Windows 7 Allows You to Remove IE, WMP and Many Other Windows Components

Now its official. Today Microsoft made an official announcement that Windows 7 will allow its users to remove several unwanted Windows components, which are tightly integrated into Windows shell using "Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off" option. Most of them are already available in Windows Vista, some new components are as follows:

  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows Search
  • Handwriting Recognition (through the Tablet PC Components option)
  • Windows Gadget Platform
  • Fax and Scan
  • XPS Viewer and Services (including the Virtual Print Driver)

In the above list, the components which we found most interesting are "Internet Explorer", "Windows Search", "Windows Media Player" and "Windows Media Center".


Its really surprising to see that Microsoft puts an option to completely remove IE from Windows but wait, is it really true? Well here is what Windows 7 team says:

If a feature is deselected, it is not available for use.  This means the files (binaries and data) are not loaded by the operating system (for security-conscious customers) and not available to users on the computer. These same files are staged so that the features can easily be added back to the running OS without additional media. This staging is important feedback we have received from customers who definitely do not like to dig up the installation DVD.

So that means even though you remove the component from the list, it'll not uninstall itself completely but it would disappear from the system. The component files will be stored within the system for future use.

Windows 7 team again clears the "Remove" part:

It is worth describing the details of "remove" since this too is a place where there are engineering and customer decisions to be made. We've already seen one decision which is to make sure we keep the features staged for future use so that a DVD is not required. A second decision is that we also continue to support the APIs available for features where these APIs are necessary to the functionality of Windows or where there are APIs that are used by developers that can be viewed as independent of the component. As many of you know these are often referred to as "dependencies" and with Windows the dependencies can run both internal to Windows and external for ISVs.

Whatever the remove option does but one thing is sure, Microsoft is doing the right things with Windows 7. Its development is going very fast and users are getting better control over Windows.

We also found following lines interesting in the whole post:

We've received feedback for features that should be even more customizable (such as Explorer or the logon screen) or features that should be added to Windows (such as a PDF format reader, security tools, or disk utilities). And we've received feedback that some users might prefer to run Windows without certain features.

If they mention it, there must be some reason behind it. So get ready to see a new login screen and modified Explorer in later builds. Also it would be interesting to see a built-in PDF reader and Disk Utility in Windows 7.


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Posted in: Windows 7

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  • Hi -
    I want to remove or disable MS Paint, it gets in my way of doing my work my way.
    Please help, thanks
    Jay Holmes

  • VG

    ^^ You can simply delete its shortcut from Programs menu. If you want, you can also delete its EXE file from Windows\System32 folder.

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