Services: Seeing both Name and displayName in Windows Powershell

Sometimes you need to know either the name of a service or its display name. What can be frustrating is when these two names, which refer to the same service, are so completely different that there is no resemblance between the two.

For instance if you wanted to see if the wuauserv service was running, you could run a net start and get a list of all running services. But net start only shows running services. What’s if it’s stopped or disabled? Worse yet, what if you don’t know its display name? This is where PowerShell comes in.

The Display Name for wuauserv is “Automatic Updates”. If you know at least one of these “names” you can easily see both using PowerShell command:

get-service -displayName "Automatic Updates"


get-service -Name wuauserv

Screen shot 2010 08 04 at 7.13.28 AM

Both provide the same output, which gives you more information than our old friend net start does. You can see the state of the service and make changes on the fly.

For more information on PowerShell, I suggest visiting Microsoft’s PowerShell blog.