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Windows 7 - How to Uninstall Programs and Features

Many people find it tempting to install far more programs and features than is necessary. With even the smallest hard drives in newer computers providing ample storage for the needs of most people, it is easy to see why. However, installing programs and features that you have no use for also slows down the computer and can cause software conflicts and other reliability issues. This is especially true of programs which automatically set themselves to start when you log in to Windows. Many of the features included with Windows 7 also hog extra system resources and, if you have no use for them, you may as well remove them. Adding and removing programs in Windows 7 is fairly straightforward.

1 – Uninstalling Programs
Open the start menu and click on the "Control Panel." Under the "Programs" section of the control panel, click "Uninstall a program." A list of all of the programs installed on your computer will be presented. Run through the list to find any programs that you no longer use. There are also bound to be many programs that you are not familiar with. Do not uninstall anything that you are unsure of. These programs may include those which came preinstalled on your computer and you might not easily be able to get them back if you remove them. If you want to find out what a certain program is, look it up on the Internet before attempting to uninstall it. Remove any programs which you are familiar with yet no longer use. The uninstallation process varies for each program, but it is normally a simple matter of going through the uninstallation wizard and clicking "Next" a few times. You may need to restart your computer after removing certain programs.

2 – Uninstalling Windows Features
Windows 7 includes dozens of features to accommodate a wide range of uses and functions. In the left-hand side of the window, you'll see a link called "Turn Windows features on or off." Click on it and ignore the User Account Control window if it appears.

The Windows Features list will appear. You can turn features on or off simply by selecting or deselecting the relevant boxes. Again, avoid removing features that you are not familiar with. Other features, such as Games and Internet Explorer, can safely be removed if you don't want them. If, for example, you always use another program for browsing the web, there's no point in having Internet Explorer installed as well. When you've selected which features you want and which ones you don't want, click "OK" and wait for Windows to add or remove the selected features.

When you turn Windows features off, you can easily change your mind later by going back to this section of the control panel. To install a previously removed feature, you may, however, be prompted to insert your Windows 7 DVD before continuing.


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