I recently had to set up a couple of new windows 10 machines for the family, and thought I would share with you a quick and easy way to essentially remove all the rubbish and clutter than microsoft likes to package in with the worlds most popular software! If you’d prefer to watch the full tutorial on Youtube you can see here for more:
I went through the initial set up. Downloaded the media creation tool from Microsoft, stuck in the USB key, ran the executable and a short while later I was left with a bootable USB installation key. No surprises there. Next inserted it into the new desktop (a shiny intel i5 nuc) and 10 minutes or so later, the nuc was running windows 10 and we were at the desktop. It was at this point that I decided to go through the process of cleaning out the various installations that Microsoft chose to burden me with.
Here is a list of what I set about removing:
3DBuilder, Appconnector, Bing Finance, Bing News, Bing Sports, Bing Weather, Fresh Paint, Get started, Microsoft Office Hub, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Microsoft Sticky Notes, OneNote, OneConnect, People, Skype for Desktop, Alarms, Camera, Maps, Phone, SoundRecorder, XboxApp, Zune Music, Zune Video, Windows communications apps, Minecraft, PowerBI, Network Speed Test, Phone, Messaging, Office Sway, Windows Feedback Hub, Bing Food And Drink, Bing Travel, Bing Health And Fitness, Windows Reading List, Twitter, Pandora, Flipboard, Shazam, CandyCrush, CandyCrushSoda, King apps, iHeartRadio, Netflix, DrawboardPDF, PicsArt-PhotoStudio, FarmVille 2 Country Escape, TuneInRadio, Asphalt8, NYT Crossword, CyberLink MediaSuite Essentials, Facebook, Royal Revolt 2, Caesars Slots Free Casino, March of Empires, Phototastic Collage, Autodesk SketchBook, Duolingo, EclipseManager, ActiproSoftware, BioEnrollment, Windows Feedback, Xbox Game CallableUI, Xbox Identity Provider, and ContactSupport.
(candy crush and farmyard… really?)
In order to remove this complete list in a clean and easy way, I went to here:
I downloaded the script, and extracted it into the downloads folder. I then renamed the folder simply to “a” and then moved it into a directory I set up on the main disk (C:\temp). I did this so that it was easy to navigate, given i was going to need to use the command line to proceed. Next I needed to run the Powershell as Admin. I navigated to the following directory C:\temp\a\ and then ran the “dir” command. Sure enough there were the script files. At this point I needed to open the security protocols to be able to proceed with the installation:
get-ExecutionPolicy (returned the following result of Restricted).
I entered the following command:
Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Force
This essentially cleared the way for third party scripts to be run. disclaimer: You should never download and run scripts from the internet if you don’t trust the source or understand what they do. In this instance I am comfortable with the risk.
After you’ve run the script and you’re finished you can always return to Restricted status by running the following: Set-ExecutionPolicy Default -Force
That aside, i chose to proceed. I was still in C:\temp\a\ so I ran the following:
Moments later the script window opened providing me with the following screen:
At this point it’s just a matter of clicking through what you need and what you didn’t.
First things to go were to disable Cortana (don’t like her), Telemetry/Tasks (I don’t want my machine continually contacting microsoft outside of legitimate updates or tracking my location etc), and then I removed OneDrive (I prefer Dropbox and don’t like how Microsoft Office tries to get you to continually use OneDrive leading to duplications). I then clicked to Remove All Bloatware. At this point in the process the script fired off and you just saw a wealth of code flashing in the powershell window as slowly but surely the rubbish was uninstalled. I then proceeded to Customize Blacklist. Here I selected even more to remove of things that I had no need for. Once I’d made my selection I removed “Bloatware with Customized Blacklist” and a few moments later, the installation was even leaner!
Last few things to do were to Unpin Tiles from the Start Menu to clear that up and remove the patchwork of crap that was my Start Menu previously.
Finally I removed the Bloatware Regkeys to make sure all traces were gone. I closed the script window and admired my work!
This is how it should have started.
Check out my next post on how I then proceeded to quickly and efficiently installed the third party applications that we wanted to use via Chocolatey the packet manager.
Let me know in the comments if you have any more questions!