Maximum number of services

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 16 Oct. 2007 / Last Updated on 16 Oct. 2007]

How to see if you are hitting the limit for number of services on a server.

There's no hard limit for the number of services running on a Windows Server 2003 machine. Instead, the number of services you can run is largely limited by the size of the heap. Once the heap gets exhausted, you may start to run into problems like services suddenly failing or services failing to start.

To see if your heap is being depleted by services, you can either check the event log or you can use Desktop Heap Monitor, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center at


Mitch Tulloch is lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is THE book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch is also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008, the first book from Microsoft Press about the exciting new server platform. For more information on these and other books written by Mitch, see

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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