How to Enable or Disable Optional Windows Features

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The Windows operating system comes with many add-ons and components that can extend Windows functionality without using third-party software. Some of these components are enabled or installed by default. But not all of them need to be turned on because they affect the performance of your computer. In addition, not all users need to have all these functions enabled. Some components are also required by third-party software to work properly, such as .NET Framework 3.5.

So, what should we turn on and off? We have compiled a list of some of the features available on Windows 10 Professional because most of the most interesting features, such as the Hyper-V virtualization server, require Windows 10 Professional. If you are using Windows 10 Home Edition, you only have some of these features. If you use Windows 10 Enterprise or Education, you will have even more features. These are just some of the most common characteristics you may encounter.

  • NET Framework 3.5 (includes.NET 2.0 and 3.0): You will need this installation to run the applications written for these versions of.NET. Windows automatically installs them when an application needs them.
  • NET Framework 4.6 Advanced Services: These functions are also automatically installed if necessary. They are only necessary to run the applications that need them.
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services: This provides an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) server. It works as a Windows service and provides a directory to authenticate users on a network. It is a lightweight alternative to a full Active Directory server and will only be useful in some corporate networks.
  • Embedded Shell Launcher: This function is necessary if you want to replace the Windows 10 Explorer.exe shell with a custom shell. The Microsoft documentation recommends using this feature to configure a traditional Windows application in kiosk mode.

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To view and enable and disable optional Windows features

Explore Windows features using the command prompt.

To obtain a list of Windows functions at the command prompt, do the following:

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

It displays all the enabled or disabled functions on your computer. Here format:table and others are optional and are used to improve the readability of features.

Viewing, adding or deleting Windows functions from PowerShell

PowerShell is Microsoft’s scripting language based on the.NET framework. It is mainly used to manage and configure local and remote systems, and you can also use it for the same task of viewing, adding or removing optional Windows features. It is possible to use the DISM tool directly in Powershell, but there is also a set of integrated commands that work in a similar way.

Using an external installation source

You can also get the latest features from an updated offline source.

This source can be an ISO or other type of image, or simply a folder.

All you have to do is decide whether you want to use the Command Prompt or Windows Powershell.

If you are using the command prompt, type this command,

Dism.exe /online /enable-feature /enable-feature /enable-feature /featurename:< /All /Source:.

And if you tend to use the Windows Powershell command line, you can also do so. Simply type this command,

Install-WindowsFeature -Source “”.

Management of optional functions from the control panel


Although Windows 10 includes the Settings application, you still need to use the Control Panel to manage optional features on your computer. If you want to create Hyper-V virtual machines, use Internet Information Services (IIS) to configure an FTP server or add the Linux Bash command line tool.

The following describes how to enable and disable optional features in Windows 10 from the Control Panel:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Programs.
  3. Click on the Enable or disable Windows functions link.
  4. In Windows Functions, check or deselect the desired function.
  5. Click OK to enable or disable the function.
  6. Restart your computer as indicated by the wizard.

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