Choice is always good, right? If you buy an operating system, such as Windows 7, or get it pre-installed with your new laptop, then you should be able to choose the features you want and the ones you don’t.
Back in the good old days of Windows 95, 98 and Millennium Edition, Microsoft allowed users to select which additional programs they wanted on their systems. Minimalists simply unchecked features they did not need, and saved hard disk and registry space—the lower the Windows footprint, the better the performance.
Choice is back!
In NT-based operating systems (Windows NT, 2000 and XP), Microsoft did not allow the option to choose programs, and even during the installation of Windows Vista and 7, users have absolutely no control over the features. No sweat—Microsoft integrated a wizard (deeply hidden in the Windows control panel) that allows you to uninstall features that you might not need or want. It is confusingly called “Turn Windows features on or off” and is accessible via the following steps:
- Click on the Start button, and go to “Control Panel”. Open up “Programs”, and click on “Programs and features”. On the left hand side of the window, click “Turn Windows features on or off”.
- In the next window, you will have the ability to uninstall the following built-in programs, features and technology frameworks.
- Made your selections? Click “OK”, and wait until Windows is done with the removal, to restart your machine.
If you need any of the features you just uninstalled, you can install them by taking the same steps. All of the source files are inside the Windows folder. This means that there is no need for you to insert the Windows DVD.
If you want to run Windows Vista or 7 with the least amount of programs installed, this is the “How To” for you. Uninstalling features will result in less services being started, which in turn results in a bit more performance. To be fair, it is not substantial, but it will help overall.
P.S. One final tip for you tweakers out there. TuneUp Turbo Mode in TuneUp Utilities 2010 temporarily disables unnecessary Windows functionalities, third-party programs and scheduled tasks on the fly—without having to uninstall the features completely.
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