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Application Experience

 

General Information

This service checks a Microsoft maintained database for known problems with popular programs and automatically enables workarounds, either at first installation (using UAC) or at application launch.

Older “non-Vista or Windows 7 compatible” programs may need this service running. Turning off this feature may increase over all application responsiveness at launch time (due to avoiding the database look up), however, it will not fix application installation issues.

Windows 8.1

Default Description

Processes application compatibility cache requests for applications as they are launched.

Additional Information

This service is started upon system boot, but shortly after, it stops if not used.

Default Startup Type

OS SP0
Windows 8.1 x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8.1 x64 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8.1 Pro x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8.1 Enterprise x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64 Manual (Trigger Start)

Service Names

Service Name (registry): AeLookupSvc
Display Name: Application Experience

Default Path and Command Line Options

C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Log On As

Account: Local System account

Dependencies

What service Application Experience needs to function properly:

  • None (W8, W8P, W8E)

What other service require Application Experience to function properly:

  • None (W8, W8P, W8E)

Windows 8

Default Description

Processes application compatibility cache requests for applications as they are launched.

Additional Information

This service is started upon system boot, but shortly after, it stops if not used.

Default Startup Type

OS SP0
Windows 8 x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8 x64 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8 Pro x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8 Pro x64 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8 Enterprise x86 Manual (Trigger Start)
Windows 8 Enterprise x64 Manual (Trigger Start)

Service Names

Service Name (registry): AeLookupSvc
Display Name: Application Experience

Default Path and Command Line Options

C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Log On As

Account: Local System account

Dependencies

What service Application Experience needs to function properly:

  • None (W8, W8P, W8E)

What other service require Application Experience to function properly:

  • None (W8, W8P, W8E)

Windows 7

Default Description

Processes application compatibility cache requests for applications as they are launched.

Additional Information

This service is started upon system boot, but shortly after, it stops if not used.

Currently, a bug may exist with this service disabled. The action I was able to duplicate is:

  1. Make a .zip file on the desktop
  2. Extract that same .zip file on the desktop
  3. Navigate into the extracted folder
  4. Close the resulting explorer windows
  5. Delete the file

A “permission denied” error results and even when allowing it to continue (or giving permission to delete the file), the action fails. This situation does not happen with Windows Vista (that I have been able to recreate).

As such, if this service and Group Policy is modified, I highly recommend to ensure that all of your software is updated to the latest version as well as be Windows 7 compatible along with proper architecture (32 or 64-bit).

You can also configure this behavior system wide using the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) which is available on Windows 7 Ultimate.

Group Policy Editor is launched from the “Run” box located in Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Run -> gpedit.msc

The settings are located in:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility

  1. Select Turn Off Application Compatibility Engine
  2. Select Enabled under the Settings tab
  3. Select Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant
  4. Select Enabled under the Settings tab

The settings listed above are system wide and will affect all users/accounts. If both settings are “Enabled,” it turns off the stated functionality. This also turns off “Compatibility Mode.” As such, if you use compatibility mode, you should leave these settings at the default value.

Default Startup Type

OS SP0 SP1
Windows 7 Starter Manual (Started) Manual
Windows 7 Home Basic Manual (Started) Manual
Windows 7 Home Premium Manual (Started) Manual
Windows 7 Professional Manual (Started) Manual
Windows 7 Ultimate Manual (Started) Manual
Windows 7 Enterprise Manual (Started) Manual

Service Names

Service Name (registry): AeLookupSvc
Display Name: Application Experience

Default Path and Command Line Options

C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Log On As

Account: Local System account

Dependencies

What service Application Experience needs to function properly:

  • None (S, HB, HP, P, U, E)

What other service require Application Experience to function properly:

  • None (S, HB, HP, P, U, E)

Windows Vista

Default Description

Processes application compatibility cache requests for applications as they are launched.

Additional Information

If this service and Group Policy is modified, I highly recommend to ensure that all of your software is updated to the latest version as well as be Vista compatible along with proper architecture (32 or 64-bit).

You can also configure this behavior system wide using the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) which is available on Vista Business and Vista Ultimate.

Group Policy Editor is launched from the “Run” box located in Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Run -> gpedit.msc

The settings are located in:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility

  1. Select Turn Off Application Compatibility Engine
  2. Select Enabled under the Settings tab
  3. Select Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant
  4. Select Enabled under the Settings tab

The settings listed above are system wide and will affect all users/accounts. As of March 9, 2008, I have both settings “Enabled,” which turns off the stated functionality. This also turns off “Compatibility Mode.” As such, if you use compatibility mode, you should leave these settings at the default setting.

Even if the service is disabled, the process continues to run and cannot be stopped.

Default Startup Type

OS SP0 SP1 SP2
Vista Home Basic Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started)
Vista Home Premium Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started)
Vista Business Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started)
Vista Ultimate Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started)
Vista Enterprise Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started) Automatic (Started)

Service Names

Service Name (registry): AeLookupSvc
Display Name: Application Experience

Default Path and Command Line Options

C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs

Log On As

Account: Local System Account

Dependencies

What service Application Experience needs to function properly:

  • None (HB, HP, B, U)

What other service require Application Experience to function properly:

  • None (HB, HP, B, U)

Additional Reading

Application Experience: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/902196