Sunday, 01 April 2018 18:12

Windows 10 1803 Built-In Apps: What to Keep

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The development of the Spring Creators Update (codenamed "Redstone 4") is now heading towards the finishing line. We can assume that Windows 10 1803 is now feature-complete and as such, I can't stress it highly enough that you should start testing the newest features and functionality in this Semi-Annual Channel release as soon as possible in preparation for broad deployment to the devices in your organization. As part of this process, you should take a look at provisioned apps - most likely you want to ensure that only a choice selection of apps is being installed, whenever a user logs on either for the first time or after installing a feature update on a Windows 10 computer, because app installation directly impacts login times.

Note: This blog post is based on pre-release information and may be subject to change.

In the Spring Creators Update, Microsoft added two new removable apps. The Microsoft.WebMediaExtensions package adds support for the open source OGG container and the Theora and Vorbis codecs in the Edge browser and Windows 10 apps. The implementation is based on the well-known FFmpeg codecs using the FFmpeg Interop library. Additionally, Microsoft developers implemented a redesigned Game Bar experience in Windows 10 via the Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay app which takes full advantage of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and provides streamlined access to core functionalities such as screenshots capture and game clips recording.

Below is a list of applications which are flagged as removable in Windows 10 Spring Creators Update - color coded from Enterprise client standpoint for your convenience.

Please be aware, that the decision which applications should be removed can be tricky and very dependant on your usage scenario. Consider the list below - based on my interactions with various customers - as food for thought.

  • Microsoft.BingWeather
  • Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller
  • Microsoft.GetHelp
  • Microsoft.Getstarted
  • Microsoft.Messaging
  • Microsoft.Microsoft3DViewer
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection
  • Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes
  • Microsoft.MSPaint
  • Microsoft.Office.OneNote (Note: Consider keeping if you are allowing Microsoft Account usage)
  • Microsoft.OneConnect
  • Microsoft.People
  • Microsoft.Print3D
  • Microsoft.SkypeApp
  • Microsoft.StorePurchaseApp
  • Microsoft.Wallet
  • Microsoft.WebMediaExtensions
  • Microsoft.Windows.Photos
  • Microsoft.WindowsAlarms
  • Microsoft.WindowsCalculator
  • Microsoft.WindowsCamera
  • microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps
  • Microsoft.WindowsFeedbackHub
  • Microsoft.WindowsMaps
  • Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder
  • Microsoft.WindowsStore
  • Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI
  • Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay
  • Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay
  • Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider
  • Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay
  • Microsoft.ZuneMusic
  • Microsoft.ZuneVideo

Note: removing the Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI app used to break Microsoft.NET.Native.Runtime.1.7 in earlier Insider Builds. However, using the very latest Insider Build I could not identify any detrimental side effects upon removal of the provisioned app package. See this post for additional details.

Explanation:

  • Green: "Keep"
  • Gold: "Consider keeping in order to ensure full Windows 10 functionality"
  • Red: "Consider removing in an Enterprise scenario".

Important: I am yet to come up with a solid reason why Microsoft flags following apps as removable: DesktopAppInstaller, StorePurchaseApp, WindowsStore.

Note: When you build your image, you should also consider removing Quick Support capability using DISM. See my previous blog on how to remove Windows capabilities for more guidance.

Additional considerations: In a multi-language image you may experience issues localizing built-in apps. See my blog for additional details.

Read 6961 times Last modified on Monday, 02 April 2018 05:46
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  1. Ethenn

Hello and first thank you for sharing your knowledge about OS Deployment with MDT ^^
I have an issue with your powershell script which mount an install.wim and delete Windows Apps from it.

The "Get-AppxProvisionedPackage" cmdlet return me an...

Hello and first thank you for sharing your knowledge about OS Deployment with MDT ^^
I have an issue with your powershell script which mount an install.wim and delete Windows Apps from it.

The "Get-AppxProvisionedPackage" cmdlet return me an error saying that I don't run the last version of the dism, but when I do a dism /? my version is 10.0.17134.1
Which one do you use ?

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  1. Anton Romanyuk

Just to narrow things down: which version of Windows / ADK are you running?

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  1. Ethenndac

When I do a dism /? in a powershell cmd my version is 10.0.17134.1

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  1. Anton Romanyuk

Are you also sporting latest release of the Windows ADK? I tested the script against Windows 10, version 1803 WIM file while also using the latest version of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit.

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  1. Ethenndac

I updated the ADK for 1803 last week my version is 10.1.17134.1

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  1. Anton Romanyuk    Ethenndac

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to reproduce your issue using various Windows 10 systems (starting with Windows 10 1703). I am afraid I won't be of much help here. The only two suggestions I have remaining would be either trying to run the...

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to reproduce your issue using various Windows 10 systems (starting with Windows 10 1703). I am afraid I won't be of much help here. The only two suggestions I have remaining would be either trying to run the script on a different system in an attempt to narrow down the underlying cause or starting the ADK's cmd (which references the DISM version that comes with the ADK) and run the script from there.

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  1. Jose

How can I remove the items completely. Every time I load a new user, things reappear.

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  1. Anton Romanyuk    Jose

How can I remove the items completely. Every time I load a new user, things reappear.


You are most likely not removing provisioned applications: there is a difference between Remove-AppxPackage, which removes an app package (.appx) from a user...

How can I remove the items completely. Every time I load a new user, things reappear.


You are most likely not removing provisioned applications: there is a difference between Remove-AppxPackage, which removes an app package (.appx) from a user account, and Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage which removes app packages (.appx) from a Windows image.

Note: when using AppxProvisionedPackage app packages will not be installed when new user accounts are created. Packages will not be removed from existing user accounts. To remove app packages (.appx) that are not provisioned or to remove a package for a particular user only, use Remove-AppxPackage instead.

Check out my PS script to remove inbox apps from a WIM file or Michael Niehaus' script to remove apps during OSD (or after the fact).

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