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Windows 7: Deleting Features Rather Than Just Turning Them On Or Off

22 Sep 2017   #1
miketurn1234

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Deleting Features Rather Than Just Turning Them On Or Off

I have seen many mention the following but am still a little curious on specific questions.
I have read that when you turn "Windows Features" on or off that they still remain on your computers OS hard drive.
I was wondering if it was possible to delete certain features completely.
Apparently all these features are stored in your systems WINSXS folder.
Most I have read says to leave this folder alone, but I do have some specific questions...

Take components such as...

Media Features (Windows DVD Maker / Windows Media Center / Windows Media Player)
Microsoft Message Queue
Rip Listener
Tablet PC Components
Telenet Client
Telenet Server
Windows Gadget Platform
XPS Services
XPS Viewer

Ignoring the size lost or gained on the following items, say items like these will never be used, there is no way to delete them fully without destroying your system?

Thank You


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Sep 2017   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Mike I think mate it really does depend on how much the system depends or eeds any features such as the ones you have listed as to whether you delete them or not.

Now I am not one for mucking around with that sort of thing excepting turning the feature of or disabling it just in case it is installed for some sort of function in the other system features.

Just out of curiosity just what are you concerned about about with those features is it simply to free up drive space and frankly I don't think a lot of the features take up much space and resources in other words what do you want as an end result?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2017   #3
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Yes, these things could be totally removed, not that I have any idea how. The question is whether this could be done without unanticipated consequences. That is a difficult question with no easy answers. You must understand that there is much about Windows, or any other modern OS for that matter, that is not fully documented. There is a good reason for this. Once something has been documented developers will take advantage of the documented behavior. Any changes in this behavior, such as in a new OS version, could break compatibility with applications that relied on the old behavior.

For the sake of safety it is best to stick to documented and supported methods, such as disabling (not removing) undesired features. Do otherwise and you are in uncharted territory where the existing guides may be wrong. The Internet has very many bad guides about all kinds of things. And unless you have a really compelling reason to do so why take the risk?

Of course if you really want to try you can do so. But be prepared for the worst. Which may mean reinstalling the OS and the loss of data that has not been backed up.

Edit: it would be foolish to attempt this without a full image backup of your system. You might need it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Sep 2017   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
Yes, these things could be totally removed, not that I have any idea how. The question is whether this could be done without unanticipated consequences. That is a difficult question with no easy answers. You must understand that there is much about Windows, or any other modern OS for that matter, that is not fully documented. There is a good reason for this. Once something has been documented developers will take advantage of the documented behavior. Any changes in this behavior, such as in a new OS version, could break compatibility with applications that relied on the old behavior.

For the sake of safety it is best to stick to documented and supported methods, such as disabling (not removing) undesired features. Do otherwise and you are in uncharted territory where the existing guides may be wrong. The Internet has very many bad guides about all kinds of things. And unless you have a really compelling reason to do so why take the risk?

Of course if you really want to try you can do so. But be prepared for the worst. Which may mean reinstalling the OS and the loss of data that has not been backed up.

Edit: it would be foolish to attempt this without a full image backup of your system. You might need it.
Totally agree.

Many years ago I tried the things that you mentioned and one good thing came out of it.
It gave me the opportunity to practice doing Repair Installs and Clean Installs.
When some things are removed it may effect many things that are not obvious to us mere mortals.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Sep 2017   #5
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate I think the others have just reiterated what I said about some features are there not for the heck of it but also may form part of some other function and personally I would do what LMiller has suggested and that is at least an image or if you are in a position to and feel a little adventurous - clone the drive and do what you are asking about and find out just what happens.
Having said that I also agree with Jack that you will end up knowing how to clean install really well

The other point the others are making is that one really needs almost a security clearance to know what goes on inside Windows and my impression is that if we think 7 is complicated then 10 is even more so and not for the eyes of us what Jack calls mere mortals we are ere just to hand over out money and hope the ride goes smoothly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2017   #6
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Hard drives are big enough these days to have some unwanted features taking up space. I have 185 GB HD with only 60 GB used, after 21 years of computing.

If you need to save space, put some of your data on CD's and remove programs you never use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2017   #7
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Yep well the largest I use are 500GB and I like the size because then it leaves enough space for me to try the dual boots etc otherwise I am like you I just don't have the need for a lot of space. My only mistake was once letting a 120GB get too full to even do a system restore

Personally another reason I don't use large drives is because if it goes down big time then so does all that data. Anyway I do keep images all the same on either an internal or external drive even if it saves on those updates on a clean install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2017   #8
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by miketurn1234 View Post
I have seen many mention the following but am still a little curious on specific questions.
I have read that when you turn "Windows Features" on or off that they still remain on your computers OS hard drive.
Ignoring the size lost or gained on the following items, say items like these will never be used, there is no way to delete them fully without destroying your system?

Thank You
OptionalFeatures.exe allows user to turns features "On" or "OFF". This appears to mean that the requested feature is no longer available in Search Indexing, when turned OFF.

It is correct that the feature remains on the System Image, otherwise OptionalFeatures.exe would never get the user to turn the feature back On again, if requested.

Some of the features that OptionalFeatures.exe lists, are only available in Ultamate Editions of the OS (e.g. Subsystem for UNIX-based applications is only available in Ultimate) , and I doubt these features would be present in Home Editions. Suggests to me that OptionalFeatures can read a catalogue of "on system" features, before presenting them to the user.

If you were able to "Delete" feature then that is saying remove from storage, which you also say you are not so bothered about.

Some of features I know of, that the OS lets you to "Uninstall" completely, are the .NET framework versions and DISM packages that are available to Windows 7 users via update. If you remove the update, then you have removed this feature.

There again Windows allows user to do different to an image, while the image is offline. Enable or Disable Windows Features Offline presents two ways of enabling or disabling features on a mounted image from the command prompt. When DISABLED this way, then the requested feature is no longer uses system resources.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2017   #9
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

There's a program called OptionalFeatures.exe? Not on my 7 Ultimate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2017   #10
miketurn1234

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Thank you guys for all the responses, pretty much what I figured, not worth messing with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Deleting Features Rather Than Just Turning Them On Or Off




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