Internet Explorer 11, Windows Scan and Fax, & XPS Services/Viewer: any reasons to keep them?

Axel PC

Well-Known Member
I've been cleaning up files and finding duplicates etc on the PC today. And I was wondering why I still have IE 11, Windows Fax and Scan, and XPS Services/Viewer.


I use Firefox (primary) and Chrome. I open up Edge now and then to check out any updates (and eagerly waiting for third party extension support) But stopped using IE on personal computers years ago. I don't have any corporate legacy software that requires IE, like many corporation do for their proprietary software or corporate intranets.

I haven't sent a fax in, I can't remember. All my business dealings accept signed/scanned pdfs via email. I use the Windows Store Scan and my printers scanning software depending on my scanning needs.

And I've NEVER used XPS. Even back when Windows 7 first came out.

So I'd really like to get ya'lls input on these. Has anyone uninstalled theses? Just left them there since they have a tiny footprint? As far as I know, none of these run in the background, maybe some part/service that affects IE.

So yeah, serious Geek question here. This demand serious conversation! :rolleyes:

Hi! You mess with uncle Bill's IE and you'll get into big trouble. Are you wanting to turn them off or are you wanting to delete them?
What problem are they causing??;):) You trying to speed up start up time? Have a look here!
StartUpLITE - Speed Up Windows Startup & Boot Time

Axel PC

Well-Known Member
What's up holdum33!

No, I'm not trying to speed up my PC, tweak it or anything like that. Just wondering if it's worth keeping them really. Space isn't an issue now a days. Most people have 750GB - 1TB HDs now, or more than 1 HD installed. Just curious what other Geek minded people have done with these programs and any reasons they have for keeping/dumping them. Just Nerd Lip brother!

Hi I understand! I'm a bit of a freak having a squeaky clean PC myself. I'm sure other members will comment later!;)
Are you sure they can be deleted?? Or just turned off! I remember getting my PC in a big mess deleting duplicate files one time.
I don't mess them any more. Here's a excellent freeware that will find all your files. I love this App. I use it when uninstalling programs I no longer want that REVO leaves behind. It will find them and it's easy to use! Real easy to find dups!
Everything Search Engine


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Windows Features can be turned on or off. Even when they are off the installers are still present on your system and only take of hard drive space. You can completely remove features, but only in the server editions.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Hi lobo,
Interesting questions.:) Here's a couple of links for you that explain what these 3 services do:

Windows Fax and Scan


Now with that being said, doing some quick searching of course I didn't find an explicit answer to your question of whether they are needed or not, and your other question about whether or not they can be uninstalled OR NOT.:skull: I also gather this isn't a performance tweak request or even a storage space reclamation issue for you, but just a knowledge question!:nerdie:

I have a lot of those, and now that I'm retired for the most part I can answer more of those questions these days than I have to ask! <grin>.:)

My experience with IE going all the way back to IE1.0 is that in the old days prior to about IE9, you could pick and choose these options from the Windows Features pick list and remove or add them back at your whim. However, with the advent of Win7x/8x and the introduction of IE9, IE10, and now IE11 (and Edge = ersatz IE12), the OS kernel includes these newer versions of IE right in the OS, and repair or removal is generally considered to be impossible.:down:

To my knowledge, Microsoft has continued to keep a number of applets for legacy compatibility reasons that are completely useless with the complete OS level redesign of IE!o_O One of those applets is the Windows Features applet. IMO this could pretty much be eliminated, and many people still use this applet to try and fine-tune their PC's to make them run "leaner-and-cleaner" as holdum mentions. Lots of us Geeks do this sort of thing, and there's even this competitive thing going around forums these days to see who has the cleanest system (talking about you Gary!!). This is really a good thing, but as OCD as I am, I just gave up doing this due to the pareto principle of limiting returns. If I attempted to spend all my free time nailing down the 20% of Windows services or background processes running on my computer to completely eliminate them to 0%, I'd never have time to repair customer computers. Or go the bank, or grocery shopping, take a walk or a drive, or anything. My opinion on these particular services is that if you were running IE8 or older, you could still play with the features applet and tune your startup profile, and if you were on Vista or XP that would be fine. But if you're running on the new Kernel of W10 which is as you know basically the W8.1 kernel, I think it's a waste of time. You might be able to stop or even remove some of these individual services, but the cost to system stability will be tremendous in my experience. You can certainly try it, though I wouldn't suggest trying it on your "daily-driver" machine, but rather on a test machine (I have a dedicated W10 machine with multiple hard drives that I use for this sort of thing). Mike H. and I did this 2 years ago when we signed up to be W10 Insider Testers; and it's been great since if I uncheck a box in some deeply hidden W10 option somewhere and the thing BSODs, I still have use of my main computer to facebook my friends about what a stupid thing I just did! Ha!:rofl:

So, my advice here my friend is that if you're going to mess with that Features applet on W10, do it on a Test Machine! :nerdie:

Hopefully, the links above at least tell you about what those items are; my opinion is to just leave them there.:noway:


Axel PC

Well-Known Member
holdum333, yeah they can right here on the Programs and Features window on the left side.

Thanks for the link rec! I'm always up checking out a neat software tool. I'll definitely check it out.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
XPS is a file format similar to PDF and it's also used a lot in scanning and faxing. These features, including IE 11, are not required for Windows and can be removed if you're not using them. There is a chance they are re-enabled during Windows build releases.

Axel PC

Well-Known Member
BIGBEARJEDI good post friend!

Like I said I was mainly doing this post for the Geek convo, so I like this. I'm aware of their functionality. Just more curious if anyone was using them and if anyone has uninstalled them. And what their experiences were.

I like your take on it though. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Yeah I too stopped hardcore, BlackViper services tweaking, back when Windows 7 first came out. It does take a lot of your time. And with a wife, kids, and work, it ain't happening lol! And you really do need a separate PC to test on other wise you will kill your main machine, and then spend an entire weekend just getting it to boot again (I've done that, lol).

Good advice brother! I'd be interested on what others think too.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
I worked in a lot of companies that used faxing and scanning and it was a big part of the business. In big companies you will almost always see them using third party software for these functions. Most people use the TIFF format for scanning and TIFF or PDF for fax. As a corporate IT guy we've never removed these services just because it doesn't really have much of an impact on the performance of the client workstations and they're not much of a security risk.

BTW if you want to test you can always use virtualbox since it's free and supports snapshots, so you can revert your VM in about 5 seconds. That's how I support people on here.

Hey @LoboVerde ! Your first reply was about cleaning up dups. I'm sure your aware that CC leaner has a tool.
I'm not recommending using it however. Give it a look. It's one of the best for finding dups IMHO
Don't holler at me if you BSOD.:rofl:
Here's my dups!


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Axel PC

Well-Known Member
@Neemobeer I'm familiar with VirtualBox. I use it for messing around with Linux, Mint specifically. Yeah PC tweaking isn't a thing for corporate IT. Too busy putting out user created fires and trying to explain to high up why what they want to do wont work unless they spring for this or change this or that haha! But now that I finally got Windows 10 Pro to install on my computer. I plan on messing around with Hyper-V, see what it has to offer. Have you used Hyper-V?

@holdum333 man I've been using CCleaner since it was called Crap Cleaner lol. I've never used the duplicate file feature. My problem with duplicates are with pictures that are the same but have different file names. This happened because my wife and I will take the same picture, importing back ups from a long time ago, then importing a back up off the cloud from a HD crash, but the pictures will have different file names. And this scenario with some file documents. So organizing my photos has been a LONG on going project of mine. I might post a thread about this in the future. I'd like to get some input from the forum in this subject.

Hi @LoboVerde I'm not a expert on that Search Everything app, but it's a great program I know you will love it and with your PC knowledge, I'm sure you can tweak it to get it to find what you want.;):worship:
Everything FAQ


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Yes I do manage some Hyper-V systems at work. Hyper-V has come a long way, but I would still say VMWare is a lot better and has a lot more features. Hyper-V is better run on a GUIless server to reduce the overhead.

Axel PC

Well-Known Member
@Neemobeer alright thanks for the reply. I'm not much into the GUIless stuff. But I do want to play around with it some.

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