I’m getting sick of Windows 10’s auto-installing apps. Apps like Facebook are now showing up out of nowhere, and even displaying notifications begging for me to use them. I didn’t install the Facebook app, I didn’t give it permission to show notifications, and I’ve never even used it. So why is it bugging me?
Windows 10 has always been a little annoying about these apps, but it wasn’t always this bad. Microsoft went from “we pinned a few tiles, but the apps aren’t installed until you click them” to “the apps are now automatically installed on your PC” to “the automatically installed apps are now sending you notifications”. It’s ridiculous.
The “Microsoft Consumer Experience” Is Consumer-Hostile…
This is all thanks to the “Microsoft Consumer Experience” program, which can’t be disabled on normal Windows 10 Home or Professional systems. That’s why every Windows 10 computer you start using has these bonus apps. The exact apps preinstalled can vary, but I’ve never seen a Windows 10 PC without Candy Crush.
The Microsoft Consumer Experience is actually a background task that runs whenever you sign into a Windows 10 PC with a new user account for the first time. It kicks into gear and automatically downloads apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga, FarmVille 2: Country Escape, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and whatever else Microsoft feels like promoting.
You can uninstall the apps from your Start menu, and they shouldn’t come back on your user account the same hardware. However, the apps will also come back whenever you sign into a new PC with the same Microsoft account, forcing you to remove them on each device you use. And, if someone signs into your same PC with their own Microsoft account, Microsoft will “helpfully” download those apps for their account as well. There’s no way to tell Microsoft “stop downloading these apps on my PC” or “I never want these apps on this Microsoft account”.
…and Microsoft Won’t Let Us Disable It
There is, technically, a way to disable this and stop Windows from installing these apps…but it’s only for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education users. Even if you spent $200 for a Windows 10 Professional license because you want to use your PC for business, Microsoft won’t let you stop the “Consumer Experience” on a professional PC.
Together with Windows 10 sending private data to Redmond without permission this is another reason I have left the world of MS operating systems. I now use Linux Mint.