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Starting and Stopping the WMI Service

WMI runs as a service with the display name "Windows Management Instrumentation" and the service name "winmgmt". WMI runs automatically at system startup under the LocalSystem account. If WMI is not running, it automatically starts when the first management application or script requests connection to a WMI namespace.

Several other services are dependent upon the WMI service, depending on the operating system version that the system is running. For example, the Windows Firewall service is dependent on WMI in Windows Server 2003, but not in Windows Vista. The SMS Agent Host is dependent on WMI in all of those operating system versions.

Starting Winmgmt Service

The following procedure describes how to start the WMI service.

Aa826517.wedge(en-us,VS.85).gifTo start Winmgmt Service

  • At a command prompt, enter net start winmgmt [/<switch>].

    For more information about the switches that are available, see winmgmt. You use the built-in Administrator account or an account in the Administrators group running with elevated rights to start the WMI service. For more information, see User Account Control and WMI.

Stopping Winmgmt Service

The following procedure describes how to stop the WMI Service.

Aa826517.wedge(en-us,VS.85).gifTo stop Winmgmt Service

  1. At a command prompt, enter net stop winmgmt.
  2. Other services that are dependent on the WMI service also halt, such as SMS Agent Host or Windows Firewall.


The TechNet Gallery contains the WMI service watchdog script, which describes how to programmatically shut down and restart the minmgmt service with PowerShell.

Related topics

Using the WMI Command-Line Tools



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