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WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service (System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems)

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Service Name: WinHttpAutoSvc

Executable Name: svchost.exe –k LocalService

Log On As: LocalService

Description: WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service (WinHttpAutoSvc) implements proxy configuration discovery for WinHTTP clients. It performs the lookup done by WinHttpGetProxyForUrl() as documented in Microsoft® MSDN®. Applications use the service to isolate the running of an autoproxy script in a sandbox from the client process.

The WinHttpGetProxyForUrl() function implements the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol for automatically configuring the proxy settings for an HTTP request. The WPAD protocol downloads a Proxy Auto-Configuration (PAC) file, which is a script that identifies the proxy server to use for a given target URL. PAC files are typically deployed by the IT department within a corporate network environment.

To make configuring the proxy settings for WinHTTP-based applications easier, WinHTTP now implements the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol, often referred to as autoproxy. This is the same protocol that Web browsers implement to automatically discover the proxy configuration without requiring an end user to specify a proxy server manually. This feature is available starting with WinHTTP version 5.1 in Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Windows XP Service Pack 1, and Windows Server 2003.

Stopping or disabling this service might cause WinHTTP clients to be unable to automatically detect proxy settings, and might cause other WinHTTP clients to automatically detect proxy settings within their own process.

Available on: Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition and Windows Server 2003, Web Edition

Installed through: Default operating system installation

Startup type: Manual

Service status: Started

This service depends on the following system components:

AFD Networking Support Environment

DHCP Client

IPSEC Driver

TCP/IP Protocol Driver

The following system components depend on this service:

None

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