There are plenty of new features coming in the Windows 10 Creator's update, but one small change in Insider builds was greatly appreciated. In October of last year, Microsoft introduced the ability to uninstall certain stock apps.
Unfortunately, the feature looks to be short lived. Reddit's /u/jantari found it's no longer possible in build 15014. Many of the default Windows apps now have the “Uninstall” option grayed out in settings.
Apps that cannot be uninstalled include Calculator, Maps, Movies, OneNote, Voice Recorder, Xbox, and Mail and Calendar. This could be a problem if users are experiencing issues with the apps or simply don't want them on their system.
It's not yet known why the functionality is gone or if it will come back. Insider builds are for testing, so this may just be a temporary measure. It's also possible upcoming features require them. The ‘My People' feature coming in Redstone 3, for example, integrates Mail. A Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews:
“The Windows Insider Program was created to enable Microsoft to test different features and functionality which will influence future versions of Windows. We regularly test new features and changes to existing features to see what resonates well with our fans. Thank you for your feedback on this particular feature.”
This looks like a stock answer and doesn't give much clarification on the subject. It's not clear if Microsoft is saying the removal is a test, or implementing the feature in the first place was. Still, it's possible enough outcry will result in its return.
Alternate Ways to Uninstall Windows 10 Stock Apps
Fortunately, all is not lost. People were using various methods to uninstall Windows 10 Stock apps before and can continue to do so. However, these tactics can result in issues, so it's easy to see why some users are annoyed.
The primary method is to use PowerShell commands to force uninstall the apps. To uninstall Xbox, for example, the user just has to type “Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage.” Users can also use the uninstall function in CCleaner to achieve the same result.
Of course, these are both roundabout methods and not as safe as using built-in Windows functions. The change applies to multiple versions of the OS, so it's not a one-off. It's definitely a little strange for Microsoft to remove the feature when it's so popular.
With hope, we'll hear more information about this change soon. It would be nice to have some extra clarification on Microsoft's part. You can subscribe to our newsletter to get any updates as they happen.