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Vista's Protected Storage Service

Services Once used heavily by Outlook and Internet Explorer to store sensitive information, Protected Storage (PStore) has been depreciated to read-only in Windows Vista in favor of the more secure Data Protection API (DPAPI). Browsing the internet you’ll find a number of programs that allow you to browse through the contents of Protected Storage on previous versions of Windows, but due to the read-only limitation, there is nothing to view on a Vista machine. I’m uncertain why this service even exists on Vista, since IE7 uses DPAPI and as Microsoft notes “…any application that tries to create new PStore data items will fail.” None-the-less, despite it’s default startup setting of ‘Manual’, I find the service is currently started on my machine, and disabling it has had no noticeable effect.

Display Name:
Protected Storage
Service Name:
Process Name:
Provides protected storage for sensitive data, such as passwords, to prevent access by unauthorized services, processes, or users.
Path to Executable:
Default Startup:
  • Home Basic: Manual
  • Home Premium: Manual
  • Business: Manual
  • Enterprise: Manual
  • Ultimate: Manual
Log On As:
Local System Account
Desktop Interaction:
Depends On:
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • DCOM Server Process Launcher
Required For:
Do you know something about this service that I don't? Please leave a comment below so I, and everyone else reading this, can benefit from your knowledge!

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