Customizing Windows 10

by Volker Weber

The first thing I disabled in Windows 10 was Cortana. Three reasons:

  1. I work bilingual. Cortana does not.
  2. Cortana uses Bing. I don't.
  3. Cortana tries to distract me with Bing news.

Next stop: privacy settings. Lots of privacy settings. Too many privacy settings. Feels like Facebook.

There are more things I want to remove. Things that Microsoft will keep pushing even after I removed them. Here is a list of PowerShell commands to run as administrator:

Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *MicrosoftOfficeHub*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *MicrosoftSolitaire*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *SkypeApp*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *3DBuilder*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingFinance*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingFood*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingHealth*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingNews*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingSports*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *BingTravel*|remove-appxpackage
Get-AppxPackage|? name -like *XboxApp*|remove-appxpackage

The first three remove "Get Office", "Get Skype" and the Solitaire Collection. The Bing entries remove all MSN apps besides Weather and the final one removes the Xbox app, which you can't even remove manually. The internal names for the MSN apps are stil Bing, a brand Microsoft is de-emphasizing. The music and video apps are still called Zune. ;-)

All of these app will continue to come back with each Windows update. So you want to run the commands as a PowerShell script.

Comments

That they use the old branding is IMHO a technical limitation, you can't change the app identifier with an update. I think Get Office will replace the Office Hub on Windows Phone - hence the name.

Max Nierbauer, 2015-08-09

I have installed Windows 10 on five different machines since it is available (3x Home, 2 x Pro), have removed most of the apps from your list from all of these machines and not a single one of them came back after updates.

Marc Henkel, 2015-08-09

Danke, Volker. Jetzt habe ich eine saubere VM. :)

Jean Pierre Wenzel, 2015-08-09

Marc, that is really great. Congratulations.

I removed OfficeHub yesterday. Today it was back with a spam message in Action Center: "Try Office 365 for one month".

Volker Weber, 2015-08-09

Volker, did you disbale automatic updates for store apps (login to Win10 using MS account, open store app, go to settings)?

Wolfgang Sommergut, 2015-08-11

No, I did not. I want the store to update installed apps. I don't want it to install apps on its own.

Volker Weber, 2015-08-11

I do not see this behavior either... At least, you are able to remove these apps on Windows. Would love to have a similar script for the (unused) Apple rubbish apps on my iPhone - I can only put them in a folder and move them to the darkest corner of my start screen ;).

Ingo Seifert, 2015-08-11

Ah, the bilingual thing is so true. I work trilingually, and it's a pain to have to change keyboard settings (in the case of iPhone) in case I message to someone else.

Andrew Magerman, 2015-08-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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