Windows .msc files overview

MSC files are snap-in control files that are associated with the Microsoft Management Console on Windows machines to run administrative tasks.

You may run some msc files like services.msc or gpedit.msc regularly, but there are plenty more that you can run or create on Windows client and server machines to speed up administrative processes.

Microsoft Windows ships with native .msc files integrated in the operating system, and support for the creation or importing of custom snap-in control files.

The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) was released originally with the Windows 98 Resource Kit, but Microsoft did integrate it in all versions of Windows released afterwards.

computer management msc files

MMC is a framework for administrative tools in which these tools operate. It comes with a graphical user interface, and supports the creation, running, and saving of administrative jobs.

The framework hosts tools, and displays them in its interface by using so-called snap-ins and extension snap-ins. What makes the Microsoft Management Console that flexible is that administrators may create and assign tools to specific user groups, computer systems, or users.

Note: This is a second part of our series about Windows administrative tools. We covered the Windows Control Panel, and the administrative files that you could run to launch various Control Panel applets directly in the first.



List of Windows .msc files

msc files

The default location of .msc files is Windows\System32. You can run any of the files with the shortcut Windows-R, typing the msc file name and extension, and hitting the Enter-key on the keyboard.

Msc FileConsoleDescription
azman.mscAuthorization ManagerManage Authorization Stores
certlm.mscCertificates Local ComputerLoads the list of certificates of the local computer.
certmgr.mscCertificatesLoads the list of certificates of the user
comexp.mscComponent ServicesLoads Component Services, Event Viewer, and Services.
compmgmt.mscComputer ManagementIncludes System Tools (Task Scheduler, Event Viewer, Shared Folders, Local Users and Groups, Performance and Device Manager), Storage (Disk Management), and Services and Applications (Services and WMI Control)
devmgmt.mscDevice ManagerOpens the Device Manager to manage hardware and devices.
devmoderunasuserconfig.msc
diskmgmt.mscDisk ManagementOpens Disk Management to administrate connected storage devices.
eventvwr.mscEvent ViewerOpens the Event Viewer which displays operating system, software, and hardware events.
fsmgmt.mscShared FoldersLoads the list of shared folders, sessions, and open files
gpedit.mscGroup Policy EditorLoads the Group Policy Editor to manage system policies
lusrmgr.mscLocal Users and GroupsInterface to manage local users and user groups.
perfmon.mscPerformance MonitorLoads the Windows Performance Monitor
printmanagement.mscPrint ManagementManage printers.
rsop.mscResultant Set of PoliciesList policies, full results only available through command line tool gpresult
secpol.mscLocal Security PolicyLoads policies such as account policies, public key policies, or advanced audit policy configuration
services.mscServices ManagerLoads the list of installed services to manage them.
taskschd.mscTask SchedulerLoads the Task Scheduler to manage tasks
tpm.mscTrusted Platform Module ManagementManage the TPM on the local device.
wf.mscWindows FirewallStarts Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.
wmimgmt.mscWMI ManagementConfigure and Control the Windows Management Instrumentation Service.
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List of Windows Server MMC Files

Msc FileConsole
adfs.mscActive Directory Federation Services
AdRmsAdmin.mscActive Directory Rights Management Services
adsiedit.mscADSI Edit
certim.mscLocal Computer Certificates
certsrv.mscCertification Authority
certtmpl.mscCertification Templates
ciadv.mscIndexing Service
cluadmin.mscFailover Cluster Manager
da6to4.mscNetwork Interfaces Performance Monitor
daihttps.mscHTTPS Traffic Performance Monitor
daipsecdos.mscIPSec Performance Monitor
daisatapmscISATAP Performance Monitor
dfsmgmt.mscDFS Management
dhcpmgmt.mscDHCP Management
dnsmgmt.mscDNS Manager
domain.mscActive Directory Domains and Trust
dsa.mscActive Directory Users and Computers.
dssite.mscActive Directory Sites and Services
fsrm.mscFile Server Resource Manager
fxsadmin.mscMicrosoft Fax Service Manager
gpmc.mscGroup Policy Management
gpme.mscGroup Policy Mangement Editor
gptedit.mscGroup Policy Starter GPO Editor
hcscfg.mscHealth Registration Authority
idmumgmt.mscMicrosoft Identity Management for Unix
iis.mscInternet Information Services Manager
iis6.mscInternet Information Services Manager 6.0
lsdiag.mscRD Licensing Diagnoser
napclcfg.mscNAP Client Configuration
mfsmgmt.mscServices for Network File System
nps.mscNetwork Policy Server
ocsp.mscOnline Responder
pkiview.mscEnterprise PKI
remoteprograms.mscRemoteApp Manager
rrasmgmt.mscRouting and Remote Access
sanmmc.mscStorage Manager for SANs
sbmgr.mscRemote Desktop Connection Manager
scanmanagement.mscScan Management
servermanager.mscServer Manager
storagemgmt.mscShare and Storage Management
storexpl.mscStorage Explorer
tapimgmt.mscTelephony
tsadmin.mscRemote Desktop Services Manager
tsconfig.mscRemote Desktop Session Host Configuration
tsgateway.mscRD Gateway Manager
tsmmc.mscRemote Desktops
virtmgmt.mscHyper-V Manager
wbadmin.mscWindows Server Backup
Wdsmgmt-mscWindows Deployment Services
winsmgmt.mscWINS
wbiadmin.mscWindows Server Backup
wsrm.mscWindows System Resource Manager
wsus.mscUpdate Services

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Windows .msc files overview
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MSC files are snap-in control files that are associated with the Microsoft Management Console on Windows machines to run administrative tasks.
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Responses to Windows .msc files overview

  1. Jeff June 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Tip: Just type .msc in Classic Shell's search box and get all of them. You don't have to type their full name too. devmg.... will return devmgmt.msc.

  2. Tom Hawack June 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    I really appreciate these gHacks series, so instructive. 'Windows administrative tools' is a great topic; I felt more concerned with the first 'Windows Control Panel' article though because cpl files go back to Win XP, so learning more about these msc files is a contribution to my numerous lacks. I did notice however that I had installed links to Windows services connecting to msc files, without really realizing it, msc being a rather occult reference here. Now I understand/know better.

    To paraphrase CNN's Richard Quest, "What a profitable day!" -- Humm!

  3. dmacleo June 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    note: some (group policy for example) not available on many home systems, pro versions and higher usually.
    I use gpedit often here

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