In Windows 10, Microsoft is adding a bunch of new visual changes, improvements under the hood, and the new universal Windows apps, which allows programmers to build applications once and run them across devices including PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox.
These apps are the ones we used to know as modern apps, now they’re simply known as “Windows apps” (also you will hear Microsoft refer them as Universal Windows apps), and the operating system comes bundled with many of them, such as Mail and Calendar, Messaging, Camera, Maps, Groove Music, Movies & TV, and many more. Then there are tools that used to come built into the operating system that are now also apps, such as Calculator, Scan, Voice Recorder, and others.
Although, these apps can be useful sometimes, chances are you don’t need them all, and while Microsoft allows you to easily uninstall some of them, a number of apps you have to remove manually, and others, unfortunately, you cannot remove as they are essential to the operating system.
In this new Windows 10 help guide, we’ll get through the steps you need to follow to uninstall those universal apps in Windows 10 that you can remove, but Microsoft chose not to make it easy, and pretty much any Windows app — if you prefer the challenge of using command line.
Before we continue, let me remind you that Windows 10 has the new Settings app, and you can easily go to System > Apps & features to uninstall most of the apps, such as the annoying Get Office and Get Skype apps, and other apps like Sway, Sports, Phone Companion, News, Money, Microsoft Wi-Fi, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft Messaging, Get Started, App Connector, and even you can uninstall desktop apps by selecting the app and clicking Uninstall. However, you’ll notice some apps you won’t be able to uninstall, but don’t worry this is when PowerShell comes to the rescue.
Remove Windows 10 apps using PowerShell
Go to the Start menu and do a search for PowerShell, right-click the app from the list, and click Run as administrator.
Use the following command to view all the apps installed in your account:
If you want to see all the Windows apps installed in the computer execute the following command:
You will see a long list of apps and their corresponding description, which can be overwhelming, but you need to do this to know the name of the apps you want to uninstall. For example, if you want to uninstall the Camera app, in the listing you’ll notice that the system name is “Microsoft.WindowsCamera”.
Now that you know the app name, we can proceed to uninstall the app, simply type the following command and press Enter:
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsCamera | Remove-AppxPackageNote: Although, the camera app was easy to spot, you always want to know how to get the exact app name, because not every app has a very descriptive name. For example, Groove Music’s system name is “Microsoft.ZuneMusic” and Movie & TV’s system name is “Microsoft.ZuneVideo”.
- Finally, restart your computer to complete the process.
Uninstall default apps on Windows 10 commands
The commands I just mentioned will remove the Camera app from your Windows 10 PC, and basically the same procedure is require to uninstall any other universal app. However, because the list is extensive and confusing, I’m going to list the commands for apps you can remove using PowerShell, but you can’t normally remove through the Settings app.
Here is an example of the command, simply replace SampleAppName with the universal Windows app name that you want to remove.
Get-AppxPackage SampleAppName | Remove-AppxPackage
Example: This command removes the Alarms & Clock app in Windows 10.
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsAlarms | Remove-AppxPackage
List of common universal Windows app names to uninstall:
Alarms & Clock: Microsoft.WindowsAlarms
Groove Music: Microsoft.ZuneMusic
Get Started: Microsoft.Getstarted
Mail and Calendar: Microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps
Movies & TV: Microsoft.ZuneVideo
Voice Recorder: Microsoft.SoundRecorder
Keep in mind that apps, such as Cortana, Contact Support, Windows Feedback, Insider Hub, and Microsoft Edge cannot be removed. In fact, you will get a message that reads “This app is part of Windows and cannot be uninstalled on a per-user basis”. Of course, you could find ways to remove them, but they will probably cause more harm than good.
If you don’t feel comfortable using PoweShell and removing these apps, you can always create a full backup of your system before modifying the operating system. In addition, I have previously added a guide that you can use to uninstall the default apps in Windows 10 using a simple app.
In case you need to reinstall some of the specific apps, you can always install them back from the Windows Store.
The process we are seeing in this guide will help you to remove most of the new universal apps, Microsoft is bundling Windows 10, in the case you simply don’t want them on your system. However, you can also use these instructions for those times where you have apps, such as the Store, Mail and Calendar, and other apps have syncing issues, they don’t open, or simply misbehaving, and uninstalling and reinstalling may just fix the problem.