the SvcHost key and select "New", and then "Multi-String Value".

edit windows registry step 3

A new multi-string value will be created. Name this new multi-string value as "GPSvcGroup" by right-clicking it and selecting "Rename". Name it as GPSvcGroup and pressing Enter.

edit windows registry step 4

Now double click the newly-created GPSvcGroup multi-string value and type "GPSvc" in its value data field. Click "OK" to save the changes.

edit windows registry step 5

Right-click the Svchost key, select "New" and click "Key". Name the newly created key as "GPSvcGroup".

edit windows registry step 6

Now create a number of DWORD (32-bit) values on the right pane, in the GPSvcGroup key. Right-click the background of the right pane when the GPSvcGroup key is selected. Select "New", and then "DWORD (32-bit) Value". Repeat this twice. Two new DWORD (32-bit) values should now be created.

edit windows registry step 7

Right-click the first value, select "Rename", and name it "AuthenticationCapabilities". Double-click the AuthenticationCapabilities REG_DWORD and set "Value data" to "12320". Select the "Decimal" option under the Base section. Click "OK" to save the changes.

edit windows registry step 8

Rename the second newly-created value to "CoInitializeSecurityParam", double-click it and set "Value data" to "1". Select the "Decimal" option under the Base section. Click "OK" to save the changes.

edit windows registry step 9

Now close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. Check if the “Failed to connect to a Windows service” Group Policy Client service problem persists.

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Perform A Clean Boot

If the first method does not solve the problem, you can perform a Clean Boot. When you start Windows using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts. A clean boot starts Windows using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps to eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or update. It is possible that a program or service launched on system startup is causing the “Failed to connect to a Windows service” Group Policy Client service problem. To perform a clean boot, type "system configuration" in Search and click the "System Configuration" result.

perform a clean boot step 1

In the System Configuration window, click on the "Services" tab and then mark the "Hide all Microsoft services" checkbox. Then, click on "Disable all".

perform a clean boot step 2

Click the "Startup" tab and click "Open Task Manager".

perform a clean boot step 3

Under the Task Manager Startup tab, select the first application and click "Disable". Disable all applications one-by-one, repeating this step. Once all programs are disabled, close Task Manager and click "OK" in the System Configuration Startup tab. Restart the computer and check if the “Failed to connect to a Windows service” persists.

perform a clean boot step 4

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Reset Winsock

You can also try to reset the Winsock Catalog by using the one of the netsh commands. Netsh is a command-line scripting utility that allows you to, locally or remotely, display or modify the network configuration of a computer that is currently running. Netsh also provides a scripting feature that allows you to run a group of commands in batch mode against a specified computer.

For this method, you will need to open an elevated Command Prompt. Type "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result. Choose "Run as administrator" to run it with administrative privileges. When you select "Run as administrator", a User Account Control prompt will appear asking if you allow the Command Prompt to make changes to your computer. Click "Yes".

reset winsock step 1

Now type the following command and press Enter: "netsh winsock reset". Close Command Prompt and restart the computer.

reset winsock step 2

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Turn Off Fast Startup Feature

Fast startup is a feature on Windows 8 and 10 that provides a faster boot time when starting up your computer. It is a useful feature and one that most people use without knowing, however, some people disable it immediately when they receive a new Windows computer. Leaving fast startup enabled should not harm your PC, since it is a Windows feature, however, it might be the cause of the “Failed to connect to a Windows service” problem. To disable Fast Startup, go to Search and type "power". Click on the "Choose power plan" result to open it.

turn off fast startup feature step 1

In the Power Options window, click "Choose what the power buttons do".

turn off fast startup feature step 2

Click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable" and then uncheck the "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" option (if it is enabled). Click "Save changes", restart the computer, and check if the problem is now solved.

turn off fast startup feature step 3

We hope that one of the solutions above was effective in solving this problem. If you know of other solutions to this problem, not mentioned in our guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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