How to add or remove optional features in Windows 11 and Windows 10

Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 are complex operating systems with many built-in components. However, there are some features that are not installed by default but can be added by the user. These are called Optional features, and you can choose whether you want them or not. Some add new functions to the operating system, some allow you to use legacy programs, and others are required by certain apps to run as expected. Now that we know what Optional features mean, let’s see how to change optional features in Windows 11 and Windows 10:

How to add optional features to Windows 11

The first step to adding an optional feature to Windows 11 is to open the Settings app (Windows + I). In Settings, select Apps on the left sidebar.

Apps in Windows 11's Settings

On the right side of the window, locate the Optional features entry and click or tap on it.

Optional features in Windows 11

This opens the Optional features page. On it, click or tap the “View features” button next to “Add an optional feature.”

The View features button

Now, Windows loads the list of optional features. Use the search field at the top to find the one you want to install.

Search for an optional feature

Alternatively, scroll to explore the optional features available for your system.

Browse the list of available optional features

If you’d like to see details about a certain feature, click or tap the small arrow button next to it.

Discover details about an optional feature

Once you’ve found the optional feature you want, select it by clicking or tapping the checkbox to its right. If you want to add more than one feature, check all of them.

Select the optional features to install

After choosing the optional feature(s) to install, click or tap the Next button at the bottom of the list.

Press Next after selecting the optional feature(s) you want

Windows then shows you a summary of the optional features you’ve chosen to add. Click or tap Install to get them on your PC.

Install the selected optional features

Windows will then install all the optional features you’ve selected. As soon as it’s done, they’re available to use.

TIP: There are even more features available to install in Windows than just the ones shown in the Optional features list. But you can only get them via the Control Panel. Here’s what they are and how to install or remove them:

How to remove optional features from Windows 11

To uninstall one or more optional features from your Windows 11 PC, take the same initial steps. Open Settings, select Apps, and click or tap on Optional features.

Optional features in Windows 11

Then, on the Optional features page, head to the Installed features section.

The list of Installed features

Type the name of the feature you want to uninstall (or part of its name) in the search field at the top of the list. Alternatively, browse the list to find the feature you want to remove. When you’ve located it, click or tap on the optional feature to expand it.

Expanding an optional feature's entry

Press the Uninstall button and wait for Windows to uninstall that optional feature.

Uninstall an optional feature

In a couple of minutes, the optional feature will be gone from your PC.

How to add optional features to Windows 10

To add an optional feature to Windows 10, first, open the Settings app (Windows + I). In Settings, click or tap on Apps.

Apps in Windows 10's Settings

On the right, click or tap on the Optional features link under “Apps & features.”

The Optional features link under Apps & features

This opens the Optional features page. On it, click or tap the “Add a feature” button at the top.

Add a feature to Windows 10

Windows 10 will then list all the optional features available to install. The easiest way to find the one you want is to use the search at the top of the list.

Searching for an optional feature

TIP: To learn more about the Wireless Display optional feature selected in our images, check out this guide: How to use your Windows PC as a wireless display.

Alternatively, you can scroll through the list to find the optional feature you need.

Scroll the list of optional features

If you’d like to know a bit more about a certain feature, just click or tap on its name, and Windows 10 displays a description of it.

Click or tap on an optional feature to get quick info

After you’ve decided you want a certain feature, click or tap on the checkbox on its left to select it. Note that you can also select multiple optional features at the same time.

Select an optional feature to install

Once you’ve marked all the optional features you want to add to Windows 10, click or tap the Install button at the end of the list.

Installing optional features in Windows 10

Now all you have to do is wait for Windows 10 to install all the selected optional features.

How to remove optional features from Windows 10

To remove optional features from your Windows 10 PC, the first steps are the same as for installing them. Launch Settings, head to Apps > Apps & features, and click or tap the Optional features link.

Access Optional features in Windows 10

On the Optional features page, scroll to the Installed features section.

The list of Installed features

Use the “Find an installed optional feature” search field to locate the feature you want to remove or scroll through the list of installed features to find it. When you identify the optional feature, click or tap on it to expand its options.

Expanding an optional feature's entry

Click or tap the Uninstall button, and Windows 10 will immediately start removing the optional feature from your system.

Uninstall an optional feature from Windows 10

That’s it! Repeat the process to remove all the optional features you don’t need on your computer.

What optional Windows features did you install?

As you’ve seen, adding optional features to your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer is quite easy. With just a few clicks or taps, you can either get new ones or remove any of the ones you already installed. Which optional feature did you need to install? Moreover, which ones did you choose to get rid of? We’re curious, so if you don’t mind, let us know in the comments section below.

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