How to Turn Windows 7 Features On or Off


In this tip, I want to look at another new entry in Control Panel for Windows 7. This one is called "Windows Features" and it provides an easy way to disable or enable a number of applications and features that come with Windows 7. One way to display the dialog for Windows Features is to enter 'features" (without quotes) in the Start-Search box and select "Turn Windows features on or off". Actually, just typing "fea" brings up this listing on my system. The graphic below shows the dialog box that will open. It may take a minute for Windows to fill in all the entries.

Turning Windows 7 features on or off

Some Windows features are grouped together in folders and there may even be subfolders with additional features. If a check box is partially checked or is dimmed, then some of the items inside the folder are turned on and some are turned off. To view the contents of a folder, double-click it or click the + box on the left side. To turn a Windows feature off, clear the check box and click "OK".

You may notice that it is even possible to disable Internet Explorer. The figure shows IE9 but this also applies to IE8 if it is installed. Windows Media Player (grouped under Media Features) can also be turned off.

Turning off a feature does not uninstall the feature, and it does not reduce the amount of hard disk space used by it. It is simply disabled and can be restored by putting a check in its box again.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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