Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates usually include some new refinements based on user feedback. However, Microsoft is also known for shoving features and apps people don’t want into major updates and enabling old features you don’t use (hi, Cortana). In its next big update, Microsoft will let you cut down the clutter. Starting next year, more pre-installed apps can be forever banished from your computer.
This will be a significant change for Microsoft, which has previously considered all its apps to be core parts of the operating system. Thus, you could not uninstall them without major hackery. The latest Microsoft Insider build (version 18262) includes uninstallation for Microsoft’s apps. In that build, Windows 10 supports uninstalling 3D Viewer, Calculator, Calendar, Groove Music, Mail, Movies & TV, Paint 3D, Snip & Sketch, Sticky Notes, and Voice Recorder. Some apps like Camera, Edge, and the Microsoft Store cannot be uninstalled. You’re also stuck with Cortana forever.
To uninstall these apps, you can right-click on either the tile or entry in the app list. Click “Uninstall,” and they’re gone. You can get the apps back later if you regret your decision — they’re all in the Windows Store. But then you have to use the Windows Store. It’s a tough call.
If you’re on the recent October update, there are already several apps you can uninstall like this. Currently, Windows 10 supports removing Microsoft Solitaire Collection, My Office, OneNote, Print 3D, Skype, Tips, and Weather. You’ve always been able to remove the “extra” software Microsoft throws in with every Windows install like Candy Crush Soda Saga and FarmVille 2.
Microsoft has run into delays with several recent updates, and even then, there are some show-stopping bugs. Just earlier this month, Microsoft rolled out its fall update to Windows 10 with a nasty bug that deleted the documents folders for some users. Microsoft pulled the update, fixed the bug, and changed its Insider Program feedback mechanism in hopes of avoiding similar mistakes in the future.
The update that enables removing all those pre-installed apps will be the next major update in spring of 2019. It’s currently targeted for April, but it could arrive a little later as Microsoft makes extra-sure it doesn’t screw up the second update in a row.