Enabling and Disabling Windows Features

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 15, 2019)

Windows includes a ton of built-in features designed to be used by a wide variety of people. Of course, there is a good chance that you may not need all the features provided by Windows, or there may be some features that are disabled by default and you want to enable.

To enable or disable features, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Programs link. Windows displays a screen showing what program-related tasks you can perform.
  3. Click the Turn Windows Features On or Off link, under the Programs and Features heading. Windows displays all the Windows Features dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Windows Features dialog box.

  5. Use the check boxes at the left side of each feature to indicate whether the corresponding feature should be enabled (checked) or disabled (unchecked).
  6. Click OK. Windows updates itself according to your selections. (Some changes may require restarting Windows.)

Note that you may see some checkboxes in the features list that aren't clear and, conversely, they don't contain a check mark. Instead, they are filled with a gray color. These aren't individual features but, instead, are categories of features. Click the plus sign next to such items and they expand to show you individual features in that category that can be enabled or disabled.

It's a good idea to only disable those Windows features that you know you really don't need. If you are in doubt about a particular feature, study up on it to make sure it is one you really want to disable.

 This tip (10133) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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