How to preview, install, remove and hide fonts in Windows

When you are looking for something to make a document or presentation more interesting, the solution can sometimes be a new font. Although Windows comes with a wide range of fonts, you can find many websites that offer fonts, either free or for purchase which can spruce things up a bit. After you download a font, you have to install it and, when you don't need it any more, you will want to remove it or just hide it. Therefore, in this article, you will learn how to install, remove or hide a font, in any modern version of Windows:

NOTE: This guide applies to Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The screenshots we used are from Windows 10. However, things work the same in all three versions of Windows.

How to check your installed fonts in Windows

There are many ways in which you can see a list with all the fonts that are installed on your Windows computer or device. One that works in all modern versions of Windows is to open the Control Panel and go to: “Appearance and Personalization -> Fonts”.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

If you don’t know how to open the Control Panel, here are some guides to help you:

The Fonts window is opened. Here is where you can view all your installed fonts and manage them. Make sure that you remember how to open this window, because this is the place where you will do all your font-related management in Windows.

The Fonts window displays all the fonts and font families that are installed and available. A font family may include one or more related fonts, that have minor differences between them.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

Double click on the name of a font family. If the font family you chose includes only one font, it will be automatically displayed in a preview window. If the font family includes two or more fonts, their name is displayed in the Fonts window. Double click on the font that you want to open, to view it in a window similar to the one below.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

How to preview a font before installing it

If you have downloaded a font in an archived format like .zip, .rar, etc, you will need to extract it first. Extract it to a location where you can easily access it. Fonts that work in Windows have one of the following file extensions: “.ttc, “.ttf" or “.pfb.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

You can preview any font before installing it. To do that, right click on the font that interests you and, in the contextual menu, click Preview.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

A window is opened where you can preview how the font looks when writing text of different sizes.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

How to install a font in Windows

First and foremost, in order to install a font, you must have administrator rights. If you have downloaded a font in an archived format like .zip, .rar, etc, you will need to extract it first. Extract it to a location where you can easily access it. Fonts that work in Windows have one of the following file extensions: “.ttc”, “.ttf" or “.pfb”.

You can install a font from the preview window we have demoed in the previous section or you can right-click on it and, in the contextual menu, choose Install.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

A progress bar is shown for a few seconds, showing the progress of the installation process. You will not receive any notification that the font has been installed. You can check whether the font was installed in the Fonts window that we showed you in the first section of this tutorial.

Also, you can open any text editor. If the font installation went smoothly, you should be able to choose the font that you have just installed from the list of available fonts. Please take under consideration that if you plan to send the document to someone else, they might not be able to see the same font unless they also have it installed on their computer. Just send them to this tutorial if they are having trouble with it.

How to remove fonts in Windows

In order to manage your installed fonts, you need to open the Fonts window. In order to do this, go to the Control Panel, choose “Appearance and Personalization” followed by Fonts. Select the font that you want to remove and click the Delete button.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

Windows asks if you are sure you want to delete this font permanently. Press Yes and the font is gone. If you have selected a fonts family, Windows will mention how many fonts will be removed after you press Yes.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

You can remove as many fonts as you wish, using the same procedure.

How to hide or unhide fonts in Windows

You can also choose not to remove a font, but hide it instead. This is useful if you want a font to be temporarily unavailable to text editors in Windows but you might want to enable it again later.

To do that, go to the Fonts window, select the desired font and click the Hide button.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

This will grey out the font in the Fonts window and make it unavailable in text editors and other apps that work with text and fonts.

NOTE: According to Microsoft, the “Hide fonts” feature will remove fonts from application menus. Hidden fonts will still be available for drawing text, but they will be hidden from the menus. This will work for many, but not all Windows applications.

If you want to show a font that you previously hid, in the Fonts window, click the hidden font to select it and then the Show button.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

By default, Windows will hide fonts that are not designed for your keyboard input language settings. For example, if your default language is English, then Arabic, Chinese or Japanese fonts which are not designed for the English language will not be displayed when working with text editors. To change this option, so that these fonts are not hidden anymore, click or tap “Font settings” in the column on the left side of the Fonts window.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

The Font settings panel is opened. Here, deselect the box that says “Hide font based on language settings” and press the OK button.

Windows, fonts, font families, settings

Conclusion

Now that you know how to preview, add, remove or hide fonts, you can go ahead and create great presentations or import funny fonts and use them in your personal documents. If you are having any trouble or if you feel like you just haven't gotten enough information from this article, leave a comment with your questions and we'll be there to help.

About the Author: Ciprian Adrian Rusen
I love technology and I work in IT for more than a decade. I am the co-founder of Digital Citizen and its chief editor. Alongside my work as an editor, I am also an author. I have written and published 7 books, most of them about Microsoft products and technologies. They are translated into more than 12 languages. In 2014, I have been recognized by Microsoft for my technical expertise and involvement in the community with the title of Microsoft MVP - Windows Consumer Expert.