Stop Windows 10 Enterprise / Windows 10 Pro from advertising or installing unwanted apps

This is an updated and shorter version of the previous article How Windows 10 Pro installs unwanted apps (Candy Crush, Twitter, Minecraft, Flipboard, Photoshop Express, …) and how to stop it.

By default Windows 10 Pro and even Enterprise advertise and install unwanted apps, such as Candy Crush, etc. There are many guides on how to stop Windows 10 from doing so, but most of them are not recommended in a business environment or simply won’t work (see previous article). In this article I will describe how to prevent Windows 10 from advertising or installing unwanted apps in a clean and reversible way.

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Provisioned App Packages in Windows 10 Enterprise / Windows 10 Pro

Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise and Microsoft Windows 10 Pro ship with a number of provisioned app packages. Whenever a user signs into a computer for the first time, Windows will register (read: install) all each provisioned app in the newly created user profile.

For listing the provisioned app packages on your computer or an offline image, use the PowerShell Cmdlet Get-AppxProvisionedPackage.

# Get all provisioned app packages on your computer
Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | select DisplayName | sort DisplayName

# Get all provisioned app packages in an offline image
Mount-WindowsImage -ImagePath .\Windows-10-ISO\sources\install.wim -Path .\mountpoint\ -Name "Windows 10 Enterprise"
Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Path .\mountpoint\ | select DisplayName | sort DisplayName

For remove provisioned app packages from your computer or an offline image, use the PowerShell Cmdlet Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage.

# Remove a provisioned package from your computer. This does not remove the app from existing user profiles.
Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online -PackageName microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_16005.10730.20053.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe

# To remove a provisioned app AND also remove it from each user profile, add the `-AllUsers` parameter.
Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online -AllUsers -PackageName microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_16005.10730.20053.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe

# Remove a provisioned app from an offline image.
Mount-WindowsImage -ImagePath .\Windows-10-ISO\sources\install.wim -Path .\mountpoint\ -Name "Windows 10 Enterprise"
Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Path .\mountpoint\ -PackageName microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_16005.10730.20053.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe

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Enabling transparent SMB authentication between your Microsoft Account and your Synology DiskStation

One thing that annoyed me quite a bit after upgrading to Windows 10 and using a Microsoft Account was, that now I had to actively provide credentials to access the SMB shares on my Synology DiskStation. Whereas before I was able to access the share without being asked to enter a username and password. For some idiotic reason, simply ticking that checkbox that says “Remeber my credentials” didn’t satisfy me. Today, after almost three years (the TP was release on 1st October 2014), I found the embarassingly easy solution.

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How Windows 10 Pro installs unwanted apps (Candy Crush) and how to stop it

Updated on 24th November 2017: This article applies to version 1607, 1703, 1709.

With the Windows 10 Pro version 1607 update – also know as the Anniversary Update – Microsoft further strips small and medium businesses from important Group Policy settings. This iteration of the operating system makes it really tedious to provide a clean desktop to my customers and their users, unless they upgrade to the Enterprise edition. This is not financially viable for the majority of them, but that is another matter …

In this article I will focus on the options you have to keep your Windows 10 Pro edition from showing or even installing unwanted apps. If you ever wondered how to keep Candy Crush and other Windows Apps out of your business, or why your methods won’t work with the Anniversary Update anymore, this article is for you.

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Provisioned Packages (Provisioned Apps) in Windows 10 Pro

Click here to get to the updated article.

Updated on 24th October 2017

By default Microsoft Windows 10 Pro ships with a number of provisioned app packages. Whenever a user signs into a computer for the first time, Windows will register (read: installed) all provisioned apps in the newly created user profile.

For listing the provisioned app packages on your computer, use the PowerShell Cmdlet Get-AppxProvisionedPackage.

Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | Select DisplayName | Sort DisplayName

Continue reading “Provisioned Packages (Provisioned Apps) in Windows 10 Pro”