Not everybody is keen on using the Internet Explorer or the Windows Media Player as his tools of choice. More often than not, they just push themselves in the way of more advanced software. Here's how you can disable them for good.

It probably isn't too bold a claim to say that the Internet Explorer isn't necessarily the most popular of browsers. In the same fashion, many PC users have long ditched the Windows Media Player in favour of more sophisticated media software. And yet, whether it be due to a weird hyperlink or an unusual file extension, both often manage to find their way back into our lives again by opening themselves unwanted. This doesn't have to happen, though. What most users aren't aware of: They can both be completely deactivated quite easily. See also: How to optimize Windows 8 for older hardware

Disable Windows functions

First, navigate into your control panel and click on "Programs and Features". Alternatively, simply hold down the Windows-key + R and enter "Appwiz.cpl" to enter this menu directly. Search on the left side of the window for "Turn Windows features on or off" and click on it. You might be asked to confirm your administrator rights before continuing on. Once inside, you will now see a full list of all Windows features that can be switched off. Simply uncheck the boxes in front of them to disable all superfluous services. To confirm your changes, click on "OK" and leave the control panel, but note that this might take Windows a couple of seconds.

In case that you unexpectedly change your mind about a tool later, simply return to the control panel and re-check the box of whichever service you disabled earlier. Be aware, however, that Windows might need its installation or service pack DVD for this process in some instances.