Shell Hardware Detection (ShellHWDetection) Service Defaults in Windows 7

Provides notifications for AutoPlay hardware events.

Default Settings

Startup type:Automatic
Display name:Shell Hardware Detection
Service name:ShellHWDetection
Service type:share
Error control:ignore
Path:%SystemRoot%\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ShellHWDetection
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege

Default Behavior

Shell Hardware Detection is a Win32 service. In Windows 7 it is starting automatically on the operating system startup. Then the Shell Hardware Detection service is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other system components, such as drivers and services, may run in the same process. If Shell Hardware Detection fails to load or initialize, Windows 7 startup continues without error messages. The failure details are being written into Event Log.


Shell Hardware Detection is unable to start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is stopped or disabled.

If Shell Hardware Detection is stopped, the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) service fails to start and initialize.

Restore Default Startup Configuration for Shell Hardware Detection

1. Select your Windows 7 edition and service pack, and then click Download.

2. Save the Win7_ShellHWDetection_Service_Startup.cmd file to a local storage device.

3. Run the saved file as an administrator.

4. Restart the computer.

The ShellHWDetection service is using the shsvcs.dll file that is located in the %WinDir%\System32 folder. If the file is changed, damaged or deleted, you can restore its original version from Windows 7 installation media.