Turn Windows Features On or Off: “Please wait…”

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

The “Turn Windows Features On or Off” window is a very useful tool in Windows that allows you to turn on or off different parts of the operating system (because some features are not turned on by default). But sometimes, you might open it and just see a “Please wait…” message (if you’re on Windows 11) or a blank screen (if you’re on Windows 10) and none of the features show up.

This can be quite annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry to change some settings. In this guide, we’ll show you different ways to solve the “Please wait…” problem in Windows Features so the features can show up again.

Turn Windows Features on or off please wait

How to fix Windows Features showing “Please wait” or blank issue

Here are some steps you can try if your “Turn Windows Features On or Off” window is stuck on “Please wait” or shows nothing at all in Windows 11 or Windows 10. Start with the first one and keep trying until you fix the problem.

Useful tip: 30+ Windows 11 services you can disable for better gaming performance

Wait it out

Before messing with other settings and possibly causing more issues, it might be a good idea to just wait a bit. Sometimes, the window takes more time than usual to finish loading everything. This is especially true if your computer isn’t fast enough (slow HDD or weak CPU). So, try to give it 5-10 minutes and check back again to see if the features have shown up.

Turn Windows Features on or off Windows 11

Run System File Check

System File Check (SFC) is this cool tool built into Windows that looks for and fixes messed-up system files, automatically. Running SFC can help get rid of the “Please wait…” issue by fixing any files that may be causing issues.

To use SFC in Windows 11 or 10, do this:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.Command Prompt Run as Administrator
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” and hit Enter.
  3. Wait until it’s done.SFC scannow Windows 11
  4. Restart your computer.

After it’s finished, SFC will tell you if it found and fixed any problems. If it did find some, they should be fixed now. Restart your computer and see if the Windows Features window is working right.

Run Deployment Image Servicing and Management

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is another go-to tool in Windows that can repair and restore bad system files. There is a chance that using DISM might solve the “Turn Windows Features on or off; please wait” problem if there are truly any broken system files.

To use DISM in Windows 11/10, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.Command Prompt Run as Administrator
  2. Type “dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth” and hit Enter.
  3. Hang tight until it finishes.
  4. Type “dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” and hit Enter.Run DISM Windows 11
  5. Wait again for it to finish.
  6. Restart your computer.

DISM will first check the Windows image for any corruption and then try to fix it using the Windows image. This might take a while, but once it’s done, restart your computer and see if the Windows Features window is showing everything properly.

Copy “optionalfeatures.exe” from another computer

The problem can sometimes be due to a corrupted “optionalfeatures.exe” file itself. You can try to copy this file from another computer (that doesn’t have the same issue) that’s running the same Windows version and build as yours, and paste it onto your computer. This might solve the problem if that file is truly bad.

  1. On the working computer, go to “C:\Windows\System32.”
  2. Copy the “optionalfeatures.exe” file to a USB drive.
  3. Paste it into “C:\Windows\System32” on the computer with the issue.Turn Windows Features on or off blank
  4. Restart your computer.

Make sure to only get the file from a trusted computer, not from the internet, to avoid security risks.

Check if Windows Modules Installer service is running

Windows Modules Installer is a service in Windows that takes care of updates and adding or removing parts of Windows. If it’s not working, you might not see anything when you try to turn Windows features on or off. You’ll just get a blank screen or a “please wait” message.

  1. Hit the Start button and look for “Services.msc“.
  2. Open “Services” from what pops up.Open Services in Windows 11
  3. Find the “Windows Modules Installer” service and see if it says “Running.”
  4. If it’s not running, right-click on it and hit “Start.”Enable Windows Modules Installer
  5. Then, restart your computer.

After your computer comes back on, check if you can see the Windows features correctly. If not, there might be other things to try.

Keep in mind, if the service is on “Manual” or “Disabled,” it might not start by itself. You might want to set it to “Automatic” so it always starts with your computer. Just right-click the service, go to “Properties,” and set “Startup type” to “Automatic.”

Windows Modules Installer Windows 11

Try to temporarily disable your antivirus software

Your antivirus program can sometimes affect how Windows features work. It might be the reason that is causing the “Please wait…” message or a blank window. To see if that’s what’s causing the problem, you can try turning off your antivirus software for a bit and see.

  1. Find your antivirus icon on the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Right-click it and choose “Disable” or “Turn off” from the menu that appears.Disable Antivirus Software
  3. Select to turn it off for a little while.
  4. Now, try opening the Windows features window again to see if it’s working.
  5. Don’t forget to turn your antivirus back on when you’re done checking.

Run Windows Update

Missing updates or old files might also cause trouble with the Windows Features window. Running Windows Update makes sure you have the latest fixes and updates, which might solve the problem.

Here’s how to run Windows Update:

  1. Press Windows + i to open Settings.
  2. Choose “Windows Update” from the menu on the left.
  3. Click “Check for updates.”Check for Windows Update
  4. Download and install any updates it finds.
  5. Restart your computer.

Reset or Reinstall Windows 11 or 10

If nothing else works and you really need the feature that’s missing, you might have to reset or reinstall Windows.

When resetting your Windows, you will get to choose whether to keep your files or delete them. But even so, you should back up your stuff just in case.

Reset Windows 11

If resetting doesn’t do the trick, reinstalling Windows starts you off with a clean slate. This means wiping your hard drive and putting a new version of Windows on it. Backing up is even more important here.

Some final notes

These steps might help with the “Turn Windows Features on or off please wait” problem, but they might not work for everyone. Sometimes, the issue is beyond what these tips can fix, like software conflicts or compatibility problems.

If you’re not sure about any steps, especially ones that involve doing things you’re not familiar with, getting help from someone who knows what they’re doing is a good idea. A tech expert can find and fix the problem safely and quickly.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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