IP Helper Service (iphlpsvc): Safe To Disable? [Solved]

What Is It?

According to Microsoft, iphlpsvc refers to “the Internet Protocol Helper (IP Helper) API [that] enables the retrieval and modification of network configuration settings for the local computer.”

You can access it by clicking on the Start menu, typing in Services, and you’ll be directed to a screen that looks like this:

Can You Safely Disable It?

That Microsoft definition is a mouthful. But can you safely disable it if it’s sapping resources?

OptimizingPC recommends: if IPv6 is not supported or used, feel free to disable the service. Though if you’re running a remote database, like one Tom’s Guide user was, he advises keeping it.

IP Helper For Dummies

Wading through lots of tech-speak, OptimizingPC had the plainest explanation of what exactly IP Helper is and does.

Apparently, it provides support for an IPv6 connection over a IPv4 network.

IPv6 is a modern style of connection that enables a computer that’s connected to the internet to have a unique IP address. Instead of a single IP address for the internet connection. While IPv6 has some advantages, not many providers are supporting it yet.

Problems With iphlpsvc

It’s A Memory Hog

If it’s eating up a ton of resources, there are some fixes we can suggest. Over at Microsoft, one user posted that IP Helper service “iphlpsvcs.exe” uses huge amounts of memory.

If it’s using up lots of resources, you can consider disabling it- check out the video below for a walk-through.

How To Improve Windows System Performance By Disabling Services

In this video, the technician will walk you through how you can disable any non-essential services from running on your computer, and this can improve system performance by taking away services that are using up processing, power, and memory and by a software that you no longer use.

There are two ways, apparently. The easiest way, he found, is to go to Run, Menu and type “services”.

If you don’t want to do it that way, the other way is through the Control Panel > Administrative Tools and Services. You’ll see all the services that run on your computer. Some are from software that you’ve installed that enables the software to run on the computer, and most of them are from Microsoft.

You know the standard services they’re installed when you install your operating system. You really want to be careful about which services you disable.

There are some very important services here which your system needs to run. For example, if you go to the DHCP client, what this does is it automatically obtains an IP address from your router and your network adapters.

If you don’t have an IP address, there’s no way you can talk to the network.

Therefore, no internet access- so definitely don’t disable that! An example of something to disable- if you no longer have an iPhone, or an HP printer, if you see services running related to them, feel free to disable them.

Perform A Clean Boot In Windows

A clean boot is conducted to launch Windows employing a small number of drivers and startup applications.

This can help get rid of software conflicts that take place whenever you install a program or an update or when you run an application in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista.

How To Perform A Clean Boot In Windows 7/8/10

You might also troubleshoot or diagnose exactly what software conflict is bringing about the difficulty by conducting a clean boot. Click here for step-by-step clean boot instructions.

Reset Your Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

You can do those manually or automatically- Windows support forums has a good write-up and some tools you can use.

Occasionally your personal computer’s Internet Protocol configurations can become damaged or corrupted. If you’re having memory usage or other issues with resetting your TCP/IP settings might help.

Because TCP/IP settings are a primary part of Windows, you cannot merely uninstall and then reinstall to reset everything. Rather, you will need to make use of a Windows component known as NetShell utility to reset TCP/IP.

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Make Sure IPV6 Is Enabled

Windows provides some instructions:

  1. Click on Start and type ncpa.cpl and then hit enter to access your local area connection settings.
  2. Right click on it and select Properties and beneath Properties make sure that IPv6 is enabled.

How to enable IPv6

Can You Turn It Off?

Over in Tom’s Guide, one user employing Avast to help optimize his operating system’s performance discovered that iphlpsvc and Trk Wks were both flagged.

Because these services both involve networking, and his home computer actually functions as a remote database for other users, decided not to deactivate either of them. Not everyone’s running a remote database, however.

In his opinion, they were installed as part of the data base’s Microsoft SQL Server. If you’re merely a home user, and other computer’s aren’t accessing your system, you should be OK with deactivating it.

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