In the recent preview builds of Windows 11, a hidden option has emerged, hinting at the potential removal of artificial intelligence (AI) functionalities within the operating system. This new feature, when activated, reveals the ‘AI Components’ category in the Windows Settings app.
Exploring the AI Components Settings
Within this category, users can purportedly “view and remove AI components installed in Windows.” Presently, the listed components include Microsoft Store, Help, Phone Link, Windows Security, and Xbox Game Bar, although they remain unremovable. It appears that this feature might still be in development, showcasing Microsoft’s readiness to provide users with the ability to eliminate certain AI components through standard means.
Impending Windows Update and AI Features
Microsoft is actively developing a major 2024 Windows update packed with AI-enhanced features. These enhancements promise to elevate search experiences, introduce novel mechanisms for image and video scaling, among other advancements. The forthcoming ability to remove these components could be welcome news for users uninterested in utilizing all these functionalities. However, the extent of control users will have remains uncertain.
Activating the Hidden Option
For users of Windows 11 Preview Build 26016, enabling this concealed option is feasible using the third-party utility ViveTool. A few simple steps involving command-line operations through ViveTool allow access to the ‘AI Components’ category in Windows Settings. While certain components might remain irremovable, the prospect of increased customization seems promising.
While Windows Copilot, operating from the cloud, may not be removable, Microsoft’s preparation of a local version suggests upcoming advancements in the Hudson Valley version, notes NIXSolutions. This hints at the potential elimination of Copilot and numerous other innovations in this upcoming release.
The pathway to potentially remove select AI components in Windows 11 offers users a glimpse into increased control and customization within the OS, yet the full scope of this functionality remains to be seen.