I once sold computers in a store whose management insisted that the merchandise be moved to different places from time to time. The idea was that the customers would have to ask the staff for directions, and the staff could then be so helpful that they’d be able to make more sales. The programmers at Microsoft appear to work on the same general principle, although I don’t know whether their tech support people appreciate the business. What reminded me of this? I went to Windows 7 straight from Windows XP, and at first it seemed like way too many of the commands I used all the time had vanished. The most prominent among these was Add or Remove Programs.
The change isn’t really new
If I’d have used Windows Vista more extensively, I would have gotten used to this change already: the familiar Add or Remove Programs is now found under a Control Panel item called Programs and Features.
Click on the Start Menu, and then click Control Panel in the menu on the right. Then, click on Programs.
NOTE: Although you can click on "Uninstall a program" directly, for the purposes of the tutorial, we’ll examine all the options.
Once you’ve clicked on the Programs icon, you’ll see the Programs window. Click on Programs and Features to move on to the Add and Remove options. Here, you have several choices: you can uninstall a program, turn Windows features on or off, and see the updates Windows has installed and uninstall them if you wish. Click on Programs and Features.
The first window you’ll see is the one that lets you uninstall or change the software you’ve installed on your computer.
Remove, repair, replace and more
When you look at your list of installed programs, you’ll find that each has its own options. Not all software can be changed or repaired. Click once on each program and note what it says in the menu bar above your software list. Here is an example of software that can be changed.
Different programmers manage this differently, so sometimes you’ll see Uninstall/Change as one choice rather than two.
Here is an example of software that can only be removed.
Some software allows you the option to repair an installation that’s gone wrong, which is very useful if something stops working properly. You will most likely need your original installation disk or downloaded file to make this work properly, so make sure you have that on hand before you begin.
Adding to and Subtracting from Windows
The final option is Turn Windows features on and off. If there’s some Windows option that you chose not to install the first time around, or a feature you never use and want to get rid of, here’s where you can do that. For some changes, you will need your original Windows installation disk, so be sure to have that handy before you begin. And be sure to set a restore point before you do anything else, so you can go back to the way things are now if your installation or uninstallation isn’t to your liking.
A complete tutorial with instructions on how to add or remove stuff from Windows can be found here: How to Add or Remove (Un)Wanted Windows Features, Programs or Apps. Be sure to read it before going ahead with making important changes to your Windows features and programs.
It’s all right there where you need it—only the name has changed
So, even though Microsoft has shuffled things around and renamed them, everything you need to have is still in one place. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same.