How to enable the Windows Store in a Windows To Go workspaces

Store Enabled - To Go

Windows To Go workspaces is a new feature in the Windows 8 Enterprise version that enables users to install a full-version of the operating system in a USB drive and have fully featured Windows environment (OS, apps and documents) anywhere the user goes.

This is a feature intended only for businesses who often work with custom-build images and with specific settings and security configurations. And in any way Microsoft is pushing Win To Go as a replacement for the everyday desktop or mobile device — It’s just an alternate work environment.

For more information on how to create a Windows To Go drive, check out this previous article.

One of the limitations of a “Windows To Go drive” is that by default the Windows Store is disabled, in other words you cannot install Windows Store apps (Metro style apps) in the portable workspace. The why for this behavior still unknown — If you know please leave a comment –. However, it’s possible to enable it with a simple configuration tweak. You can do this via Windows group policies using Active Directory Group Policy or Local group policy. Continue reading to learn how to complete this task:


1. Open the Run command with the Windows 8 Key - Small Monochrome + R keyboard shortcut, type gpedit.msc and click OK, to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. Navigate through the Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store.

Allow Store Win To Go

3. You’ll see three setting options, select and double-click the “Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces”.

4. Then select Enabled. Click Apply and OK to complete.

Windows Store policy options

Important: Read and understand the warning before proceeding — “If you enable this setting, access to the Store application is allowed on the Windows To Go workspace. Only enable this policy when the Windows To Go workspace will only be used with a single PC. Using it with multiple PCs is not supported.” — Which it can be understandable in the standpoint of software licensing.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

It’s still possible that in the near future the software giant may push this feature to at least Windows 8 Pro, but for now it will only be part of the Enterprise version of the operating system.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].