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Fix: The service cannot accept control messages at this time

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  • 6 min read
Photo: Wachiwit /

Photo: Wachiwit /

Have you encountered a ‘The service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error while trying to run certain processes or applications on Windows? You’re not the only one, as many people have occasionally reported seeing the exact message.

This error occurs when the Windows service you are trying to open is already open somewhere or in another process. This error can also occur if the service is either starting or stopping at the same time you’re trying to access it.

What happens is that when a service receives a conflicting command, such as ‘stop’ when the service is on the verge of stopping, it will deny the command, and hence, you will see the error.

Here are some services that show this error:

  • Credential Manager
  • Internet Information Service (IIS)
  • Application Information
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

Moreover, this error can also be caused by factors such as corrupt system files, outdated or corrupt drivers, malware in your computer, or some cases, incorrect registry settings.

In this article, we’ll explain how to fix the easily ‘This service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error.

Also read: Fix: The specified network password is not correct

How to fix the error?

There are a few methods by which you can fix this error. Usually, you will have to head to the concerned service and stop or restart it.

Credential Manager Service

The Credential Manager Service stores and manages website, application and network credentials. If this service malfunctions, you may encounter an ‘This service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error.

Here’s how you can restart this service:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue box and enter services.msc.

Step 2: Head to Credential Manager and double-click on it to open more settings.

Step 3: Set the Startup type to Automatic in the Credential Manager settings. After you have done that, restart your computer and see if it fixes the error.

If not, follow the other steps given below.

Stop Internet Information Service process

This process is useful in handling requests from web-based applications that run on IIS.

If this process is consuming too much of your RAM, it can hang and hence the error message.

To stop this process, follow the instructions given below:

Step 1: Open Task Manager and then search for the w3wp.exe process.

Step 2: Right-click on the process and then click on End Task.

Start the Application Information Service

This service is useful for running interactive applications that require additional administrative privileges from the administrator’s side.

Follow these steps to start the service:

Step 1: In the Run dialogue box, enter services.msc. Locate the Application Information service and right-click on it; then select Properties. You can also double-click on the service to open additional settings.

Step 2: Next, set the Startup type to Automatic and then reboot your computer

This will fix ‘The service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error.

Change the password in Edge browser

The Credential Manager and the passwords you have stored in Edge are synchronised. So, you will have to change the passwords in Edge to fix the error.

Here’s how to do that:

Step 1: Open Edge and click the three-dot button at the top right corner. From the drop-down menu, select Settings.

Step 2: Now click on Passwords to see all your stored passwords and other password-related settings.

Step 3: Next, click on the three-dot button infront of the saved password that you want to change and then click on Edit.

Changing the password on Edge can help fix ‘The service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error.

Start the service in Safe Mode

You can start the service in Safe Mode to troubleshoot various issues. Here’s how you can restart your computer in Safe Mode:

Step 1: Search Safe Mode in the taskbar search box and click on Change advanced startup options.

Step 2: Click on Restart now in the Advanced setup heading.

Step 3: When your computer is restarting, click on Troubleshoot.

Step 4: In the Troubleshoot options, click on Advanced options.

Step 5: Choose Startup Repair.

Step 6: Click on Restart.

In conclusion, ‘The service cannot accept control messages at this time’ error can be frustrating but not when you know the right troubleshooting steps. Once you know the right methods to fix the error, it will take only a few minutes.

Also read: How to fix ‘remote device won’t accept the connection’ error?


Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]