Hide Windows Store library apps

Martin Brinkmann
May 18, 2016

Microsoft published a Windows Store update yesterday for Windows 10 that brings along with it a design refresh and the much requested option to remove applications from the library.

My Library is a collection of all apps and games that you have installed from Windows Store on devices you own.

The main idea behind the feature is to provide users with easy options to install apps or games anew on the same device, or to install them on other devices without having to find them again in store.

While that is great in theory, the use of the library is diminished by the inability to remove apps or games from it.

All apps, even those that you just installed to test them, are listed there and up until now, you had no option to remove them from the page.

This led to listings that were difficult to manage and depending on the number of apps or games installed, difficult to navigate or even open.

The recent Windows Store update, which is currently only available on devices running Insider Builds of Windows 10, is part of the Anniversary Update which Microsoft will release in July 2016 for the operating system.

windows store library hide apps

The library interface itself has not changed all that much. You can still open it with a click on the profile icon in the Windows Store application.

My Library lists five apps and games installed on the device recently, and an option to display them all when you open the feature.

The new hide apps option is listed next to all applications that are not system apps, Edge extensions and some other apps that I cannot put my finger on why they cannot be hidden. Simply click on the icon to hide the application or game from the library.

Apps are hidden directly when you click on the hide apps icon and the process itself is fast and convenient because of that.

You can display all applications or games that you have hidden by opening the full apps or games listing in Windows Store and selecting the show hidden apps link at the top of it.

show hidden apps

This does not open a special page that only displays hidden apps though as apps will simply become visible again so that they are displayed in the full apps listing again.

This makes it quite difficult to locate a hidden application to unhide it. Microsoft will hopefully improve the process before it is launched in July to all users of the operating system.

Hiding apps is a step in the right direction as it provides you with functionality to improve the manageability of the apps and games listing of the Windows Store library.

I wish Microsoft would add an option to remove an application completely from an account though as it makes little sense to hide apps or games if you are certain you will never use them again on your devices.

Additionally, Microsoft should consider adding a separate page for hidden apps and games instead of just displaying them again in the interface as it would improve the handling significantly as well.

Last but not least, the company needs to fix the issue that you cannot hide some apps and all extensions before the update becomes available globally.

Hide Windows Store library apps
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Hide Windows Store library apps
Microsoft published a Windows Store update yesterday for Windows 10 that brings along with it a design refresh and the much requested option to remove applications from the library.
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  1. Lintec said on May 25, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    “Edge extensions and some other apps that I cannot put my finger on why they cannot be hidden”

    Currently installed apps cannot be hidden.

  2. Valrobex said on May 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Perhaps it has something to do with “telemetry.”

    Having an app hidden does not disable the app. It could still enable the machine to “phone home” and tell the various app designers what/where/who/when, etc. And in return, MS collects a fee.

    Not saying this is so, but it’s the first thought that came to mind…

  3. Tim said on May 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Why are they so against letting people just delete unwanted apps, is it because they don’t want people deleting apps that Microsoft have formed partnerships with to bundle with devices?

    And I wonder whether the new ‘hide apps’ option will still mean that because they’re just hidden and not deleted that when you reset your phone it’ll still insist on wasting bandwidth by downloading those apps you don’t want again?

    Curious how they’re going to define system apps that can’t be hidden too? Does that include discontinued apps like the MSN ones, Lumia apps, battery saver, callSMSfilter, etc. that they thought we’d want to have stuck in our libraries even though they’re never going to be used again.

    1. anon said on May 18, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      I would say “legal reasons” and “paid apps” are core reasons but Google seems to be doing fine with letting users completely remove apps from their Play Store history.

      Apple’s stores have or used to have the same restrictions as Microsoft’s, though.

      1. Decent60 said on May 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        Apple still has the same policy.
        Once it’s downloaded, it’s attached to your account forever. There used to be a way to hide them but they’ve removed that option also (it was a slight glitch that allowed you to do so anyways).
        It horrid when I do an update, I backup, wipe and then update. So when I go to previously installed apps, its better off for me to search for them, it’s quicker since I like to try out different apps a lot haha.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on May 18, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      I have no idea why it is this user unfriendly. Probably to save all those “dumb users” from deleting apps from their account that they have bought.

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