Optional Features allow you to install additional functionalities on your computers such as Hyper-V, Windows Subsystem for Linux, Windows Hello Face, Windows Developer Mode, and much more.
Many of these features are either for a very specific use case or far too advanced for a common user, which, when not configured properly, can leave your PC vulnerable or cause performance issues. Thus, they are not included in the regular setup.
Still, installing an Optional Feature is typically a simple process that can be achieved using the Settings app. However, in the rare case that you are not able to install them and are facing a blank window or an error, simply follow the instructions below to resolve the issue.
1. Update Windows
One of the most elementary and effective methods to resolve the majority of issues is to make sure your system is up to date.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile.
After that, click on the ‘Windows Update’ tile from the left sidebar to proceed.
Then, from the right section of the window, click on the ‘Check for updates’ button. Otherwise, click on the ‘Download & Install’ button to download the updates. When the updates are installed, click ‘Restart Now’ to restart your computer and apply the changes.
Once the system restarts, check if the issue was resolved. Otherwise, move on to the next fix.
2. Run DISM and SFC Scan
Deployment Image Servicing and Management scans will check and repair the existing operating system files installed on your device along with other system files currently on your PC. This has been known to fix the issue for many users.
Head to the Start Menu and type Terminal to search for it. Then, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option from the context menu to proceed.
Next, if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘chevron’ (downward arrow) icon and click on the ‘Command Prompt’ option.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will restore the currently installed OS image on your device.
Once completed, type or copy+paste the following command to check and repair the system files on your PC.
Once you receive the scan successful message, restart your PC and check if this method resolved the issue.
3. Change Windows Module Installer Service Startup
Another reason for not being able to install optional features is when the Windows Module Installer Service’s startup is set to manual. You can simply set it to ‘Automatic’ and it should resolve your issue.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Services to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Services’ tile to proceed.
Next, scroll to locate and double-click on the ‘Windows Modules Installer’ service to proceed. This will open a new window on your screen.
Then, click on the dropdown menu following the ‘Startup type’ option and select the ‘Automatic’ option. Finally, click on the ‘Apply and ‘OK’ buttons respectively.
Once done, restart your PC to let the changes take effect and check if the problem persists.
4. Roll Back to a System Restore Point
If you have a reason to believe that a recent software upgrade or a third-party software installation might be the culprit behind the issue, you can roll back to a system restore point if you have one.
Head to the Start Menu and type Control to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile to proceed.
After that, locate and click on the ‘Recovery’ tile from the grid of icons.
Next, click on the ‘Open System Restore’ option from the list. This will open a separate window on your screen.
From the separately opened window, click on the ‘Next’ button.
All created system restore points will be listed on the screen. Click to select the desired one and then click on the ‘Next’ button to initiate the rolling back process.
Next, a list of drives that will be impacted by the rollback will be displayed, along with the timestamp of the restore point created. You can also check the programs that will be affected; click on the ‘Scan for the affected programs’ button. A new window will appear on the screen.
On the new window, you can view the programs that will be deleted and the ones that will be restored (since no programs will be affected on the test PC, the list in the screenshot below is empty). Click on the ‘Close’ button to navigate to the previous window.
Finally, click on the ‘Finish’ button to initiate the rollback process.
Once the rollback is complete, check if you can install the optional features. Otherwise, move on to the next fix.
5. Try Creating a New Administrator Account
If everything else has failed, try adding a new administrator account and installing features on your PC using that.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘Accounts’ tab from the left sidebar to continue.
Then, on the right section of the window, locate and click on the ‘Other users’ tile.
Then, click on the ‘Add account’ button to continue. This will open a new window on the screen.
Enter the email address linked to a Microsoft account other than the email address you’re using for the current user account and click on the ‘Next’ button.
Your PC will be required to have an active internet connection when logging in for the first time to the new user account. Click on the ‘Finish’ button.
Since by default all the secondary account(s) are standard account(s), you will need to change them into administrator accounts. Head to the Users settings page and click on the user tile you just added to expand it. Then, click on the ‘Change account type’ button.
Then, select the ‘Administrator’ option from the dropdown menu and click on the ‘OK’ button to apply the changes.
Switch to the new administrator account you just created and try installing the optional features. They should get installed now.
There you go, people. Use the above-mentioned methods to get the optional features working again on your Windows 11 PC.