How-To Geek

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


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


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


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


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


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)


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.

  • Published 01/14/11

Comments (28)

  1. Ja5087

    Can we have a guide on changing windows balloons to whatever we want? like the one up there. I know probably photoshoped.

  2. Hatryst

    Bookmarked this article :)
    Maybe Microsoft should have a look at this, and release Windows 8 with the improvements ;)

  3. ALX


    What kind of keyboard on photo?

  4. Santo

    It looks like a laptop keyboard.

  5. Kodess

    @ALX macbook pro keyboard

  6. michael

    when you open a folder, the default view is “detail”. How can i change the default to “list”. I want this to be on any folder…whether i have opened it in the past or never have. Thanks

  7. hariks


    Open explorer > Tools menu > Folder Options > View Tab > Apply to folders. This will apply te view to the folders. You can reset the view using the same path > Reset Folders

  8. The Geek


    Actually what I did was write a quick AutoHotkey script to make the balloon say what I wanted it to. Really simple.

  9. HTG_reader

    can you maybe post an article about the autohotkey script?

  10. Tatan

    nice post. some windows features very annoying

  11. Mr Andreas

    I think the caps-lock suggestion should include tips for how to disable the annoying Insert key as well.

  12. Hatryst
  13. Paul DeLeeuw

    Anybody else annoyed with the dialog box “Do you really want to open this Program” when clicking some, but not all, program icons? Seems to be mostly lnk’s. I’d sure like to disable this!

  14. postal


  15. terry davis

    hi got pb easynote tx86 in jan this year. one problem cursor sometimes wont move to start btm left just jumps side ways to the right. turn off computer and restart works fine for awhile. Tried turning off pointer in control panel to no avail,tried slowing down cursor speed to no avail. Touchpad very sensitive is there away to reduce senitivity any help welcome.cheers

  16. vedette

    This really is annoying, same with the other features of windows 7

  17. aeschmann

    how to disable features in win7…?
    the quick and easy way…
    buy mac…use linux…
    simple as that…
    people do not understand the features and the reason why the features are there…
    so…”oh…i’m stupid…let’s disable cause i am stupid”…
    why do not post on that how to…a “why” that features exist…?
    i must say…i am a fan of those posts…
    i feel better when i see soo much idiots in one place…
    (sorry for idiots…the word i wanted to use is harsher)

  18. Ryank

    Guy above me hates life.

  19. Rix

    Guy above me is 100 % True…

  20. george howe

    Please my name and account from your mailing list.

  21. Vishweshwar

    nice post. this are some windows features very annoying and will help to Windowa 7 users

  22. rajesh

    how to disable ‘administrator permission reqd’ for copying files from hd to an external device in windows 7

  23. Jack

    How do you stop win 7 automatically waking up from sleep mode (must be some task scheduled or something similar that causes it to turn on then enter sleep again, but it annoys the hell out of me).

  24. Martha Johnson

    How do you get rid of tabbed browsing from your e-mail page? I tried the IE format, that did not work.
    So please instruct me. Thanks.

  25. Paul

    How dis-able touch pad in windows xp?

  26. Chase

    What desktop wallpaper/screensaver is that with the cool beta fish???

  27. munir

    Many thanks though

    just tel me after wiping out everything from my computer to start from the scratch, am able to down load wind7 or vista pak one on line.

    Many thanks again

    Best regards


  28. Ray

    I am trying to install Microsoft office 2007 in windows 7 ultimate and keep getting this message.
    error 1406

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