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How To Remove Pre-Installed Windows 10 Applications With PowerShell

By
Adam Bertram
,
business.com writer
|
Sep 05, 2018
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> Technology
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How to quickly and easily uninstall pre-installed Windows 10 apps using PowerShell.

Windows 10 comes pre-installed with a lot of applications. However, not all of these applications are going to be beneficial to everyone—especially an IT pro.

You might be deploying Windows 10 machines to users and need to remove some of these pre-installed apps. If you've attempted this, you have probably found it's not quite as easy as going into Programs and Features, finding the application and uninstalling. Although some can be uninstalled this way, not all of them can; it's going to require a little more work. Fortunately, by using a little PowerShell magic, we can still make it happen.

The key is learning how the Get-AppXPackage cmdlet works. APPX packages or Windows Store apps were introduced in Windows 8.1 and are not your traditional type of Windows Installer application that you might be used to. To view and manage these apps requires the Get-AppXPackage cmdlet. 

Steps

To get started managing Windows 10 apps, we'll need to open up a PowerShell console as administrator. To do this, type in "powershell" in the Windows 10 search bar, right click on Windows PowerShell when it comes up and click on Run as administrator.

This will bring up the PowerShell console. Once here, type Get-AppXPackage and hit enter and notice all of the applications that it comes back with — although you probably won't be able to read it fast enough! On my Windows 10 computer, I have 72 installed.

To make the output a little easier to understand, pipe the output to Select-Object and then Sort-Object to get a list of all APPX packages sorted by name.

Get-AppxPackage | select name | sort name

If you'd like to explore the other options you have with Get-AppXPackage, view the help content.

Help Get-AppXPackage  -Detailed

Once you've found all of the apps you'd like to remove, simply pipe the result of Get-AppXPackage to Remove-AppXPackage. For example, I have Candy Crush Saga on my Windows 10 computer and I don't do much gaming so I'd like to remove it. To do this, I would first specify only this application and ensure only the app I want removed is returned.

Get-AppXPackage –Name 'king.com.CandyCrushSodaSaga'

Next, I would pipe this to Remove-AppXPackage.

Get-AppxPackage -Name 'king.com.CandyCrushSodaSaga' | Remove-AppxPackage

If successful, it will return nothing. To confirm that it's removed, you can attempt to run the same command you did earlier.

Get-AppXPackage –Name 'king.com.CandyCrushSodaSaga'

If it is removed, instead of displaying information about the app, it will return nothing as well. This technique can be used on many of the Windows Store apps but not all. For example, if you try to uninstall apps that are integrated into Windows like Cortana, Edge or ContactSupport, you will receive a message stating that removal has failed.

If you'd like to remove multiple applications at once that match a specific pattern you can do this as well. For example, maybe you want to remove all of the Bing apps. No problem. Simply use asterisks and pipe everything to Remove-AppXPackage again.

Get-AppXPackage –Name *bing* | Remove-AppXPackage

Conclusion

Even though, you can uninstall some apps by searching for them in the search bar, right-clicking and clicking Uninstall, I believe that it is much faster to do all your removals via PowerShell. Using just one line you can easily remove a single application or multiple applications. You'll save yourself a lot of time by removing applications via PowerShell.

Adam Bertram
Adam Bertram
Adam Bertram is a 20-year veteran of IT and experienced online business professional. He's an entrepreneur, IT influencer, Microsoft MVP, blogger, trainer and content marketing writer for multiple technology companies. Adam is also the founder of the popular IT career development platform TechSnips. Catch up on Adam's articles at adamtheautomator.com, connect on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter at @adbertram or the TechSnips Twitter account at @techsnips_io.
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