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Windows 10 Update Flaw Brings Back Removed Apps

Microsoft this week warned that applications already removed from Windows 10 version 1511 images may reappear when systems get updated to Windows 10 version 1607, the "anniversary update."

IT pros maintaining corporate computing environments likely put in the effort to get rid of certain apps, such as Candy Crush or Xbox apps, when setting up Windows 10 version 1511 images. Those apps come included with the operating system. However, any such built-in apps that IT pros removed when setting up Windows 10 version 1511 could pop up yet again when Windows 10 version 1607 arrives on end users' desktops, Microsoft warned.

It's an update flaw, and Microsoft is working on a future fix, explained Michael Niehaus, a Microsoft senior product marketing manager for Windows, in a Tuesday blog post.

The problem occurs regardless of the update management solution used to get Windows 10 version 1607. It happens with Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Niehaus explained.

Niehaus' announcement offered a couple of workarounds for the problem, depending on the update service an organization uses. The workaround is easier for organizations that downloaded their Windows 10 ISOs from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center. They can modify the INSTALL.WIM file to removed individual packaged apps when using SCCM or MDT, he explained.

On the other hand, users of the Windows Update or WSUS update services have it a bit rougher. Niehaus suggested that they should just let the unwanted apps install with Windows 10 version 1607. Next, they should run a script or a batch file that will remove the unwanted apps at bootup time, before end users start using them.

Things may be a bit different, though, for users of Windows 10 Professional version 1607, Niehaus noted:

Also remember that some apps aren't in-box but are instead installed from the Windows Store when a user signs on for the first time. See this blog for more details on that, and keep in mind that some of the policies related to this aren't supported in Windows 10 Pro version 1607 and later; see this TechNet article for the specifics.

Microsoft has limited IT pro controls to a certain degree with the Windows 10 Professional edition. They can't turn off tips and tricks notifications, for instance. Microsoft also removed Group Policy controls for blocking Windows Store App access with the Windows 10 Pro edition. IT pros have the greatest controls with the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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