TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (lmhosts) Service Defaults in Windows 7

Provides support for the NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution for clients on the network, therefore enabling users to share files, print, and log on to the network. If this service is stopped, these functions might be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic
Display name:TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
Service name:lmhosts
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Object:NT AUTHORITY\LocalService
Path:%SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k LocalServiceNetworkRestricted
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lmhosts
  • SeCreateGlobalPrivilege

Default Behavior

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper is a Win32 service. In Windows 7 it is starting automatically on the operating system startup. Then the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service is running as NT AUTHORITY\LocalService in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other system components, such as drivers and services, may run in the same process. If TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper fails to start, Windows 7 attempts to write the failure details into Event Log. Then Windows 7 startup should proceed and the user should be notified that the lmhosts service is not running because of the error.


TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper is unable to start, if at least one of the following services is stopped or disabled:

Restore Default Startup Configuration of TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config lmhosts start= auto
sc start lmhosts

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The lmhosts service is using the svchost.exe file that is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows 7 installation media.