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How to remove pre-installed and suggested apps in Windows 10

Among all the new features and improvements, one of the biggest changes with Windows 10 is Microsoft alternating its way on how it makes money with its operating system. For the first time, the software giant is offering its operating system free of charge, which is also helping to boost the adoption rate to all new highs.

However, the term "free" comes with various restrictions, which makes Windows 10 not entirely free. Microsoft will let you install its new operating system at no extra cost as long you're upgrading a computer already running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.x. In addition, the software giant is also letting PC manufacturers install Windows 10 for free on qualifying devices, which also helps to reduce prices and stay competitive.

There is another reason the operating system is free. It's because Microsoft plans to make up some of the difference by luring customers to use its cloud services, such as OneDrive, Office, and Skype, and selling Store apps.

One strategy currently in place is bundling Windows 10 with some promotional apps and offering app suggestions based on your operating system usage. In this article, we'll be listing a few things that can be considered advertising that you can remove to make your Windows 10 experience a little better.

Uninstalling promotional apps from Windows 10

When you install or boot Windows 10 for the first time, you will notice a few apps pre-installed by default on the Start menu. These apps include the Get Office, Get Skype, Phone Companion, and Candy Crush. They not only waste space, but they can be a distraction, especially the Get Office app that keeps prompting you to jump into Office 365. It will stay installed even after setting up the latest version of Office suite.

Fortunately, if you know where to look, you can easily get rid of most of the default promotional apps bundled in Windows 10. Just follow the steps below:

1- Use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

2- Navigate through System and go to Apps & features.

3- On Apps & features you'll see a list of all your desktop and Store apps currently installed on your system. Look for the Get Office app, click on the app, and then click the Uninstall button to finish the removal.

4- Repeat the previous step for the remaining promotional apps, such as Get Skype, Phone Companion, and Candy Crush.

While on Apps & features, you can also uninstall other apps that you might not need, including 3D Builder, Microsoft Wi-Fi, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Get Started, and others.

Disabling app suggestions from the Start menu

The new operating system also includes a new feature that shows app suggestions in Start. Many could consider this tactic just straight advertising more than Microsoft trying to help you discover new apps. (However, it does help the ecosystem and developers get their apps downloaded and used. Remember, the whole model of Windows 10 and UWP depends on the assumption that you will discover and use Windows apps. App discovery is a major problem that this feature tries to solve).

You can disable Windows Store app suggestions by doing the following:

1- Use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

2- Navigate through Personalization and go to Start.

3- While in Start, make sure the Occasionally show suggestions in Start is turned Off.

How much do you mind Microsoft including these kind promotional apps? Do you find them useful and prefer them or find them annoying and want to disable them? How would you solve the app discovery problem that plagues all app stores?

Let us know in the comments below!

More resources

If you want to read more about Windows 10, make sure you check these resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

45 Comments
  • App suggestions are quiet useful. Doesn't distract much though, especially when store doesn't let u find some cool apps so easily.
  • I agree. But I like to remove get office!
  • Preinstalled apps don't bother me much on W10 as they are so easy to uninstall.
  • I Like app suggestions. I would love if it starts to change the app every other hour or day.
  • You don't need to go to settings, you can just find them in the app list and right click on them.
  • Exactly... this article is a bit confusing because it seems to imply otherwise.
  • I tried that on Solitaire and it didn't uninstall it, in fact it even updated again when I opened up the store.
  • Had similar problems had to go into storesense.
  • I thought that was an odd suggestion, but I was thinking perhaps they knew something I didn't know.
  • The most offending app is the Phone Companion, it boils my blood every time I see the Windows phone listed as "The perfect pair".
  • Really? How is a fact annoying? That is a fantastic pairing!
  • How is it a fantastic pairing? You can't send SMS from the PC except if you have Cortana turned on both PC and phone. And then the Messaging and Call apps only work with Skype. When Cortana will come to Android and iOS only then we'll see the perfect pairing.. but not for Windows phone.
  • I can only laugh at that. Why do you think it is a 'fantastic' pairing? Any purpose it has served for you? The 'Windows Phone' app of Windows 8/8.1 did a lot more than this like automatic photo transfer without bothering. You just needed to connect the phone.
  • No offense but the statement is true. Same when u use iphone and a mac for instance
  • Yeah. The phone companion app is actually a little useful, but I can see why a lot of people would uninstall it.
  • Default apps in w10 are just fine, leave 'em
  • To you maybe,not for all users.
  • Default apps do not belong in Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, it's annoying setting up point of sale terminals when you have a wad of apps preinstalled or 'suggestions' about them. Who plays Candy Crush while ringing up sales? Sure it can be removed but that should not be installed by default!
  • Why would you get rid of Phone Companion??
  • Because it doesn't do anything, doesn't provide any help
  • Thanks. I've never actually used it, I thought it was a syncing program. Looks like it's far from that!!!
  • I dont want to use apps at all in windows 10 I prefer the usual software just like windows 7 lol
  • Same here. The 'apps' seems weaker than the 'applications' or programs. ;) And they actually are.
  • I'd rather pay full price for the OS and never get any ads/promotional apps. This includes ads on any of their services like Outlook.com. The product key should be tied with the user's Microsoft account so it could be detected. Ads on television and billboards are enough.
  • Why has he attracted negative votes? It just shows the mindset of some commenters on this site. And that's not a good sign. I don't want ads on my PC as well. That's why I uninstalled 'apps' like Solitaire and Get 'X'.
  • Suggestions =/= Ads
  • It's implied that "suggestions" are actually app promotions, which would be ads in the broad sense.
  • Interesting point. Has there been any word as to whether developers can pay to have their apps appear as suggestions?
  • Great stuff, thanks! Does this stop the "Get Skype" etc. apps from reinstalling though? I've been able to right click and uninstall them from the Start Menu before yet they're back the next day each time. One thing I'd really like to hear an updated set of instructions for would be to uninstall built-in apps like Mail and Messaging. Both are broken on my SP3 and I've tried most of the ways I've found to uninstall them and it's failed, leaving me unable to access my mail using the app and unable to message via Skype without having to reinstall Skype desktop. :S
  • Preinstalled apps with w10 are no problem because they are easily removed. The problem is the preinstalled crapware that your pc manufacturer put there, like Pokki. That's the real devil's work to get rid of.
  • Have you tried PowerShell? Just in case.
  • Pokki is a win32 executable program.
  • I eventually managed to manually remove it, but I have multiple user accounts which made it more difficult. Seemed to keep coming back via the leftovers in other accounts.
  • I've discovered some quite interesting apps with suggested apps and no one is forced to buy an app so I've no problem with it.
  • Windows 10 isn't free, but the UPGRADE to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1 is.
  • Any way to remove OneNote? I have the Office 365 version, but any time I try to open a notebook, it opens it in the app version... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 1. open powershell with admin. 2. enter "Get-AppxPackage | Where-Object {$_.Name -match 'OneNote' } | Remove-AppxPackage" this trick work well other pre-install app (ex:XBox, Mail, Groove...)
  • They will keep reinstalling each build update.
  • They reinstall everyone I delete them turn off pc and then when turning it back on boom! There they are again, recently added. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Next tip how to uninstall app updates(via powershill) that cause harm
  • You will not see that on this website. For some obvious reasons.
  • Well, considering "a free upgrade" does not equate "a free product," them putting - basically - ads in the start menu is kind of pathetic.
  • What's pathetic and horrid and annoying is that after I uninstall them they reinstall all over again. Highly annoying. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I removed Xbox app!
  • Get office, Get Skype two most annoying apps. Microsoft Wi-Fi is next. I think other Store apps should be there like Microsoft solitaire collection, candy crush. They will let the people know that there is an app store on Windows. I have seen many people who are completely blank about Windows store on Windows 8.1 or 10. App suggestions is the most helpful.