Turn off the Microsoft Consumer Experience on Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 2, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system ships not only with a selection of applications created by Microsoft but also third-party apps or application links that are placed prominently in the operating system's start menu.

Whenever you create a new user account on Windows 10, or start the system for the first time after the "getting things ready" screens, you will notice a handful of third-party apps and links in the start menu.

Currently, and this includes both the latest stable Windows 10 build 10586.122 which got released on March 2, 2016 and the latest Windows 10 Insider build which sits at version 14271, these apps and links get deployed on all different editions of Windows.

The five apps that are highlighted in the start menu are Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipboard, Photoshop Express, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition and Twitter.

third party apps windows 10

Of those five applications, only Candy Crush Soda Saga is already installed while the remaining app tiles lead to the respective Windows Store listings of those applications instead.

It is easy enough to uninstall Candy Crush Soda Saga from the start menu, and unpin the other tiles by right-clicking on them and selecting the appropriate action from the context menu.

The main issue is however that these applications may reappear after updates. While Home users may find this annoying, businesses may dislike it even more considering that Candy Crush Soda Saga is installed on Pro and Enterprise versions as well by default.

There is also the chance that Microsoft may add other apps to the operating system in the future.

Disabling the Microsoft Consumer Experience

The installation of extra apps and the pinning of links to Windows Store pages of third-party applications is powered by the Microsoft Consumer Experience feature.

Update: it appears that Microsoft removed the option on Pro/Home versions of Windows 10.

Using Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor is only available in Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10. If you are running a Home edition, skip this part and go to the next which details how you can disable the Microsoft Consumer Experience using the Windows Registry Editor instead.

turn off microsoft consumer experience

To disable the feature using the Group Policy Editor, do the following:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key on the computer keyboard, type gpedit.msc and hit enter.
  2. Navigate the path Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Cloud Content.
  3. Click on "Turn off Microsoft consumer experience".
  4. Switch the status of the policy to enabled, and click ok afterwards.

The policy has the following description:

This policy setting turns off experiences that help consumers make the most of their devices and Microsoft account.

If you enable this policy setting, users will no longer see personalized recommendations from Microsoft and notifications about their Microsoft account.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, users may see suggestions from Microsoft and notifications about their Microsoft account.

There is no mentioning of apps getting installed automatically on user systems.

Note: Instructions to turn off the feature using MDM are provided on Microsoft's MSDN website.

Using the Windows Registry Editor

You can disable Microsoft Consumer Experience in the Windows Registry as well.

disable using registry

  1. Tap on the Windows-key on your keyboard, type regedit.exe and hit enter.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt that appears.
  3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent
  4. Locate the Dword DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures on the right after selecting CloudContent, and double-click on the entry.
  5. Set the value of the Dword to 1, click okay, and close the Registry Editor afterwards.
Turn off the Microsoft Consumer Experience on Windows 10
Article Name
Turn off the Microsoft Consumer Experience on Windows 10
Find out how to turn off the Microsoft Consumer Experience on Windows 10, to remove third-party app installations and links from the operating system.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


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