How to remove software that is not needed from Windows 10 Pro

Berry King
Berry King used Ask the Experts™
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We are using Windows 10 in a office environment and will soon go to office 365.  How can I remove the unnecessary software from Windows 10.   Also this will act as a golden image for Hyper-V VDI.
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Sam JacobsDirector of Technology Development, IPM

Commented:
Here's a post that describes how to remove unwanted apps & folders from Windows 10:
https://www.thewindowsclub.com/remove-unwanted-windows-programs-apps-features-folders
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Either use Programs and Features in Control Panel (Switch control panel view to small or large icons to find this easier) to uninstall the software you want to remove (I assume we're talking about a previous version of Office that isn't from Office 365) or run the uninstaller for the application from the command line. The command line process varies. Different applications have different uninstall techniques. Office has a fairly complex command line uninstall method because it allows you to uninstall all office applications or just different pieces of it, and different versions of office may have different uninstall command line instructions. https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/90767-silent-scripted-uninstall-of-office-2010 has the Office 2010 instructions. You should be able to get the other version by googling "office <version> silent uninstall command line"

Author

Commented:
I'm trying to remove or disable things like Cortana, App Store, the number of tiles that show up, anything that is not needed by day to day office workers.  I just want office 365, and departmental apps.  So if the department deals with taxes, I would like just office 365 and tax software to be available.
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Sam JacobsDirector of Technology Development, IPM

Commented:
Unfortunately, I don't believe that Cortana can be removed, but you can remove most of the other Windows 10 builtin apps via PowerShell.
Step-by-step instructions: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/uninstall-restore-windows-10-builtin-apps
It must be done in an elevated PowerShell session.
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Cortana and the Store can be disable with Group Policy. Look under Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Store for the options that will let you configure the store. There is an option to "Disable the Store Application".

Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Search>Allow Cortana set to Disabled will prevent Cortana from loading.

Note, these settings will not apply to the Home version, which has a different method for disabling each (Home has no group policy, so you have to make the registry modifications manually).

Setting these group policies as shown will also prevent users from being able to enable them. If you want to remove the pre-installed apps, you will need to create a script that runs the commands in Sam's link to Laptopmag.com and deploy that with Group Policy.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You can go to Settings, Apps and look through the Apps you are interested in . There you see what can be uninstalled and what cannot. Cortana is also Search so do not disable that. The Store can, I think, be disabled as suggested above
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Cortana is also Search so do not disable that.

Disabling Cortana through Group Policy as I mentioned above doesn't disable search. When you change that setting, the Cortana icon on the taskbar changes from a Circle to a magnifying glass and search functions as it did in Windows 7/8
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
You might see if you can get hold of a copy of Windows 10 "Lean", then they never get installed in the first place.  To my mind that is better than removing software after installation, as installation can drag in other packages that don't get removed by the removal process.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/windows-10-lean-microsoft-developing-a-minimalist-version-of-windows/
If you have a VLA with M$,get a license for Windows 10 LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch)

https://www.howtogeek.com/273824/windows-10-without-the-cruft-windows-10-ltsb-explained/

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