Microsoft offers to kill more bloatware with a new Windows 10 build

An Insider build of Windows 10 for next year's "19H1" update includes a way for Windows users to get rid of more Windows apps that they may never use.

Mark Hachman Oct 22nd 2018
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Microsoft took a step toward eliminating more app bloatware—well, some of its own app bloatware—with one of the earliest builds of next year’s upcoming Windows 10 “19H1” update.

For Insider build 18262 of Windows 10, Microsoft said it would allow users to uninstall several of its own apps from within the Start menu. The build isn’t part of “Redstone 5,” officially known as the October 2018 Update, which Microsoft is working to finalize. Instead, it will ship as part of the next, unnamed update due sometime in the first half of 2019.

In this new build, you’ll be able to right-click and uninstall the apps via the Start menu, Microsoft said. The apps users will be able to uninstall include:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Groove Music
  • Mail
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

The list includes a number of utilities, such as Snip & Sketch; some of the more basic apps whose functions are reproduced in Office, like Mail; and apps like Paint 3D which may have never taken off. Before the October 2018 Update, Microsoft previously allowed users to uninstall a few more, including Skype, Tips, Print3D, Weather, and some others.

A separate issue has been pre-populated bloatware like Candy Crush Soda Saga and Disney Magic Kingdoms, which tends to populate even business PCs—including Surface devices that Microsoft itself manufactures. (You can still uninstall these apps from the Start menu.) When the day comes that PCs ship without these apps, many Windows users will truly rejoice. 

What this means: It’s never been clear why Microsoft bundles unwanted apps like Candy Crush with Windows, when it already receives revenue from software licensing and subscriptions. A streamlined PC is an efficient PC, and that means not cluttering it up with apps that a user has no use for and can’t uninstall. Allowing users to uninstall more of Microsoft’s own apps is a step forward, though users won’t be entirely happy until they’re given even more control over which unwanted apps they can jettison.

Clarification: Apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga can still be uninstalled from the Start menu, though they come preinstalled on numerous Windows 10 machines.