Troubleshooting Interactive Services Detection


My earlier post on Interactive Services Detection is very popular. It was targeted toward developers.  Based on the comments I receive, I think most readers are users looking for some help.  If you’re a developer, make sure to check out my previous post. If you are just a user trying to figure out why Interactive Services Detection is blinking at you and how to possibly troubleshoot the issue, this post is for you.

Why is this happening (when I boot; every 5 minutes; intermittently)?

First, some background… There are two main types of “processes” that run on Windows – desktop applications and services.

Desktop applications “interact” with the user through a user interface (windows, dialogs, etc.).

Services run in the “background” and do system stuff and communicate with other applications.

Services should not interact with the user. Windows 7 and Vista have a boundary that isolates services from trying to interact with the user. If the service tries to present some kind of user interface, you will get the Interactive Service Detection flashing toolbar button.

ISDButton

There could be a couple of reasons why this is occurring. However in most cases, the service experienced an “unhandled exception”. Unhandled exceptions are errors that the programmer didn’t expect and didn’t handle with code. Most people call this a “crash”.

Services generally start at boot time. Therefore, if the service is crashing when it starts, you will see the interactive services detection button at boot time. If you ignore the notification or select “Ask me later”, Interactive Services Detection will notify you again in 5 minutes.

If you only see the Interactive Services Detection intermittently, this is very likely the service crashing due to some unexpected condition. For example, I have 3rd party printer software on my personal laptop that crashes occasionally and I get a Interactive Services Detection notification. I’ll keep the brand name of the printer to myself Winking smile.

Identifying the Service

As a user, your best option is to identify what service is causing the notification. If you know what software is causing the notification, you can check the manufacturer’s website for an update or contact support.

The first thing to inspect is the Interactive Services Detection dialog. Be sure to click the “Show Program Details” button.

ISDDialog

This is a message from a service I created that has an intentional unhandled exception. If you look at the “Program path” this can give you some clues about the service that is crashing. The path can give you the company name, application, and most importantly the executable name. In most cases, you can search for the executable name (e.g. UISampleService.exe) using your favorite search engine.

More Clues

Next, you should select “View the Message”.  This will take you to the “secured desktop” where you can read the message.

CrashDialog

Here we can see some additional information about the crash. Collect this information and try searching using some of this information. If this was a real application, I would type the following into a search engine: UISampleService.exe “Microsoft Visual C++ Debug Library” R6010 “abort() has been called” and see if you can find any support articles, fixes, discussions, or updates for the issue.

If you can’t find anything with a search, you may want to consider contacting support for the product that is having the issue.  Keep all the information you collected so far to pass along to the support engineer.  Also, feel free to point the support engineer to this blog. Smile

Even More Clues…

If it is a crash that is causing the issue, you may also want to investigate what information is being collected.  The best way to see the history of the problem is with Reliability Monitor. Type “reliability” in the Start menu search box and click the “View reliability history” link.

StartReliability

This utility allows you to see the history of all the issues on your computer. If a service is crashing, it should show up here. We can see that there is an entry for my sample crashing service, UISampleService.exe.

ReliabilityMonitor

In this utility, you can identify when and how often the crash is occurring. You may want to try the “Check for a solution” action for the error.  This will check to see if the application vendor posted a solution for this issue on the Windows Error Reporting system.

The Tile Button is Displayed Too Quickly and I Can’t Click it Fast Enough

I received this question a few times in the comments. Great question! Here’s a technique you can use to troubleshoot the issue. You will need to create a custom view in the event viewer.

From the Start menu search box, type eventvwr to start the Event Viewer.

In the tree view in the left pane, right click Custom Views and select Create Custom View…

In the Custom View dialog, select the “By Source” radio button and then select Interactive Services detection in the “Event sources” drop down box.

Click Ok. In the “Save Filter” dialog, name your custom view. e.g. “Interactive Services Detection”. Click OK. You are now configured to capture these events when the occur.

If you ever see the Interactive Services Detection tile appear on the taskbar, you can return to the Event Viewer (eventvwr) and investigate the information that has been logged. Here is an example event where I “tricked” calculator to run in session 0 to cause the issue.

Can I Disable the Notification?

The short answer is yes but it is not recommended. The likely reason for the notification is there is something wrong with a service on your computer. You can disable the notification but you are not fixing the problem. Some good analogies would be putting black tape over the “Check Engine” warning light on your car dashboard or removing the battery from your smoke detector.

The Interactive Services Detection notification is initiated by the Interactive Services Detection Service. If you disable this service, you will no longer receive the notification for the problem service. Also, you will not receive notification for any misbehaving service on your system.

To disable the service, open the Services control panel by typing services.msc in the Start menu search box.

StartServices

In the Services control panel, find “Interactive Services Detection” in the list. Click the “stop” button to stop it if it is started.

ServicesControlPanel

Double click the Interactive Services Detection entry to open the Properties dialog. Set the “Startup type” to Disabled.

UI0DetectProperties

You are now blissfully unaware of any misbehaving services.

Comments (39)

  1. Ordinarily, a service crashing won't trigger a session 0 UI detection popup.  That happens only if the service runs as Local System AND is configured with "Allow service to interact with desktop".  Services should no longer be using that configuration setting.

  2. Chris says:

    this pop-up would be less alarming if it didn't have a typo – the program needs information FROM you not FORM you.  when I saw the typo my first thought was virus or malware. Thanks for the blog above – very helpful.

  3. alan says:

    thank you 😀 you realy helped  me  :))

  4. Andie says:

    I have the problem described above.

    But I can't even identify the service causing it. The icon pops to the screen so fast and then disappears. I can never catch it.

    Is there any other way I can get a clue what is causing the problem?

  5. Dan says:

    Quite honestly, I thought it was a virus, given the incorrect grammar (Oh, yes, it's the grammar police, again!).  "The program might need information FORM you…"  Fire the Microsoft developer and QA people for that one.

  6. Kirala says:

    Hi, I have the same issue Andie has. The message pops up and disappears so fast, it's not possible to even click on the taskbar!!

    Further, nothing shows up on Reliability Monitor either!

    Is there a way to locate what causes this problem???

  7. Andie and Kirala,

    There is a way to add a custom view to the event viewer. In the Start menu search box type eventvwr. This will start the event viewer. Right click Custom Views and Create a New custom view.  Select "By source". In the Event sources drop down, select "Interactive services detection".  Name your custom view. Now when the issue occurs, return to Event Viewer and look at your custom view.  You should see an event that tells you the name of the service.  I'll update the post with the info.

  8. Luke says:

    A nice informative post about this situation. 🙂

  9. Dwaipayan says:

    Thanks a ton! This post really helped me solve one these problems where the "Interactive Services Detection" was poping up so fast that I was unable to detect which program is triggering it. For future reference to other users, the program was this –

    "C:Program Files (x86)Photon PlusHuaweiUpdateDogRunLiveUpd.exe."

    It's an internet connectivity software which comes along with the Huawei internet dongle. I removed the exe and the popup does not exist anymore.

    Again, thanks a lot!!!

  10. Sunil says:

    The information is very useful, which help me to identify the cause of the problem. Thanks mate.

  11. Momma2_4DuCKS says:

    Thank you – this pop up was driving me crazy

  12. vman says:

    On Windows 7, is there a way to get back to that Interactive session if you dismissed the pop-up box and it hasn't come back yet?  I know it's still there running in the Session 0, and I want to see it – but I can't get to it.

  13. vman,

    There isn't a way to get back. However, if there is actually some UI being displayed in session 0, the Interactive Services Detection icon will be displayed again every 5 minutes.  So, in your case, the UI probably was no longer being displayed.  Use the troubleshooting technique "The Tile Button is Displayed Too Quickly and I Can't Click it Fast Enough" described in the post.

    Pat

  14. messydesktop says:

    Dwaipayan, you're a GENIUS!!!!! Thanks a lot!

  15. Prasad says:

    Worked well.  Notification was annoying me for weeks and now got resolved.  Thanks a lot

  16. MikeH says:

    For everybody who comes to this site and wondering what has happened to windows 8 or windows server 2012 in respect of UI0Detect troubleshooting they may look into this site:

    newyear2006.wordpress.com/…/eingabeaufforderung-mit-lokalen-systemdienst-rechten-unter-windows-8-und-windows-server-2012

    The author describes a change of an registry entry NoInteractiveServices which prevents UI0Detect from working on Windows 8 and Server 2012!

  17. vee3man says:

    Awesome! This thing was driving me crazy. Affecting my work, my play, everything! Thanks to you, everything's back to normal, and I've learned a new trick too!

  18. cedric says:

    thanx a lot pat…the info given really helped me tackle the problem i was facing,which was exactly similar to Dwaipayan!!

    Again,thanx a ton 🙂

  19. Ashan says:

    Thank you so much… This article really helped me…

  20. stelec says:

    I am going crazy.  I have tried everything you have posted on here, but the path in which the "error" is occurring doesn't actually exist.  Mine says: Message title: Printers.  Program path: 5b64144ccf1df_6.0.7600.16661_none_fa62ad231704eab7COMCTL32.dll.  When I click on view the message, it says that the printer arguments are invalid.  And when I looked up the reliability report, it just showed that windows was shut down incorrectly (had to hard shut it down because it kept getting frozen on the blue update screen right before it's supposed to shut off).  So, I am completely lost, and I have never had this annoying box pop up before.  I really don't want to deactivate it, I would much rather fix the problem, but I am at a total loss of how to.  Any suggestions?  🙁

  21. osward says:

    my problem is solved by  using eventvwr, thank you

  22. TEEJAY4444 says:

    Many thanks…worked like a charm. I'm just glad it wasn't  a bug (given the typo). Pat, YOU'RE THE MAN!

  23. aspekx says:

    i wanted to add that this is a very recently growing problem, especially amongst gamers. im not sure what updates on Vista/7/8 have occurred recently that might cause this to trigger more frequently, but it would be an interesting question to investigate.

  24. SuppOriae says:

    Thanks my man! you save me from destroy my pc lol

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I just left a very detailed message that didn't post, so testing befitting type it again.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Pat. My comment wasn't posted, so I just disabled the Interactive Services Detection because I didn't know what else to do. Would really appreciate some help with how to delete or disable the Internet Explorer program that is causing this. Thank you.

  27. Robbill1003 says:

    Great post… One question… What if I have a service that runs and sometimes does need to interact with the desktop… and legitimately… but I do not want this to appear for that service as it is on a device where this is being run silently?

  28. solly says:

    just noticed this after months of searcing solution

    thanks

    A device or program has requested attention. Device or application: C:Program Files (x86)GLO NETPROUpdateDogRunLiveUpd.exe. Message title: C:Program Files (x86)GLO NETPROUpdateDogRunLiveUpd.exe.

    solly

  29. Franny91 says:

    Many thanks! The complete info you gave really helpful. 🙂

  30. Lowas says:

    Be blessed for the good job. My problem was similar to that of Dwaipayan. The information you provided helped me to identify that my Airtel Huawei internet dongle is causing that. What would happen to my internet connection if I remove the liveUpd.exe? Any information about this?

    I am grateful for the information provided. I was scared because sometime ago a virus appeared like that creating in all my folders thumbnails and  desktop configuration icons taking up all my space. Thanks for taking away the speculation.

    God bless you.  

  31. Bless says:

    The icon blinks so fast cant detect the service causing the crash…please help.

  32. Anyeska says:

    I don't get an Interactive Service Detection flashing toolbar button – and this problem is continuing. What else can I do??

  33. Laure says:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing, your explanations help me a lot.!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Yawn says:

    Help me! I can't find the source "Interactive Services Detection" which is in french "Détection de services intéractifs" look: http://prntscr.com/7uvknd

    Please help me, this problem is affecting everything, I can't work well or play a game normally without getting interrupted. Help!

  35. Frosty's mom says:

    I thought about disabling it but decided to read the message instead to see if I could fix the "discord." The message mentioned something about the printer that I didn't understand. I did a troubleshoot on the printer and there was one item that needed fixing so I clicked on the "fix," rebooted and the little icon has not reappeared. Hope this is helpful to someone.

  36. Silviu says:

    I have disabled it. Less hassle. It should be named the unstable service. it doesn't help at all

  37. Mandy says:

    I clicked on "View the message" and my desktop screen went black.  Have rebooted several times and have tried to start in safe mode (F8) but screen is still black.  Screen's blue power light is flashing slowly … about 2 seconds on and then 5 seconds off.

    Many thanks for reading.

    Mandy

  38. Jean says:

    My main concern has been that the dialog box has a misspelled word, "The program might need information form (not from)…."  Seemed mighty suspicious to me.

  39. Nick says:

    I was getting random popups that showed in my taskbar if my PC was idle. As soon as I moved the mouse the notification disappeared. I left my mouse where the notification showed up and got to click on it, but it disappeared too quick. So, I used the info in this article to set up a log. It populated 1730 entries going from today back to April of this year. All the entries seem to be legit programs like sc.exe, DiagTrackRunner.exe, and CompatTelRunner.exe, and all are in the Windows folder. I just don’t know why they give me a popup a couple of times a day. If anyone knows an answer or has a suggestion of what to do, please let me know. Thanks!