How to Tell If Cryptographic Service Are Running on Your Computer?


Windows includes the Cryptographic Services service and requires it running on your computer for proper operation. If Cryptographic Services are not running on your computer, Windows Updates and other software applications cannot install properly and error messages such as "Digital Signature Not Found" and "The cryptographic operation failed" appear. Tell if Cryptographic Services are running on your computer by using the Windows Services Administrative Tool, which manages and displays the services running on your Windows computer.

  • Open the Windows Control Panel. Click the "Start" button in the lower-left corner of your screen, then click "Control Panel."

  • Open the Administrative Tools folder. On Windows 7, type "administrative tools" into the search box at the upper right corner of the Control Panel window, then click "Administrative Tools." On Windows Vista, click "System and Maintenance," then click "Administrative Tools." On Windows XP, double-click "Administrative Tools" in the Control Panel window.

  • Open the Services control panel. Double-click the "Services" icon in the "Administrative Tools" window.

  • Scroll down and find "Cryptographic Services" in the Services window. Click the scroll bar at the right side of the Services window and drag it down until you see "Cryptographic Services" in the "Name" column.

  • Open the Cryptographic Services properties window. Double-click "Cryptographic Services" in the "Services (Local)" list.

  • View the Cryptographic Services service status. The status is listed to the right of "Service status:" near the bottom of the Cryptographic Services properties window. The status reads "Started" if Cryptographic Services are running on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Automatically start the Cryptographic Services service every time your computer boots by clicking the box to the right of "Startup type:" in the Cryptographic Services properties window, clicking "Automatic," then confirming your choice by clicking "OK."
  • Start the Cryptographic Services service if it is not running by clicking "Start" beneath "Service status:" in the Cryptographic Services properties window.
  • View the status of other services running on your Windows computer with the Services tool.
  • Windows requires the Cryptographic Services service for proper operation. Windows comes with this service. Do not disable the Cryptographic Services service on your computer.
  • Do not disable any service with the Services tool unless you know it is not important. The Services tool lists many Windows system services required for proper operation of the Windows operating system.

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