Failed to connect to a Windows service error message in Windows 10

At times, you may receive an error notification –  Failed to connect to a Windows service. This typically happens, when the operating system is unable to start or connect to a required system service to carry out its commands. It could be the Group Policy Client ServiceSystem Event Notification Service or any other. If you receive this error, the troubleshooting will largely depend on the service involved. This post can guide you on the direction to take.

Failed to connect to a Windows service

Failed to connect to a Windows service

Before you proceed, create a system restore point first.

1] First note down the name of the Service that has failed to respond.  Now Run services.msc and search for it by name in the Services Manager. Here we will take the example of Group Policy Client Service as shown in the image.


Once you have found the service, double-click on it and identify the service file name. Here it is gpsvc.dll.

The service is responsible for applying settings configured by administrators for the computer and users through the Group Policy component. If the service is disabled, the settings will not be applied and applications and components will not be manageable through Group Policy. Any components or applications that depend on the Group Policy component might not be functional if the service is disabled.

Next search for gpsvc in the Windows folder. Right-click on it and check its Properties. This is just for your information and confirmation.

Failed to connect to a Windows service 10

Now in the open windows of the service’s Properties, ensure that the Service is not Disabled. Also, ensure that it is started. Click on the Start button to start the service.

Next, open the Dependencies tab. Here you will see the services & system components that are required to be running in proper condition for gpsvc to be functioning properly. So check on these services too and ensure that they are also in the proper Running state.

group policy client

In this way, you have to first identify the problematic service, its file name and then ensure that the service is not disabled, but is running along with the services on which it is dependent.

Read: Windows Services will not start.

2] In the above example of Group Policy Client service, you may also check if the registry settings on the following key are what they should be:


You can the details on this post – The Group Policy Client Service Failed The Logon.

3] It may be possible that the file itself may have got corrupted. So repair the corrupted Windows 10 system files. To do this, from the WinX Menu, open and run Command Prompt (Admin), type the following and hit Enter to run the System File Checker.

sfc /scannow

This will scan your PC and replace your corrupted system files with good ones. Restart after the scan is over.

4] Run the DISM tool to repair a possibly corrupted system image. To repair Windows Image, open an elevated command prompt, type the following and hit Enter.

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Restart after the scan is over and see if it helped

5] If it’s the System Event Notification Service that is unable to respond, try these:

  • Delete the contents of this folder C:\Windows\System32\winevt\Logs and see. If you don’t want to delete it, you may rename it. Windows will recreate it when required.
  • You may also reset Winsock and see if it helps you.

6] Some of the other things you could try are:

  • System Restore back to a good point
  • Disable your antivirus software and see
  • Perform a Clean Boot and try to troubleshoot the issue
  • Create a new user account and see
  • Disable Fast Startup and see
  • If you are tech savvy, you may review the System Event Log for details on why the particular service did not respond.

All the best.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.