≡ Menu

PowerShell: Quick and easy to start stop a remote service

Do you like one liners in powershell? Here is the quick and easy way to start, stop, restart a service on remote computer. This doesn’t require PowerShell remoting. That means you can use it against any computer which has windows operating system installed.

So far I have authored two articles on managing services using powershell:

  1. Start/Stop/Restart service on remote computer with powershell
  2. PowerShell: Start and stop services on remote computer with alternate credentials

The first one I wrote when I was not matured enough with PowerShell and the second one recently to address a specific requirement where user need to pass alternate credentials to manage services.

As most system administrators love to use poweshell one-liners which avoids any external script/module invocation, I want to share this little one which starts, stops, and restarts a service on remote computer.

Start a service on remote computer:

Start-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer COMPUTER1 -Name spooler)

Stop a service on remote computer:

Stop-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer COMPUTER1 -Name spooler)

Restart a service on remote computer:

Restart-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer COMPUTER1 -Name spooler)

Hope these little ones helps.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jeffery Hicks (MVP) November 23, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Very clever. Normally you would think you could run a command like:

    get-services spooler -computer computerA | stop-service

    but that won’t work. This is probably not as fluid as we might like but it gets the job done.

  • Aditya June 11, 2012, 2:03 pm

    When I try to use above commands for mutiple remote computers it doesn’t work. Is there any syntax which can help for multiple machines service restart in a go.

    • Sitaram Pamarthi June 12, 2012, 8:41 pm

      Aditya, try this to pick computers name from text file and stop service remotely.

      Get-Content c:\comps.txt | % {
      Stop-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer $_ -Name spooler)

  • Anonymous June 21, 2012, 9:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this, i was trying to find a way to use PS instead of the wmi cmdlts. VERY Helpful!

  • Alan Kaplan September 14, 2012, 9:19 pm

    What if there is a dependency?

  • GuyThomas January 20, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Get-Service -ComputerName victim # Fails
    Enter-PSSession -ComputerName victim -Credential victim\admin
    get-service # This works
    Question is Get-Service -computername flaky?

    • Sitaram Pamarthi January 21, 2013, 10:50 am

      When you are doing Enter-PSSession you are passing explicit credentials which what you are not doing when using Get-Service. Try passing the credentials to it and I should work.

  • Lee Busksey April 6, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Doesn’t work for me. I am logged in with domain admin right,and this is what I get..

    PS H:\> type vmtools.ps1
    Start-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer cdf2-test-w08 -Name VMtools)

    PS H:\> .\vmtools.ps1
    Get-Service : Cannot find any service with service name ‘VMtools’.
    At H:\vmtools.ps1:1 char:30
    + Start-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer cdf2-test-w08 -Name VMtools)
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (VMtools:String) [Get-Service], ServiceCommandException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NoServiceFoundForGivenName,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetServiceCommand

    Start-Service : Cannot validate argument on parameter ‘InputObject’. The argument is null or empty. Supply an argument
    that is not null or empty and then try the command again.
    At H:\vmtools.ps1:1 char:28
    + Start-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer cdf2-test-w08 -Name VMtools)
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidData: (:) [Start-Service], ParameterBindingValidationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ParameterArgumentValidationError,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.StartServiceCommand

    • Sitaram Pamarthi April 6, 2013, 9:00 pm

      The error message is pretty clear. There is no service with the name “VMtools” on “cdf2-test-w08” computer. You might want to cross check that tools are installed or not.

  • lakshmi December 20, 2013, 4:59 pm

    how to start a list of services on one computer using this and how to check the same(means whether it is started or not)

    Thanks in advance

    • Sitaram Pamarthi December 29, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Lakshmi, understood the requirement. I will come-up with a script soon. It is already in my to do list.