The guys over at Microsoft are trying really hard to please everyone with each iteration of Windows. Itís a pretty difficult task, but they have managed to put a little bit of everything in the basic set of features.
Windows already takes a considerable amount of space to deploy and runs many services by default. You most likely never use most of them, and chances are you donít even know how, or that they exist.
Fortunately, all features you want or get to benefit from are found in a list you can configure. This brings a little boost in efficiency and gives you the possibility to choose the tools you want to work with. You can find all of them cleverly described on the web.
Unlike the first iterations of Windows, these can only be managed prior to installation, and not during deployment. It doesnít take a lot of time to get rid of the ones you need, so if you need a little advice, the following steps can shed some light on how itís done.
Choosing Windows features
Step 1: Go to the Control Panel and click on Programs.
Step 2: Follow the link to Turn Windows features on or off. Administrator privileges are required.
Step 3: Uncheck the features you consider are only a waste of space on your system.
Whatís safe to remove
.NET Framework 4.5 Advanced Services are mainly aimed at developers and contain service-oriented architectures. Unless you need it for some kind of business environment design, you can choose to remove it.
Internet Explorer is the first web browser you encounter when using Windows. Microsoft Edge is on its way and if youíre using something else, itís safe to remove.
Internet Information Service (IIS) and Hostable Web Core are web server components required for using your computer for debugging or setting it up as a web server. Basic necessities donít need this on the list.
Legacy Components are libraries once bundled in DirectX. Although not vital for modern video games, those before 2008 might require this feature on.
Media Features include the default multimedia player Windows comes with. If youíd rather use alternatives, then itís a feature you donít need.
Microsoft Message Queue Server comes in handy for businesses to secure and improve connections with unreliable networks. It doesnít apply to basic or home networks, which ticks it off the list.
Print and Document Services are useful only if thereís a connected printer or FAX machine; otherwise, itís up for removal.
RIP Listener is used in advanced network management. Your home connection is based on a different set of protocols, so you can safely remove this one too.
Simple Network Management Protocol and TCPIP services are excluded by default. Unless your head is all stuck in network cables or need to perform heavy administration, itís best to leave it unchecked.
SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support makes communication possible throughout a network with machines running old Windows versions. Itís on by default and you can leave it on if this situation applies to you.
Telnet Client and Server are oriented towards connection management. Day-to-day activities are sure not to benefit from anything this feature offers.
Windows Process Activation Service goes hand in hand with the IIS features, offering free hand in choosing a protocol. Not really useful to any average Joe.
XPS Services and Viewer are two components dedicated to XPS files. These types are what comes out when printing to file. Itís not a common format, but it can be easily converted to popular ones like PDF. However, your computer still perfectly functions without it.
Each edition of Windows gives you access to a certain set of features. Some are enabled by default, while some need to be manually activated for professional use of Windows. Disabling features mentioned above might just make your PC run a little better, or simply help you work in an environment fitted only with what you need.