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What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Windows Operating System is equipped with many addons and components which may extend the functionality of Windows without using any third party software. Some of these components are enabled or installed by default. But all features need not to be enabled because it will slow down the performance of your computer. Moreover all users do not require all that features to be enabled. Some components are also required by third party software to function correctly e.g., .NET Framework 3.5.

We will discuss how to turn on/off those features using command prompt and manually. Moreover we will also describe how to find and open optional features using a command line. Further, we will briefly elaborate on how to install Windows features from the installation source using command prompt and PowerShell.

Explore Windows Features Using Command Prompt

To get a list of Windows Features using Command prompt, follow the steps below:

  1. Open command prompt in administrative mode.
  2. Type the following command
    DISM /online /get-features /format:table | more

It will display all the list of features enabled or disabled on your computer. Here format:table and more are optional and are used to improve the readability of the features.

Keep on pressing Enter until you get the full list. You can remove more options if you don’t want to get the full list.

If you do not open it in administrative mode you will encounter the following error.

1- How to turn Windows features on or off?

You can enable any Windows feature or you can disable them. Some features are disabled by default.

  1. To open the Windows Features screen, go to Run –> optionalfeatures (This can also be accessed by opening Start Menu –> Control Panel –> Programs and Features –> Turn Windows features on or off)
  2. To enable a feature, check the checkbox beside the component.
  3. To disable a feature, un-check the checkbox beside the component.

2- How to turn Windows features on or off using command line?

Windows Features can be enabled or disabled using command line. For checking the status of the features type the command mentioned above. In order to enable any feature, follow the steps below:

  1. Open command prompt in administrative mode and run the following command:
    DISM /online /get-features /format:table | more
  2. Copy the name of feature you want to enable.
  3. Now run the following command in command prompt:
    DISM /online /enable-feature /featurename:[paste the feature name here]
  4. For example, if you want to enable Hyper-V which provides services and tools for running and creating virtual machine type the following command
    DISM /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
    This will install and enable all the components of Hyper-V
  5. You may need to restart the computer to install some components.

Disabling Windows features is very similar to enabling them. Follow the steps below to disable any feature.

  1. Open command prompt in administrative mode and run the following command:
    DISM /online /get-features /format:table | find “Enabled” | more
    This command will list down all the enabled features in Windows. (You can also make use of Findstr command.)
  2. Copy the name of the feature you want to disable.
  3. Now run the following command in command prompt:
    DISM /online /disable-feature /featurename:[paste the feature name here]
  4. For example, if you want to disable Hyper-V, type the following command
    DISM /online /disable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All

To get detailed information about a specific component, run the following command:

DISM /online /get-featureinfo/featurename:[featurname]

You will get detailed information about the feature name, description, properties, status and whether it requires restart or not.

3- Enable or Disable Windows features using PowerShell

The benefit of PowerShell over using a command prompt is that PowerShell commands check if the feature is already enabled. If it is already enabled, the installation action is not performed saving computing time.

To get information about windows features through Powershell, open PowerShell in administrative mode and then type

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online

If you want to get information regarding specific features, type

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName *Type feature name*

In order to enable/disable any feature use the following commands.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName “Type feature name” -all

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName “Type feature name”

4- Adding Windows features from a Windows installation source

If a feature is not available for installation in installed Windows, we will need to give external source address to install the feature. The external source can be Windows installation ISO or any drive. Make sure that the path should be given correctly and installation media should be correctly installed. Moreover, you need to know exactly the feature name you wan to add.

Using Command Prompt

To add any Windows feature, open the command prompt in administrator mode and run the following command:

Dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Type Feature name /All /Source:C:\Sources\sxs /LimitAccess

Here is the installation media is C drive. You should change the installation media according to the requirement you want to install the feature. Once successfully installed remove the installation media.

Using PowerShell

The window feature can be installed by PowerShell using the following command

Install-WindowsFeature Feature Name –Source “C:\Sources\sxs”

Enabling/Disabling features in Windows XP

All the above mentioned methods work in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. But if you want to use a command prompt for adding/removing features in Windows XP, you’ll need to follow the instructions below:

pkgmgr d/n

What are your favorite Windows features and which ones do you enable as essentials when you Install Windows?

Recently, i keep on receiving the notification for optional features of languages. Is anyone can tell me how to stop it?

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Also type notifications in Windows Start Search box > Click Notifications & actions > And see whether you have Get tips, tricks & suggestions as you use Windows ON > If yes, toggle this to OFF.

Also see down if there is any relevant sender needs to be toggled to OFF.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Modern CPUs include hardware virtualization features that help accelerate virtual machines created in VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V, and other apps. But those features aren’t always enabled by default.

Virtual machines are wonderful things. With virtualization apps, you can run an entire virtual computer in a window on your current system. Within that virtual machine, you can run different operating systems, test apps in a sandbox environment, and experiment with features without worry. In order to work, those virtual machine apps need hardware acceleration features built into modern CPUs. For Intel CPUs, this means Intel VT-x hardware acceleration. For AMD CPUs, it means AMD-V hardware acceleration.

At some point, you may encounter error messages in your VM apps like the following:

  • VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration is not available on your system
  • This host supports Intel VT-x, but Intel VT-x is disabled
  • The processor on this computer is not compatible with Hyper-V

These errors can pop up for a couple of different reasons. The first is that the hardware acceleration feature may be disabled. On systems with an Intel CPU, the Intel VT-x feature can be disabled via a BIOS or UEFI firmware setting. In fact, it’s often disabled by default on new computers. On systems with an AMD CPU, this won’t be a problem. The AMD-V feature is always enabled, so there’s no BIOS or UEFI setting to change.

The other reason these errors can pop up is if you’re trying to use a virtualization app like VMWare or VirtualBox when you already have Microsoft’s Hyper-V installed. Hyper-V takes over those hardware acceleration features and other virtualization apps won’t be able to access them.

So, let’s take a look at how to fix these issues.

Try Uninstalling Hyper-V

If you have Hyper-V installed, it gets greedy and won’t let other virtualization apps access hardware acceleration features. This more often happens with Intel VT-x hardware, but can also happen with AMD-V on occasion. If this is the case, you’ll see an error message in your virtualization app to the effect that Intel VT-x (or AMD-V) is unavailable, even though it is enabled on your computer.

To solve this problem, you just need to uninstall Hyper-V. Hyper-V is an optional Windows feature, so uninstalling it is a little different than uninstalling a regular app. Head to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. In the “Programs and Features” window, click “Turn Windows features on or off.”

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

In the “Windows Features” window, clear the “Hyper-V” checkbox and then click “OK.”

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

When Windows is done uninstalling Hyper-V, you’ll need to restart your PC and then you can try using VirtualBox or VMware again.

Turn Intel VT-x On in Your BIOS or UEFI Firmware

If you have an Intel CPU and uninstalling Hyper-V didn’t solve your problem—or your virtualization app reported that Intel VT-x was disabled—you’ll need to access your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings. PCs made prior to the release of Windows 8 probably use BIOS. PCs made after Windows 8 came out may use UEFI instead, and the likelihood of using UEFI grows the more modern the PC.

On a BIOS-based system, you’ll access BIOS settings by restarting your PC and pressing the appropriate key right when it first boots. The key you press depends on your PC’s manufacturer, but it’s often the “Delete” or “F2” key. You also will most likely see a message during startup that says something like “Press to access setup.” If you can’t figure out the right key to get into your BIOS settings, just perform a web search for something like “ access BIOS.”

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

On a UEFI-based computer, you can’t necessarily just press a key while the computer is booting. Instead, you’ll need to follow these instructions to access the UEFI firmware settings from the Windows advanced startup options. Hold down the Shift key as you click Restart in Windows to reboot straight to that menu.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Whether your PC uses BIOS or UEFI, once you’re in the settings menu, you can begin looking around for an option labeled something like “Intel VT-x,” “Intel Virtualization Technology,” “Virtualization Extensions,” “Vanderpool,” or something similar.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Often, you’ll find the option under a “Processor” submenu. That submenu may be located somewhere under a “Chipset,” “Northbridge,” “Advanced Chipset Control,” or “Advanced CPU Configuration” menu.

Enable the option and then select “Save and Exit” or the equivalent feature to save your settings changes and reboot your PC.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

After the PC restarts, you can try using VirtualBox or VMware again.

What to Do If You Don’t See the Intel VT-x Option in BIOS or UEFI

Unfortunately, some laptop manufacturers and motherboard manufacturers don’t include an option in their BIOS or UEFI settings for enabling Intel VT-x. If you don’t see the option, try performing a web search for the model number of your laptop—or your motherboard, if it’s a desktop PC—and “enable Intel VT-x”.

In some cases, manufacturers may later release a BIOS or UEFI firmware update that includes this option. Updating your BIOS or UEFI firmware might help—if you’re lucky.

And, remember—if you have an older CPU, it may not support the Intel VT-x or AMD-V hardware virtualization features at all.

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Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft community.

I understand your inconvenience. We are here to assist you.

I would appreciate if you can provide us the following information to help us understand the issue better.

1. Did you make any changes to the OS?

2. What is the complete error message while trying to install?

3. When you say “Turn Windows features on or off” the list does NOT populate? What exactly happens?

Try the methods below and check if it helps.

Method 1: To diagnose whether this issue occurs in “Safe Mode” , let’s reboot the computer in safe mode and check if the issue appears there as well.

Safe mode is a diagnostic mode for Windows that starts your computer in a limited state. Only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows are started. This helps us in identifying whether the issue is due to some third party programs conflict. The word Safe mode appear in the concern of your monitor to identify which windows mode you are using.

Please refer the below link to resolve the issue to perform safe mode.

Follow the steps to open “ Turn Windows features on or off”.

a. Press Windows + S.

b. Type “ Turn Windows features on or off” and hit enter to open.

Method 2: Windows 10 has a built-in troubleshooter to check and fix issues. I would suggest you to run Windows Update troubleshooter to check if the issue is with your Windows Update.

Refer these steps:

1. Press Windows key +X, select Control panel.
2. Change the view by option on the top right to Large icons.
3. Click on troubleshooting and click on the view all option on the left panel.
4. Run Windows Update troubleshooter.

And then try to install the Windows update. Net frame will be installed through Windows update.

Please reply here with the results so that we can assist you further.

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Windows Operating System is equipped with many addons and components which may extend the functionality of Windows without using any third party software.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Windows 10 comes with a number of “optional” features that you can turn on or off through the Windows Features dialog. Must be turned on before you can use them. Certain other features are turned on by default, but you can turn them off if you don’t use them. Because, if you remove unwanted components, you can save quite a bit of space on your hard disk. This article show you how to add and remove Windows features in Windows 10. Also, we coded a simple Vbscript to simplify the whole Process.

How to open Windows Features in Windows 10

In Windows 10, click the search field in your taskbar, and enter “windows features.” Click the “Turn Windows features on or off” option from the list.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the Programs and Features icon.

Then select “Turn Windows features on or off” under Programs and Features.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

1- Just download the .zip file at the end of the page (password:ceofix) and Unzip it.

Last Updated on September 26, 2020 by admin 1 Comment

Windows 10 is a big operating system with hundreds of features. Like any other operating system or software, most PC users never use all the features offered in Windows 10. For instance, the built-in XPS Viewer is alien to most PC users even though it’s been around since the launch of Windows 7.

Advanced PC users often like to turn off features that they are not interested in. Although Windows 10 doesn’t offer a way to turn on or off all the features, you can turn off many features under Control Panel.

As you can see in the picture below, you can turn on or off .Net Framework, Hyper-V, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Print to PDF, XPS Viewer, Telnet Client, Work Folder Client, Windows Fax and Scan, Windows PowerShell, and more.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

You can’t use this method to turn off built-in apps in Windows 10. If you want to remove an app, please refer to how to uninstall the default Windows 10 apps guide. Also, turning off a feature will not remove it from Windows 10. If you want to completely get rid of a feature from Windows 10, you need to use a Windows 10 ISO image-customizing tool such as NTLite.

As said earlier, Windows 10 doesn’t allow you to turn on or off all the features. Some features are essential for the smooth running of the operating system, and some other features such as Start menu and File Explorer can be turned off by installing third-party alternatives.

Turn on or off features in Windows 10

Follow the given below directions to turn on or off Windows 10 features.

Step 1: Open Control Panel by typing Control Panel in the Start menu or taskbar search field and then pressing Enter key.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Step 2: Under the Programs section, click Uninstall a program link. This will open the Programs and Features window.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Step 3: In the left-pane of Programs and Features window, click Turn Windows features on or off the link to open Windows Features window with a list of features that you can turn on or off.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Step 4: Go through the features list. If the checkbox next to a feature is selected, it means that the feature is turned on. A full checkbox means only part of the function is turned on.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Click the plus icon to see all features under that category. For instance, you can see Windows Media Player by expanding Media Features.

To turn off a feature, uncheck the checkbox next to it. When you see the following confirmation dialog, click the Yes button to turn off the feature. You might be asked to turn on or off a feature.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

We recommend you turn off only features that you no longer use or prefer to use third-party software instead of the default one.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Windows 10 is a great operating system, but it also comes with several hidden features that you might not know about. All these features are listed in the Turn Windows features on or off section, and in today’s article, we’ll show you how you can enable or disable them.

How do I turn on or off optional Windows features?

Access this feature from Control Panel

  1. Open Control Panel and go to Programs.
  2. Now select Turn Windows features on or off.
    What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off
  3. List of features will now appear. Just check the feature you want to install or uncheck the one you want to remove and click OK.
    What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off
  4. You’ll be asked to restart your PC in order to apply the changes.

If you want to access this feature quickly, you can use the following method:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run window.
  2. Now enter optionalfeatures and press Enter or click OK.
    What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

What features are available to be installed?

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

There are about 30+ optional features available to be installed, but we’re going to focus on several most important ones.

  • .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)and.NET Framework 4.6 Advanced Services These two features are required in order to run applications created using the .NET Framework 3.5 or 4.6.
  • Hyper-V Microsoft’s virtualization technology that lets you run virtual machines on your PC without third-party software.
  • Internet Explorer 11 If you still need to use Internet Explorer on your PC, you should know it’s still available on Windows 10.
  • Media Features – This includes Windows Media Player and other multimedia components.
  • Microsoft Print to PDF – A feature that lets you “print” your documents straight to PDF files instead of an actual printer.
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0 – Command Line interface similar to the Command Prompt, but more advanced.
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) This feature gives you the access to the Ubuntu command line and it allows you to use the same commands you’d use on a Linux system.

These are some of the most notable features that you can enable/disable, but there are a lot more available.

There you go, a quick and easy guide on how to use Turn Windows Features on or off on your PC.

As you can see, most of the features available here are made for advanced users, and you most likely won’t have to enable or disable them on your own anytime soon.

We hope you found this article informative and that you now have a better understanding of optional Windows Features.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

Windows 10 comes with several features for both consumers and business. In Windows 10, there are quite a few features that you don’t use and they are disabled by default. Such features are optional and they could help with accessibility, productivity apps or hardware.

Microsoft has quietly confirmed that it’s making some popular and unpopular features ‘optional’ on Windows 10 with 20H1 update. These optional features can be uninstalled to reduce the Reserved Storage size and remove clutter from Windows 10.

Windows 10 version 2004 is making the following features optional and you can uninstall/disable them from the Settings app:

  • Paint.
  • Notepad.
  • WordPad.
  • PowerShell (ISE) – Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment
  • Print Management Console: This is used for enabling management of printers, printer drivers, and printer servers.
  • Windows 7’s Steps Recorder, which is a tool with a keylogger, screen capture, and annotation feature, is now optional.
  • Windows Fax and Scan: This adds faxing and scanning capabilities.

What windows 10’s “optional features” do and how to turn them on or off

If you don’t use these features on Windows 10, you can turn on or off as needed and they’re available through the “Optional features” page in the Settings.

While Paint, Notepad and WordPad are popular, these features are not useful for all users as many use third-party alternatives such as Paint.NET and Notepad++.

It is worth noting that optional features can’t be entirely removed from your device and they’ll continue to use a small portion of space on your hard drive. Many of these features are important, and turning them off could potentially break functionalities on your computer if you don’t have a replacement installed.

Windows 10 version 2004 update is slated to ship in April 2020 with improvements for everyone. In 20H1 release, Microsoft is making File Explorer’s search bar faster and addressing the bugs introduced in November 2019 Update.

This update also adds a new Reserved Storage management tool, faster Windows Search experience, new Cortana app, and a new way to reset your computer.

The Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be retired and go out of support on June 15, 2022 (for a list of what’s in scope, see the FAQ). The same IE11 apps and sites you use today can open in Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer mode. Learn more here.

This article describes how to disable and enable any supported version of Internet Explorer on Windows.

Applies to: В Windows
Original KB number: В 4013567

More information

To disable Internet Explorer, use one of the following methods.

If you want to restore the program on the same computer, we recommend that you use the same method that you first used (Control Panel or DISM). Because Internet Explorer remains installed on the computer after you disable it, you should continue to install security updates that apply to Internet Explorer.

Method 1 – Use Control Panel (client systems only), Feature On Demand

Applies to: В Windows 10, version 1703 and higher

Using the Feature On Demand method is recommended for devices where it is available.

On client systems, you can use the Program and Features item in Control Panel to disable Internet Explorer. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and open Settings.
  2. Click Apps.
  3. Click Optional features.
  4. In the list of installed features, locate Internet Explorer 11. Click on the entry, then click Uninstall.
  5. Wait for the Latest Actions section to indicate reboot required.
  6. Restart the computer.

To enable Internet Explorer:

  1. Click Start and open Settings.
  2. Click Apps.
  3. Click Optional features.
  4. Click Add a feature.
  5. Check the box next to Internet Explorer 11.
  6. Click Install (1).
  7. Wait for the Latest Actions section to indicate reboot required.
  8. Restart the computer.

Method 2 – Use DISM (client and server systems), Feature On Demand

Applies to: В Windows 10, version 1703 and higher

Using the Feature On Demand method is recommended for devices where it is available.

On client and server systems, you can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool to disable Internet Explorer. For example, to disable Internet Explorer 11, follow these steps.

Disable the feature

To disable Internet Explorer 11, run the following command at an elevated command prompt: dism /online /Remove-Capability /CapabilityName:Browser.InternetExplorer

The following message is returned:

Enable the feature

If you want to re-enable Internet Explorer 11, run the following command at an elevated command prompt: dism /online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:Browser.InternetExplorer

The following message is returned:

Method 3 – Use Control Panel (client systems only), Windows Feature

On client systems, you can use the Program and Features item in Control Panel to disable Internet Explorer. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows logo key+R to open the Run box.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl, and then select OK.
  3. In the Programs and Features item, select Turn Window features on or off.
  4. In the Windows Features dialog box, locate the entry for the installed version of Internet Explorer. For example, locate the Internet Explorer 11 entry. Then, clear the check box.
  5. Select OK to commit the change.
  6. Restart the computer.

Method 4 – Use DISM (client and server systems), Windows Feature

On client and server systems, you can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) command-line tool to disable Internet Explorer. For example, to disable Internet Explorer 11, follow these steps.

Disable the feature

To disable Internet Explorer 11, run the following command at an elevated command prompt: dism /online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64 .

The following message is returned:

You must restart the computer to implement the change.

Enable the feature

If you want to re-enable Internet Explorer 11, run the following command at an elevated command prompt: dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64 .

The following message is returned:

You must restart the computer to implement the change.