What Are Optional Features in Windows? How To Install Them?

Windows is a versatile operating system with numerous features. Many features in Windows only work in specific situations and are not required by every user. Microsoft ships various components and features that are not installed out of the box to make Windows installation more flexible. This post will share how you can install optional features in Windows and details about them.

Install Optional Features In Windows

What are Optional Features in Windows?

As we mentioned at the start, these are features or programs which are not installed along with the initial installation of Windows. While your Windows Version may support it, since most users don’t use it or need it, they are not available right away.

It is evident that if all the features are available right away, it will only increase the load on the PC. For example, one needs to install the Hyper-V feature if the user wants to install another OS to test without needing another PC. The service will keep running in the background if available right upfront.

Now imagine 100s of such services running without any need. It will only slow down the PC. So these are Optional Features in Windows, and one can install them based on tasks and preferences. The user can also choose to remove some of the apps and features.

How To Install Optional Features in Windows?

Here are three methods you can use to install various optional features in Windows:

  1. Windows Settings
  2. Windows Features Dialog Box
  3. Command Prompt or Windows Terminal

Let’s look at each of these methods in detail and ensure you use an administrator account when installing them.

1] Installing Optional Features Using Windows Settings

Here are the detailed steps to install optional components using settings:

  • First, open the Windows settings by pressing the Windows key + I shortcut.
  • Go to Apps and then click on Optional Features.
    Optional Features In Windows Settings
  • Then click on the View features button. On clicking the view feature button, a window will open with a list of all optional components available to install.Add an optional feature in app settings in Windows
  • Find the one you require from the list of optional features. You can also use the search box to find it. Mark the box next to the feature you want to install. When you click the arrow-down button next to the check box, you’ll see a description that will give you details of the specific component.
  • Check for all the features you need to install at once if necessary. Click Next. Select and add optional features in Windows Settings
  • Lastly, click the Install button to start the installation process.
  • That’s all. Your desired feature will now be installed.

Microsoft has been permitted to install and uninstall the optional features through the Settings app. However, some optional components in Windows are only accessible through the legacy Control Panel interface. For example, to install Hyper-V on Windows 11, you must only use the Control Panel.

2] Installing Optional Features Using Windows Features Dialog Box

Following are the steps you need to follow to install optional features using the classic Windows Features dialog:

  • Press Windows+ I keys to open the settings app.
  • Now select the Apps category.
  • When you click on the Apps category, and optional features button will appear in the right sidebar. Select the button for optional features.
  • Now scroll down to the bottom of the Optional features settings page and click the More Windows features link under the Related settings section.
  • The next step is to select a feature by placing a checkmark next to the feature you need to enable or disable. Then, press the OK button.Install Optional features using the Windows features dialog
  • It may take some time for your desired features to be installed. Some features may require a reboot to function correctly.

3] Installing Optional Features Using Command Prompt or Windows Terminal

Follow these steps to install optional features using the command prompt:

  • Press Windows + X to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type in cmd in the Run dialog box and press OK to launch the command prompt.
  • If you want to run the Command Prompt with administrative privileges, tick the box next to Create this task with administrative privileges and click OK.
  • Alternatively, right-click on the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  • Type the following command and press Enter key. A list of all the available optional features in Windows 11/10 will appear before you.
dism /Online /Get-Capabilities
  • Now you need to find the required component and copy its name.
  • Next, run the command:
dism /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:NAME

Replace NAME with the capability identity from the previous step.

  • Now press the Enter key.

So, now you are aware of the various ways by which you can install Optional Features in Windows 11/10 whenever required. Many of these features are advanced and will not apply to most users, as activating them may put the system at risk or cause performance issues if not configured correctly.

However, they can make Windows 11 even more efficient in the right circumstances. We hope you find the article helpful. Please make sure you share this article with your friends and colleagues.

Is Installing Optional Features Safe for My Windows Computer?

Installing optional features is a safe process and is a utility provided by Windows Team. However, some of these optional features can affect the performance of your PC, so make sure you only install the ones you need to use.

How to Uninstall Optional Features in Windows?

To uninstall any optional feature, head over to Windows settings > Apps> Optional features. Then, from the list of various installed optional features, select the one you’ll be uninstalling. Click on the drop-down arrow next to the feature size. Then click on uninstall to remove the respective option feature.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here