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Removing Windows Features

Windows comes with certain features and applications installed by default. You may find items that you don't use and can uninstall, giving you another way to be a digital conservationist. When you're on the Add or Remove Programs window in XP or the Program and Features window in Vista, you can access the Windows components or features list by clicking the Add/Remove Windows Components button in XP or the Turn windows features on or off link in Vista; both of which are on the left side of the window.

Exactly what you see on the list depends on the particular version and edition of Windows you're using. Selecting an item gives you a tad bit of information. In XP, if there are subitems to a particular feature you've selected, you can click the Details button. In Vista you can click the plus signs to expand the sub lists.

Here are some items you may consider removing or unchecking:

  • Games (under Accessories and Utilities in XP)
  • Fax Services (Windows Fax and Scan in Vista)
  • MSN Explorer
  • Windows Meeting Space
  • Windows Ultimate Extras

When you're done, click Next or OK to make the changes. When installing or reinstalling Windows features you may be prompted to insert your Windows CD.

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