• Insights

Removing Non-Business Modern UI Apps from Windows 8

Kraft Kennedy

2 min read

All Insights

If you have had the opportunity to test drive Windows 8 and to see the new Start Screen, you are probably aware that Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system ships with a slew of new touch-optimized applications that leverage the Modern UI.  Bing Travel, Bing Weather, Xbox LIVE Games, and several other Modern apps are now standard features of the Windows client OS.  While these might be nice additions for the average consumer, many Modern UI applications are clunky to use on non-touch enabled devices, perform functions better addressed by deploying a full application such as the Microsoft Office suite, or add little to no productive value to an enterprise environment.

Even if your firm takes a lenient approach to locking down the Windows desktop and wants to allow users to install and work with Modern UI applications from the Windows Store, it’s a safe bet that most CIOs would prefer to provide an initial deployment that does not distract the end user with consumer-centric features.  Fortunately, Windows PowerShell makes removing Modern UI application packages from your Windows 8 image a straightforward exercise.

For our own Windows 8 Enterprise deployment, Kraft Kennedy elected to remove most of the default Modern UI applications from our standard image including all Bing applications, Windows Communicator, Windows Photos, Xbox LIVE Games, and Zune Video.

In order to do so, we developed and leveraged the following PowerShell script:

Function Uninstall-ModernApps
    Foreach($itemApp in $Apps)
        $Uninstall = Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -online | Where {$_.DisplayName -eq $itemApp}
        Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -online -Package $Uninstall.PackageName

This script can be executed during the normal automated deployment process (i.e. an SCCM or MDT task sequence) and must be run with administrative privileges.  Users will have the option to reinstall any of these applications by downloading them from the Windows Store unless they are otherwise prohibited by Group Policy or App Locker.