Remove pre-installed Windows 10 apps and system components
The phenomenon of “Bloatware” is the one that has ruined for years the performance of new computers (now also mobile phones) and a real annoyance for all users, those beginners who do not understand why their PC is already slow, the more experienced ones who they must waste hours removing these useless components.
The word Bloatware, for those who have never heard it, indicates in a derogatory way all those useless and heavy programs, which are not risky.
Often these Bloatware are programs preinstalled by PC manufacturers, which almost remain unused by users and which, at times, are also only trial versions of paid programs (such as the antivirus or the Office suite).
All these useless software packages not only take up the disk storage space, but they load automatically when the PC starts, slowing it down a lot.
With Windows 10 even Microsoft, to promote its apps and its online services, has filled the operating system with pre-installed applications and components that are often unnecessary and that we would like to get rid of immediately.
Opening the Start menu of a PC just installed with Windows 10 you will in fact notice various apps to read news, to use Skype, to connect to the XBox and so much more that maybe we need nothing.
In this guide we see then how to remove pre-installed components and apps of Windows 10 manually or using free automatic programs.
1) Normal app removal
First of all let’s see what is the regular procedure for removing applications in Windows 10.
Open the System Settings from the Start menu, go to the Apps section to find, under the App and Features tab, the list of installed programs and applications.
Clicking on these apps the Uninstall button appears, which is used to remove them.
Now, if it were all so simple, it wouldn’t even need a guide, but unfortunately it is not.
The list of apps listed in the Settings, in fact, is not complete and does not include pre installed system applications.
Also for many apps the Uninstall button is not active, it is gray and you cannot click.
Obviously, simplifying the uninstallation of apps that can generate money or promote services (indeed Windows 10 is free), is not in the interest of those who produce them.
2) Hide or disable apps with the Powershell command
For some apps, those that Microsoft considers to be an integral part of Windows 10 that no user should give up, they can be hidden or completely removed only by using Powershell scripts, launching them manually or using simplified tools.
PowerShell is a command line interface very similar to the Command Prompt, which serves precisely the management of Windows 10 components and its installation.
In this case, we use Powershell to hide the pre-installed apps or Windows 10 bloatware, so we can recover and restore them if we change our mind.
To open Powershell, write PowerShell in the Start menu search bar, right-click on Windows Powershell and then on Run as administrator to have full control of the system.
Later you will be able to launch PowerShell commands to remove one or the other app installed on the system.
Here are the specific PowerShell commands to use to remove the main applications that are pre-installed and often unused.3) Complete elimination of the Windows 10 apps with DISM
To delete any bloatware program or app from the system, you can use another command line tool called DISM (Deployment Imaging Service and Management), already included in Windows 10, still in Powershell.
While the first command disables them, with DISM it deletes them completely from Windows 10.
The DISM command is relatively powerful and can be used for various system operations.
DISM commands to remove additional apps from your system.
First of all, on the administrator-initiated Powershell console, execute the command
DISM / Online / Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages | select-string Packagename
Now, locate the PACKAGENAME name to be removed and run the command:
DISM / Online / Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage / PackageName: PACKAGENAME
For example, to remove ZuneVideo which is of no use, the command is
DISM / Online / Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /PackageName:Microsoft.ZuneVideo_2019.19021.10411.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
The name shows the date of the last update, so it may change from the example.
Once the operation has been completed successfully, it may be necessary to restart the computer to become effective.
Repeating the command that shows the list of apps, you will find that the one removed is no longer present
4) Removing pre-installed Windows 10 components and apps using an external program
If the Powershell commands intimidate, you can use an external program that removes the applications.
– Windows10Debloater is a free collection of PowerShell scripts to remove certain pre-installed components, including Cortana and Onedrive.
However, before using it, it is better to create a backup of the system.
Three different versions are available that differ only in the level of control the user can have on the process.
Windows10SysPrepDebloater.ps1, the silent version of the script designed specifically for automated distribution.
Windows10Debloater.ps1, an interactive version that requires the user to make decisions after execution.
Windows10DebloaterGUI.ps1, the version with graphic interface.
– O&O AppBuster is a simpler program to use, which shows all the apps installed on the system (even the hidden ones) and allows you to remove them with a click.
This application is very good because for every app removed it gives the possibility to be able to reinstall it in the same way.
– HibitUninstaller is a program to uninstall normal programs that also includes a Windows 10 app manager.
From the Tools menu, you can open the Windows Store App Manager, where you will find all the applications installed, the name of the manufacturer, the version, the size and the date of installation or last update.
Since sometimes the names are not recognized correctly, before pressing the uninstall button it is better to press the right button of the mouse on an app and open “Installation Folder” to understand what it is.
5) Disable internal components of Windows 10
In addition to applications, Windows 10 also includes many additional features such as Cortana, Onedrive and monitoring tools.
In another article we have seen other automatic programs to block the collection of data in Windows 10, which serve precisely to disable these internal and hidden features.