Windows 10 installing unwanted Store apps?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 2, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft has a rich history of testing boundaries when it comes to the distribution of apps and updates. The Get Windows 10 campaign demonstrated how far the company is willing to go to push something on the market but the unwanted upgrade to Windows 10 was just one of the methods that Microsoft utilized in the past couple of years.

A common user complaint is that Microsoft uses the Windows 10 operating system to install unwanted applications or games on user systems. Microsoft revealed in 2015 that it signed a deal with the Candy Crush game maker King which allowed Microsoft to distribute Candy Crush Saga with Windows 10.

Then, with the release of the Anniversary Update came even more promoted applications. Users who installed Windows 10 saw apps like Twitter, Photoshop Express, Minecraft for Windows 10, or Candy Crush Soda Saga displayed on the Start Menu.

Most apps and games were merely links and not installed. Users who clicked on these icons were taken to the Store from where the apps or games needed to be installed.

A report on Reddit suggests that Microsoft is still in the game of distributing games with its Windows 10 operating system; this time, the company apparently installs games in the background.

A user reported on the site that Microsoft installed Candy Crush Soda Saga and Disney Magic Kingdom; the games use about 750 Megabytes of space on the hard drive when installed. Downloads are initiated automatically without user interaction and even without users realizing that this is happening as there is no visible progress dialog displayed.

While it is possible to open the Windows Store and there the Menu > Downloads and updates to see the background downloads, it is unlikely that most users who end up with the downloaded games notice the downloads.

Not all Windows 10 users experience the installation of these apps and games. Microsoft does not distribute these with Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Channel versions of the operating system, but those are only available to Enterprise customers officially.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations appears to come without these consumer application installations as well but it is the only edition of Windows 10 available to consumers that does so. The edition comes at a hefty price of about $300 though.

Microsoft removed options to control the pushing of third-party apps using Group Policy in 2016 from Windows 10 Pro.

Disable the installation of unwanted Windows 10 apps

suggestions start windows 10

Windows 10 users who have used tweaking software before for the operating system or modified the system settings manually may not experience the downloads.

The feature, if you want to call it that, is powered by a setting that has a very unfortunate name. It seems to be powered by a setting called "Show suggestions occasionally on Start".

We explained how to turn that feature off and many others in the past. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Go to Personalization > Start.
  3. Make sure "Show suggestions occasionally in Start" is set to off.

That's all you have to do. We suggest you are a bit more thorough and disable File Explorer ads, lockscreen ads, and Share suggestions as well while you are at it.

update apps automatically

There is something else that you may want to do as it may be related as well. You can disable application updates in Windows Store:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store application on your system.
  2. Select Menu (the three dots) and then Settings.
  3. Toggle "Update apps automatically" to off.
  4. You can also disable video autoplay here and live tile support.

Now You: what is your experience with Windows 10 and application installations?

Windows 10 installing unwanted Store apps?
Article Name
Windows 10 installing unwanted Store apps?
Reports suggest that Microsoft is still pushing third-party applications such as Disney Magic Kingdom or Candy Crush Soda Saga to Windows 10 systems.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. John IL said on April 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    I can accept links to download games or apps that these companies compensate Microsoft for providing those links in Windows 10. But nothing should download and install without the end users permission. Yeah, Microsoft overstepped its boundaries when it started installing third party apps. Wasn’t it Microsoft who complained about PC installing all that bloatware causing the PC to slow and creating a bad experience? Appears Microsoft is basically doing the same thing.

  2. Nick L said on August 8, 2018 at 3:39 am

    The forced install/assocoatopm or suggested apps end up having the OPPOSITE influence on me than Microsoft’s original intent.

    If I ever see an Edge icon or Candydrush saga tile in my start window I table flip and format c immediately. Great marketing PR move.

    Edge may *even* be a great browser, but i am scarred for life attempting remove its hooks for hours as a SOE guy. Seeing just the icon has me triggered.

    Its like those pushy sellers that get in your way. GET THE F OUT I WILL ENDORSE YOUR ENEMY.

  3. Ann said on July 4, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I personally never have this problem, on the contrary: installing MS apps from the store fails.
    reason, i’m not signed in ever with a MS account.

  4. 420 said on July 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    I do not understand why they even sell a windows 10 pro, it does not seem to get any special treatment different than home. I would be pissed if I spent 300 usd and microsoft installed games behind my back, pro in my mind means someone who is conducting business not wanting erroneous crap installed in the background. It is not enough to rape you for the price, but then they have to try and make more money by installing stuff, what an amazingly shitty company.

  5. Yasmin said on July 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    @ ddk said on July 3, 2018 at 12:31 am

    “Linux will NOT save you.”

    You’re right – that’s for Jesus!

    “It’s absolutely the worst computing experience imaginable.
    Countless bugs, regressions, software breakage, erratic performance, constant crashes, terrible GUI/themes/designs etc. It was a migraine and emotionally draining experience using it.”

    Wow, never been down that road.. Oh yes, I have! The entire time I used Windows starting all the way back with 3.x. People were so gracious for Windows XP (2000 & 7) because, in part, it wasn’t crashing all of the time, freezing, hard locks requiring a reboot, BSOD, sluggish behavior, etc. Still – the experience for me was at the least, included in what you said about Linux. I’ve had the opposite experience with Linux, actually.

    “IMHO, consider switching to Mac OS as an alternative”

    Yeah, no. Both are proprietary (closed source) Operating Systems loaded with proprietary software.

    I recommend you read the following:

    Please direct all disagreements to the author, which of course is not me.

    “if not then Win 7 or 8. Win 8 is great, very stable & with classic shell, we got our start menu back.”

    Yay! They gave us a start menu again! I’m so happy! Yeah, no. Try Linux with the ton of window managers and several desktop environments to choose from. For example, it’s a real treat to be able to load up old and new tech with something minimal like openbox, fluxbox, etc. whereas Windows does not give you this choice! Windows gives you want Windows gives you, and that includes M$ root access to all of the installs. I don’t eat from the dog scraps under the table.

    “Win 10 LTSB is fantastic and even though a demo, probably can be “rearmed” for additional extended use. Mine says 2 rearms available. I might be good until March 2019 if that’s the case.”

    Wow! How fantastic! Yeah, no. I can choose from tons of Linux distributions, each designed for a different purpose. I can choose FREELY, distribute freely, modify freely, upgrade freely, and so forth. I don’t need to worry about licenses, whether or not some or all are legit, call up M$ and beg for help should some license issue go haywire. Did you purchase new hardware and it tells you to call M$? Come on, it’s 2018, people should know better. Privacy/security issues are discussed widely across the net, I’ll let you search for those, but IMO you really sound like a M$ rep. of some sort.

    So in closing, yes, Linux does save you from a lot, especially if you devoted a large portion of your life to using and/or supporting Windows boxes. I can load Grandma up with a Linux box and customize it within minutes and Grandma never experiences any trouble. But give her a box with Windows on it and she’ll never leave you the .. alone.

  6. Darren said on July 3, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Find yourselves the N version of LTSB. It’s the Euro version that’s missing all kinds of things you won’t miss. Especially the store.

    Search engine this iso for more info on the topic:

    sha1: b5d4911bd53ec5029781ade0937dad43c4ed90f6

  7. Sir Pixelot said on July 3, 2018 at 5:16 am

    I just use MSMG toolkit to remove all Windows 10 apps from the image, problem solved!

  8. Kevin said on July 3, 2018 at 3:15 am

    The funniest bit is how people actually thought that after Microsoft got what they wanted through coercion, their bad behavior would stop.

    Me personally, Windows 10 and GWX was when I drew the line and started to refuse to support Microsoft products. PS: I made a Windows 10 wallpaper, enjoy!

  9. Stefan said on July 3, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Nagging about that i use an adblocker doesn’t help You very much. The element is now blocked – permanently – as any ads. Even if i like the site, it is up to me as a visitor to chose what is downloaded to my computer or not – not Your choice !

  10. ULBoom said on July 3, 2018 at 2:51 am

    I’m fairly sure after a few windows 10 versions, more has been turned off, deleted or had permissions changed than has remained untouched. Really too bad, the OS is good, maybe they’ll sell (Not!) an OS only version for triple the junkware versions.

    Does anyone over say 10 have any interest in candy crush? Don’t answer that! :)

    1. Mola Ram, CEO Microsoft said on July 3, 2018 at 3:25 am

      They already do sell a crap-free, zero telemetry version. The Chinese version. But that most likely comes with it’s own Chinese government backdoor.

      1. wad said on July 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm

        more like a front door XD

  11. ddk said on July 3, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Linux will NOT save you. It’s absolutely the worst computing experience imaginable.
    Countless bugs, regressions, software breakage, erratic performance, constant crashes, terrible GUI/themes/designs etc. It was a migraine and emotionally draining experience using it.

    IMHO, consider switching to Mac OS as an alternative, if not then Win 7 or 8. Win 8 is great, very stable & with classic shell, we got our start menu back.

    Win 10 LTSB is fantastic and even though a demo, probably can be “rearmed” for additional extended use. Mine says 2 rearms available. I might be good until March 2019 if that’s the case.

    1. John Fenderson said on July 3, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      Not sure why you had such problems. In my experience, Linux is far superior to Windows in terms of stability, speed, and configurability. The only real edge that Windows has over Linux is games availability, but Windows is losing that edge as time goes by.

    2. AnorKnee Merce said on July 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      @ ddk

      As an average home-user(= non-gamer, non-business and non-poweruser), I have been running the free-of-charge Linux Mint 17.3 with no problems for about 2 years.

      Apple’s MacOS computers are super-expensive and will become obsolete in about 5 to 6 years, ie cannot be upgraded anymore = forced to buy new MacOS computers every 5 to 6 years.
      ……. I’m still running a 2008 HP Compaq Intel Core2Duo desktop that came preinstalled with Win XP = 10 years old.

      Evaluation copies of Win 10 Ent LTSC that can be rearmed for up to two times(EOL = 90 days X 3 = 270 days) can be stopped or changed by M$ at any time, eg M$ may cut down the evaluation period to 30 days. So, why bother.?

  12. Chris said on July 2, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    I want to try Win10, but this sort of thing is why I don’t.

  13. tairikuokami said on July 2, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “ContentDeliveryAllowed” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “OemPreInstalledAppsEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “PreInstalledAppsEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “PreInstalledAppsEverEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “SilentInstalledAppsEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “SoftLandingEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “SubscribedContentEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
    reg delete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager\Subscriptions” /f
    reg delete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager\SuggestedApps” /f

  14. Anonymous said on July 2, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    *insert obligatory note about switching to linux*

  15. pat said on July 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    On my little laptop Asus, after a clean install of W10 home at the opening of the first session, I have to wait a long time for all automatic updates, unnecessary software notifications etc. to stop. There, I have the CPU that remains at half (1.2Ghz/2.50Ghz), the RAM is at two thirds 1.3G/2G (thanks McAfee etc.) Impossible to do anything, everything is slow, it’s awful!
    After 30mn of uninstallation, setup, McAfee removal, applications, visual effects, notifications, suggestions and everything else that is useless (i.e., almost everything!), creating a local non-Microsoft account, reboot, log in the local account, reconfiguration, same cleaning, my laptop runs quietly with 0.6G/2G RAM.
    From there, I can use my computer, but before all this work, it’s impossible.
    Configuring W10 is sport!

  16. RottenScoundrel said on July 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Not just msoft, Mozilla does it with Firefox. It reinstates the Google search engine in the list with every update.

    I only have two search engines in that list, StartPage and DuckDuckGo. After every upgrade (Ubuntu) I get the new version of FFx and Google back in the list.

    No honor left in business, just greed.

    1. ULBoom said on July 3, 2018 at 2:45 am

      Doesn’t happen with Windows firefox. I have duck duck and only duck duck. Weird thing is thunderbird (not mozilla anymore, but) needs and Add On to add google. At least yahoo is finally in the dumpster.

    2. John Fenderson said on July 3, 2018 at 1:41 am

      That sounds like a bug. Even if it was intentional, though, resetting the default search engine in a browser isn’t even close to being the same as surreptitiously installing software.

    3. Rush said on July 2, 2018 at 11:05 pm


      I turn off checking for updates, and I don’t update FF until I have thoroughly read Martin’s and others comments after any new FF update noted on this site.

      After I do an update, I have a whole laundry list of settings I double check, including and not limited to:
      FF options, About:Config and I use CCleaner/Tools/Start-up/ Browser Plug-ins to make sure my settings have changed.

      So far, I have not had to re-set my preferred search engine. If I loaded a clean install of FF program, w/new profile, then I’m sure I would have to remove any search engine that reflects FF best friend, Google.

    4. Anonymous said on July 2, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      Well, it doesn’t do that for me. And Ubuntu handles the package updates for you, so this is probably actually a mistake on Canonical’s part.

      1. kylejk said on July 3, 2018 at 1:24 am

        It’s Mozillla’s fault, it’s their awful defaults. Your distro packagers are simply hijacking Mozilla’s defaults. Canonical doesn’t want to piss off Mozilla. Your distro probably doesn’t care if they piss Mozilla, or Mozilla doesn’t think your distro is significant enough to do something about it.

  17. rswrc said on July 2, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    even without users realizing that this is happening as there is no visible progress dialog displayed. – noe true. Installed last week Win10 on a slow laptop. There was a progress at the bottom of the two mentioned tiles. Also the tile was greyed during installation.

    1. Millenicide said on July 2, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Ohhh in that case this is TOTALLY fine. Enjoy your adware…I mean OS.

      1. rswrc said on July 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        I’m not saying this is fine. I’m just saying that i saw a progress bar indicating this it is installing.

      2. AnorKnee Merce said on July 2, 2018 at 9:43 pm

        @ Millenicide

        Win 10 is more like malware = sneakily installs stuffs on your computer.

      3. Mola Ram, CEO Microsoft said on July 3, 2018 at 3:22 am

        It’s tragically funny how bad it is. It would wake up from sleep on its own to install updates and then due to some bug it couldn’t reboot properly and would stay on after. There were zero notifications that it was waking and covertly downloading “updates” when the computer was supposed to be in sleep, the only reason I noticed it was because the computer would be on the next morning by itself. I had to look through event viewer to find that it was Update doing it. And this is after I set Update to manual. Now I’ve shut it down entirely with Group Policy and blocked Microsoft’s servers on my router.

  18. Derek Teague said on July 2, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Another autoinstalled app myoffice conflicts with actual office installs in strange ways, like not being able to edit the signature in outlook. I have written a powershell script that gets ran weekly on the computers I manage so that I don’t have to keep tracking new ways they find the load the garbage.

  19. basicuser said on July 2, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    “Show suggestions occasionally in start” is an interesting MS euphemism for: download a bunch of unwanted, unasked for “stuff”.

    It’s almost as creative as reversing the meaning of “X”.

  20. Weilan said on July 2, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Ugh, Windows 10 is getting more and more intrusive and disgusting.

    1. jake said on July 3, 2018 at 1:14 am

      > Ugh, Windows 10 is getting more and more intrusive and disgusting.

      It’s been that way from day one. It’s also the reason I permanently switched OSes (Linux) and ecosystems. The “new” Microsoft is awfully similar to the old Microsoft.

  21. AxMi-24 said on July 2, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    You say that LTSB is officially available only to enterprise customers. But is there a way to get it unofficially? Can we buy old licences (from what I remember EU court said that it is legal to sell them)? Would be great with some kind of hint/guide on getting LTSB as it is the only win10 version that might even be considered acceptable for use.

    1. Yuliya said on July 2, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Don’t bother with the EVAL version, it’s useless. Also don’t install a modified Windows! Ever!

      Here are the clean SHA1 hashes for the LTSB images:

      > en_windows_10_enterprise_2015_ltsb_x64_dvd_6848446.iso

      > en_windows_10_enterprise_2015_ltsb_x86_dvd_6848454.iso

      > en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x64_dvd_9059483.iso

      > en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x86_dvd_9060010.iso

      And you can acquire the 2016 (EN_US, EN_US_N and RU_RU) both x86 and x64 ones from here:
      That blue button means download torrent and below it, it’s the magnet link, if you prefer.

      You can check them by yourself with something like 7-zip or WinHasher (on GitHub) at the end.

      PS: chances are “en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x64_dvd_9059483.iso” is what you’re looking after.

      1. Stefan said on July 3, 2018 at 3:03 am

        “Also don’t install a modified Windows! Ever!”

        If You know trusted sources, with crappy features removed and working updates added, as i do, Your statement is utter BS !

        Has been doing this since the Vista era and NEVER had any problems or infections in any of the operatingsystems downloaded.

      2. dark said on July 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm

        I always download LTSB from generation2 user on piratebay. Works great. :)

      3. Yuliya said on July 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

        I’m capable of trimming the Windows ISO by myself too. It’s a 20 minutes job and some DISM commands. At the end I’m sure no one tampered with the image in any detrimental way.

      4. AxMi-24 said on July 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        Thanks a lot for the info. Is there a guide on how to do this trimming and DISM commands yourself? I want new hardware but not enough to accept MS spyware.

      5. Yuliya said on July 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        AxMi-24, Head over to MyDigitalLife forum. You should find all the info needed there. You may need to create an account though (it’s free), some posts and sections are hidden when viewed as a guest. Look after MSMG ToolKit thread, it’s a good start and very easy to use.

        Personal advice, don’t trim LTSB. It’s fairly lean by default. The only “universal application” it has is the Settings and things necessary to make the start menu work. I personally prefer to just disable stuff like IE, WMP, etc from Control Panel. You might need them some day, and once disabled the packages required to install them back don’t really take that much space.

        I’d remove core funtionality only if I needed to make it work on a tablet with very little storage space. You can make the x64 Windows take like 3-4GiB installed if you want.

    2. alvin said on July 2, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Go here to find all tools you need to download iso’s. As you cannot login to the volume manager unless you are a business owner to download enterprise iso files.
      You will download the eval and convert it to a rtm iso to then be able to activate it with a valid key.

      For a more painless install go here: (the iso includes both clean if you have your own license and activated) I take no responsibility if you choose to use this iso but its there if you need it.
      You choose version to install when booting the live usb.

    3. Martin Brinkmann said on July 2, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      You find LTSB offers on eBay starting at around 10 Euro in Germany. I don’t know about the legality of this in regards to individuals obtaining Enterprise licenses but I do know that companies are allowed to sell these licenses on eBay.

      1. Anonymous said on July 3, 2018 at 3:17 am

        What kind of LTSB offers? Doesn’t LTSB use a KMS server like Enterprise?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.