Windows has a number of features and built-in applications (and servers) that you can optionally enable or disable. The Windows Features dialog box allows you to turn these Windows features on or off.
You can access the Windows Features dialog box via Start > Control Panel > Programs. Then, under the heading Programs and Features, click the "Turn Windows features on or off" link.
Alternatively, you can use the Windows Search box (on the Start menu) by searching for Windows Features.
The resulting dialog box gives you checkboxes allowing you to easily enable or disable these Windows features.
I have the Indexing Service turned off. Why? Mainly personal preference — it bugged me.
This is also the place where you can actually turn off Internet Explorer, at least if you’re using Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows RT. Earlier versions only offered the option to hide the access to IE.
According to Microsoft’s web site, with Windows 7 and Windows 8, when Internet Explorer is turned off using this feature there is minimal impact on third-party programs (and other parts of Windows itself) that call upon Internet Explorer app services, because the Internet Explorer files that provide functionality to third parties and other parts of Windows are left intact.
Win7, Win8 and WinRT also offer the optiokn to hide access to IE, rather than turning it off.
Remember that, even if you prefer other web browsers and don’t want to use Internet Explorer for any real web browsing, you need Internet Explorer in order to do Windows Updates.
Several items should not be running on the average user’s Windows PC — and shouldn’t be running on most advanced users’ PCs either. THe most blatant example is Internet Information Services, which includes Microsoft’s web server.
Notice the items I have unchecked. Those are the ones I have turned off on my PC.
By the way, notice that the first item is Games. The colored square indicates that some, but not all, of the available programs are checked. Click on the Plus sign to the left in order to display the other games you might want to enable.