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Author Topic: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications  (Read 1266 times)

aesmith

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Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« on: December 02, 2018, 11:01:59 AM »

Hi,
I wondered if anyone has had any luck uninstalling the default junk that Microsoft loads up Windows 10 with?  I'm trying to set up a standard build for work laptops, these will be work PCs so definitely don't need all the toys.  Will have our standard version of Office, so I want rid of the "Get Office" application, and we'll be using Outlook for email so don't want another email application lying around wanting to be the default.

I've had mixed results, some applications have gone but others simply don't delete.  For example there's something called "3D Builder.  This can be uninstalled from the control panel, which then removes it from the control panel.  However it's still there in the start menu and if you run it, the program reappears in control panel. 

I've seen recommendations to use Powershell commands similar to  Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name *Office.Sway* | Remove-AppxPackage as recommended in various articles and blogs.  They seem to do nothing, although there's no error the applications are not removed.

Any ideas (other then my strong impulse which is to go back to Windows 7)

Thanks, Tony S
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chenks

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 11:27:08 AM »

i assume you're using the appropriate system deployment tools to build a "standard image"?
or are you just doing this manually and then going to clone your build on to every device?
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 11:41:50 AM »

They're identical models so can just be cloned.   At least that's what we used to do with Windows 7, only needing to use any of the sysprep stuff to deploy to dissimilar hardware.  So I haven't looked at the deployment tools.  Is there a way do to the initial install missing off this stuff?  I've starting from bog standard Enterprise ISO with Enterprise licence key, then there are a couple of device drivers needed from HP for stuff that Windows doesn't automatically detect.

Since my last post I just tried reboot immediately after attempted removal, I note that Calendar, Camera, Mail, Onenote are all back on the start menu flagged "New", but Get Office, Sway and Xbox have all disappeared this time.
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Weaver

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 11:46:24 AM »

Itís pretty easy to remove links so users donít see the apps. Just delete the .lnk files in a script. You might want to do it properly tho and prevent the users from having any cunning way to run certain things. So you could just delete the .exeís in question, or whatever they are. That will of course leave some junk lying round, maybe other files and stuff in the registry. You may or may not care about that minor remaining pollution.

Iím assuming that the .exes will not get auto-restored by magic? If they do, which I would be surprised at, then we would need to go to my Plan B.
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parkdale

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 11:58:39 AM »

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chenks

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 12:07:13 PM »

They're identical models so can just be cloned.   At least that's what we used to do with Windows 7

regardless, it's not really the way you "should" be doing it.
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 01:03:23 PM »

Itís pretty easy to remove links so users donít see the apps. Just delete the .lnk files in a script. You might want to do it properly tho and prevent the users from having any cunning way to run certain things. So you could just delete the .exeís in question, or whatever they are. That will of course leave some junk lying round, maybe other files and stuff in the registry. You may or may not care about that minor remaining pollution.

I hate Windows 10.  In theory what you say should be correct, but I can't even find where the "all apps" menu is defined.  If I look in either "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" or "%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" then these persistent applications don't appear in either.

For most of the junk removing from the start menu would suffice, but I'm concerned that where we want to use our own application then having the default Windows 10 one still active might cause some conflicts.  For this reason I think we need rid of Mail, Calender, People, Phone at the very least.  I'd prefer to get rid of Edge as well as I understand that links in email get opened by Edge whatever you have as default browser.  If that behavior could be removed there'd be no harm leaving Edge still accessible.   I've just read a note about creating a custom start menu and uploading that as default.  That might help as well, even if I can't remove the junk from the actual start menu I could maybe edit the xml file before uploading.
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chenks

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 01:21:38 PM »

the differences between the Pro and Enterprise versions are minimal really. only real difference are in the security side of things.
are you using a group policy to restrict access and to set a "standard desktop" ?
are these devices on a domain? or just stand-alone devices?

you're probably not going to the desired end-result in the way you are trying to do it though.
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 02:08:51 PM »

We were thinking standalone.  We don't really have AD since up till now all the technical staff have used Macs.  When you say I'm not going to get the result I want, are you referring to the cloning process?   If so then at this stage that's a secondary consideration.  If I can come up with a standard build then if need be I could write up the steps needed to create this from a clean install, hopefully using same saved batch files or .reg files to help ease the process.  The PCs are not going to be locked down, but I want them to start off the same so that if (when) we find an issue the solution will be the same for all.

What way would you recommend?   Bearing mind we're a networking company not AD or PC specialists, although we are a Microsoft partner.

Really I think if I could just get one machine to behave itself that would be a step in the right direction. 
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jelv

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 12:30:42 AM »

I hate Windows 10.  In theory what you say should be correct, but I can't even find where the "all apps" menu is defined.  If I look in either "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" or "%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" then these persistent applications don't appear in either.

Is C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs what you want?
If you mean the alphabetical list isn't that all installed programs?

Edit:Is it a merge of the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, the directory I've given above and %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 12:43:29 AM by jelv »
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 10:59:47 AM »

Cheers.  Those three directories all seem to contain stuff related to conventional applications, none of them have links for the built-in stuff like Mail, Xbox etc.

I think I might have found something,  apparently there's a setting to switch off what Microsoft calls Consumer Features.  This seemed to take effect on the W10 build at home, will need to try on this laptop now ...

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent]
"DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures"=dword:00000001
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 06:35:03 PM »

Well I think we finally sorted it, so far as it seems possible to sort Windows 10.  It turns out that removing the applications with Power Shell, even using the "-allusers" option, only removes them from existing accounts.  When a new user is created, MS forces all the junk back again.  So for each application it needs two PS commands, one to remove it's provisioning and one to remove the application instances.

I've got one of the laptops in service now, and it's OK, but the amount of manpower expended simply to remove junk that has no business on a professional PC probably means it would have been quite a saving to have bought new Macs.
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chenks

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 07:07:56 PM »

or jusr use group policy to apply the conditions to any user on the system.
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aesmith

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2018, 06:55:45 AM »

Is that actually possible?   There are zillions of articles with heading such as "Use GPO to remove Windows 10 apps" but all those that I've actually read actually end up describing using PS, for example someone trying and failing to run a bunch of PS commands via GPO, or something relatively trivial like switching off consumer features.   Can you save me some time by pointing to the actual process via GPO?   
Thanks, Tony S
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vultura

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Re: Windows 10 - Remove Default Applications
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2019, 11:08:59 PM »

O&O software of Shutup10 fame have a new free tool for removing unwanted apps from Windows 10 that some might find useful.

https://www.oo-software.com/en/ooappbuster
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