Software Protection (sppsvc) Service Defaults in Windows 7

Enables the download, installation and enforcement of digital licenses for Windows and Windows applications. If the service is disabled, the operating system and licensed applications may run in a notification mode. It is strongly recommended that you not disable the Software Protection service.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic (Delayed Start)
Display name:Software Protection
Service name:sppsvc
Service type:own
Error control:normal
Object:NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\sppsvc
  • SeAuditPrivilege
  • SeChangeNotifyPrivilege
  • SeCreateGlobalPrivilege
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege

Default Behavior

Software Protection is a Win32 service. In Windows 7 it is starting automatically after the operating system is started. Then the Software Protection service is running as NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService in its own process of sppsvc.exe. If Software Protection 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 sppsvc service is not running because of the error.


Software Protection is unable to start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is stopped or disabled.

If Software Protection is stopped, the Windows Licensing Monitoring Service fails to start and initialize.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Software Protection

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Software Protection 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 sppsvc start= delayed-auto
sc start sppsvc

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The sppsvc service is using the sppsvc.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.