Using the Add and Remove Programs Tool


Have you ever looked at all of the programs installed on your computer and wondered exactly why they are occupying precious hard drive space? Perhaps you recently discovered that the excessive number of "free" bundled programs came free for a reason, and you'd like to remove them now. Or maybe you just purchased new software that doesn't provide clear instructions about how to install it. If either or both of these scenarios are applicable to you, this article will help you remove programs that you don't want to store on your computer anymore and help you properly install the ones you want to keep.


Windows XP in the default XP view

  1. From the Start Menu, select Control Panel.
  2. Click the Add or Remove Programs icon.
  3. Select the program you wish to remove and click Remove.

Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP in Classic View

  1. From the Start menu, select Settings, and then Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.
  3. Select the program you wish to remove and click Add/Remove

Once you get to the Control Pane, left click on the Add and Remove Programs Icon

Add or Remove Programs: Please wait while the list is being populated...

Add or Remove Programs: Please wait while the list is being populated...

Add or Remove Programs: Change or Remove Programs

Add or Remove Programs


NOTE:  Delete 1 item at a time

Be very careful what you delete.  You can not UNDO.

When you are done, left click on the red X at the top right corner.


Add/Remove Programs - Nowhere to be found?

Don't worry - we had the same problem when we launched Windows Vista for the first time. Add/Remove Programs is not missing - it was just renamed for some reason to Programs and Features and it is very easy to find, like always.

First, go to Control Panel. If you don't you use the Classic View you will see a section called Programs and beneath it there is the Uninstall a program option. Click on it and you arrived to the right place.

Windows Vista Control Panel

If you are using the Classic View, you will find Programs and Features in the list of items that start with the letter "P".

Windows Vista Control Panel

Another option would be to type "add remove" in the search box and Windows Vista will return the shortcut to Programs and Features.

Windows Vista Control Panel

One of the most common problems reported lately by our readers is not knowing how to add or remove certain features of Windows Vista. To answer their questions and help them customize the Windows Vista features the way they want to, we have decided to write this article. Even though the procedure is generally similar to Windows XP, in Windows Vista there is a key difference.

In Windows XP and earlier versions, to turn a feature off you had to uninstall it completely from your computer. In Windows Vista the features remain stored on your hard disk, so you can turn them back on if you want to. This can be a good thing as you don't have to insert the Windows Vista DVD each time your want to turn on a features. Also, this is not so great because you won't be able to save any disk space by removing the features you don't need. It seems that, in this case, Microsoft traded ease of use for additional hard disk space.

Turning on or off Windows Vista features can be done from Programs and Features. One of the ways to find it is to search for the word programs in the Start Menu search box.

Start Menu

In the Programs and Features window, click on Turn Windows features on or off. If UAC (User Account Control) is enabled you might need to make an additional confirmation.

Programs and Features

Now you will see a list with all the available Windows Vista features. Some features are grouped together in folders, and some folders contain subfolders with additional features. To view the contents of a folder, double-click it or click on the "+" sign.

If a check box of a folder is partially checked or appears dark, then some of the items inside it are enabled and some are disabled. If a feature is checked then it is enabled already. The features that are not checked are disabled.

Programs and Features

For this tutorial, we will choose first to disable one of the Windows Ultimate Extras. As you can see in this screenshot, both the Windows DreamScene Preview and the final version are listed as installed. We will disable the Preview version as it is not needed anymore.

Programs and Features

Also, we would like to disable the Windows Vista Games. So we scroll up to the Games folder and deselect it.

Programs and Features

You can enable or disable any of the listed Windows Vista features. After you decided upon what to add or remove from Windows Vista, click on OK. Windows Vista will perform the appropriate actions.

Programs and Features

Wait until the progress bar disappears. Then, Windows Vista might ask you to restart the computer so that the required changes will be implemented in the system.

Programs and Features


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