I have several computers that run Windows 10. My work computer and personal laptop were setup with a pretty standard Windows 10 installation.
That means there is a bunch of software I didn't want:
- Microsoft Cortana
- Microsoft Your Phone
- Candy Crush Saga and whatever games Microsoft got ad revenue from shoveling onto your fresh install (even in professional editions)
- Microsoft Office 365 links
- On and on...
Some of this software Microsoft allows you to right click and hit the uninstall button, but this doesn't work for everything.
One option left to you is using Windows Powershell. This will require a little bit of scripting, but don't worry that much as all of the commands look like what they do.
Open the Start Menu, search for Windows Powershell, Right Click to Run as administrator
After some Googling on the topic, I found the following article. While this article only covered the Your Phone application, I continued the process to find and uninstall other programs I didn't want cluttering up my desktop.
If you want to get rid of the app, or you're having problems, and the reset option doesn't work, you can uninstall it using PowerShell with these steps:
Step 1: Open Start, and then search for Windows PowerShell on the search bar. After that, you need to right-click on the top result and then choose Run as Administrator.
Step 2: Then, you need to type the following command into the pop-out Windows PowerShell interface to uninstall the Your Phone app and press Enter at last:
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.YourPhone -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
After these two simple steps, the Your Phone experience will be removed from your computer successfully.
What packages are installed?
The Microsoft documentation is the place to start here.
PS C:\> Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers
What I ended up removing?
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.YourPhone -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsCamera -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsMaps -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
Application I left installed related to gaming
Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay-AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
If you play games on your computer, note that deleting the XboxGameOverlay will not do what you want. I tried this and any time I launched a game, Windows would create a popup on top of the full screen application trying to direct me to the Windows Store to install that application. Dealing with the Xbox overlay and dismissing ended up being way less intrusive than this forced installation.
If you know a way to actually get rid of the Xbox Overlay, reach out on Twitter