Network DDE (NetDDE) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Provides network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for programs running on the same computer or on different computers. If this service is stopped, DDE transport and security will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Default Settings

Startup type:
Windows XP HomeManual
Windows XP ProfessionalManual
Windows XP Home SP1Manual
Windows XP Professional SP1Manual
Windows XP Home SP2Disabled
Windows XP Professional SP2Disabled
Windows XP Home SP3Disabled
Windows XP Professional SP3Disabled
Display name:Network DDE
Service name:NetDDE
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NetDDE

Default Behavior

Network DDE is a Win32 service. It won't start until the current user starts it in all editions of Windows XP SP0, Windows XP SP1. This service is disabled and isn't loading or starting in all editions of Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3.

When the Network DDE service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of netdde.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Network DDE fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the NetDDE service has failed to start.


Network DDE depends on the Network DDE DSDM service.

The ClipBook depends on the Network DDE service.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Network DDE

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

1. Run the Command Prompt.

2. Depending on the version of your operating system, copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER.

For Windows XP SP0 Home, Windows XP SP0 Professional, Windows XP SP1 Home, Windows XP SP1 Professional:
sc config NetDDE start= demand

For Windows XP SP2 Home, Windows XP SP2 Professional, Windows XP SP3 Home, Windows XP SP3 Professional:
sc stop NetDDE
sc config NetDDE start= disabled

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The NetDDE service is using the netdde.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 XP installation media.