Turn programs and features in Windows 7 off and on

Some of the programs and features that are installed with Windows 7 are not immediately available for use because they are not turned on by default. Some are on by default only in some particular editions of Windows 7, and some are off by default in all editions. You can turn Windows programs and features on and off at any time. This is how :

  1. Press the key combination Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type OptionalFeatures.exe in the Run dialog and press Enter. This would open the Windows Features window.

  3. You can expand a category for which a plus sign is shown in the category and you will see the sub-categories or features. Check the programs or features you want to turn on. If you see a checkbox squared out but not checked, then it means that not all sub-categories of that category are selected. If you see a checkbox with a checkmark inside, then it means that all the sub-categories or features inside that category are selected.

  4. After you have selected or unselected all the features you wanted, click on OK button. A message window will appear on your screen, indicating that changes are being applied as shown

Note : You should not uncheck (unselect) some essential features. For example, it is not a good idea to uncheck the .NET framework as it is required to run the programs which are designed using the .NET framework. Similarly, if you do not have any third party browser (like Mozilla Firefox) installed and you uncheck the Internet Explorer, then you may face difficulties visiting a web site.