The 50 Best Ways to Disable Built-in Windows Features You Don’t Want

Over the years, we’ve written about loads of ways to disable features, tweak things that don’t work the way you want, and remove other things entirely. Here’s the list of the 50 best ways to do just that.

Just in case you missed some of our recent roundup articles, here’s a couple of roundups of our very best articles for you to check out:

If you’ve already been through those, keep reading for how to disable loads of Windows features you might not want.

Disable Context Menu Items

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After you start installing a bunch of software, you’ll notice your context menu starts filling up with more and more items, becoming bloated, slow, and even more annoying—it starts taking up the whole screen. Here’s how to get rid of some of those items and trim it back down to size.

You’ll probably notice that the first article is an in-depth guide to help you get rid of just about any item, whereas the rest are more specific for some of the more annoying items.

How to Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista

The caps lock key is one of those remnants of another age of computers, back when people used to shout at each other more often. Unless you’re in the accounting department, it’s probably not very useful, so today we’ll learn how to disable it.

How to Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista

Disabling Irritating Dialogs and Popups

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There’s nothing more annoying than being in the middle of working on something when the Windows Update dialog pops up and tells you to reboot right that instant, but thankfully you can disable that, and many other dialogs and popups in Windows.

You’ll probably not want to take the drastic step of disabling all notification balloons, but it’s an option.

Disabling Icons You Might Not Want

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Here’s a quick list of all the icon-related articles we have that cover how to disable this or that in regards to icons. You might know how to get rid of the Recycle Bin icon, but we’ve got other things covered too—like hiding drives from your computer, or hiding desktop icon text entirely.

Yes, we included how to disable the system tray, which is probably not something you should do. Learning is fun.

Disabling Windows Aero and Such

Windows 7 Mouse Drag Arrange

If you’re not a fan of all the beautiful new Aero features in Windows 7, you can get rid of them, or maybe you want to get rid of the built-in shortcut keys, or just tweak the Aero Peek delay. Here’s how to do it.

Does anybody really use Mobility Center?

Disabling Built-In Services and Features

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Want to get rid of User Account Control dialogs? What about Libraries, Homegroups, or Windows Defender? Here’s how to disable or delete many of the built-in services, should you want to do so.

You should read the disclaimers carefully before you start disabling built-in services, and you definitely shouldn’t delete power plans or services unless you’re really sure what you’re doing.

Settings You Can Tweak to Disable Behavior

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Sometimes you don’t want to disable something entirely, you just want to disable the way it behaves, like Windows Update hijacking the Sleep button when you don’t want it to. Here’s how to change some of the way things work by default.

Those Windows Explorer click sound are really annoying.

Disable Your Entire Computer (and Delete All Data)

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You’re probably asking yourself why we included this one in the roundup. Why? Because this is the ultimate way to disable something you don’t want—if you’re going to be selling your PC or giving it away, you probably don’t want anybody getting to your data. Here’s how to wipe your drive entirely.

Wipe, Delete, and Securely Destroy Your Hard Drive’s Data the Easy Way

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.