Remove Unwanted Programs from Windows 10 using PowerShell


Introduction

Sometimes in Windows 10, some of the default Apps or Programs become stuck and you cannot easily uninstall them using the Apps & features interface. This mini guide will go over how you can remove unwanted programs from Windows 10 using PowerShell.

When building a dedicated mining rig you want to try and eliminate as many unnecessary components from the computer as possible. This may include disabling onboard devices within the BIOS and eliminating as many unneeded programs and processes as possible.

When using Windows 10, even though it is actually a great OS for mining, getting it setup that way can sometimes be a challenge. One challenge is to eliminate many of the bundled programs that come with Windows 10, or get installed at a later time.

You can usually do this through the Apps & features interface by highlighting an app and clicking on the uninstall button. While this works most of the time, I have had more than a few occasions when an app simply gets stuck and doesn’t uninstall this way, The uninstall button becomes greyed out and there seems to be no way to get rid of the unwanted program.


Using PowerShell to Remove Apps

PowerShell to the rescue.

Open up PowerShell using Administrator privileges by right clicking on the Windows start icon, and selecting Windows PowerShell (Admin).

To uninstall programs and application you will use a command in the form of: Get-AppxPackage ProgramName | Remove-AppxPackage where ProgramName is the name of the program you wish to uninstall.

This is where it gets tricky, as the naming convention can seem all over the board at times. Thankfully there are ways to list the programs on your computer and there associated names.

In this example I want to uninstall the Camera app. Normally it is impossible to uninstall the normal way, as I suppose this has some carry over to the same OS being used in Windows Phone. I am trying to uninstall it on a dedicated mining rig with no camera, or plans to ever have a camera added.

So to uninstall the Camera app, I can type in:

Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage

in the PowerShell window and hit enter. There is not much feedback and the prompt will simply return once it is done.

You can of course go back into the Apps & features interface to verify it has indeed been removed. If you remove something that you want restored, simply visit the Windows Store to download and reinstall any removed apps.

To see the full list of installed apps on your computer you can enter the following command into PowerShell:

Get-AppxPackage | Select Name, PackageFullName

This will display all the app names and their full package name, which is what you want to uninstall the app.

Notice, you can use asterisks (*) as wildcard characters to make entering the desired program’s name a lot simpler. In the earlier example when I removed the Camera app using:

Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage

I was taking advantage of using wildcard characters to eliminate some typing, as the full package name is: Microsoft.WindowsCamera_2018.826.78.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

The only requirement when using wildcards is that the shortened name remains unambiguous to the program so it know which one you mean.


List of App Names

While you can use the above method to find the full list of apps on your computer, oftentimes it is just one or two stubborn ones you wish to remove. For that reason I have compiled a quick list of the more common Apps (and their shortened full path names) that you can quickly use.

3D Viewer:
Get-AppxPackage *3dviewer* | Remove-AppxPackage

3D Builder:
Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage

Alarms and Clock:
Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage

Calculator:
Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage

Camera:
Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage

Get Help:
Get-AppxPackage *microsoft.gethelp* -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage

Get Started:
Get-AppxPackage *getstarted* | Remove-AppxPackage

Groove Music:
Get-AppxPackage *zunemusic* | Remove-AppxPackage

Mail and Calendar:
Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage

Maps:
Get-AppxPackage *windowsmaps* | Remove-AppxPackage

Messaging:
Get-AppxPackage *messaging* | Remove-AppxPackage

Microsoft Solitaire Collection:
Get-AppxPackage *solitairecollection* | Remove-AppxPackage

Money:
Get-AppxPackage *bingfinance* | Remove-AppxPackage

Movies & TV:
Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage

News:
Get-AppxPackage *bingnews* | Remove-AppxPackage

OneNote:
Get-AppxPackage *onenote* | Remove-AppxPackage

Office:
Get-AppxPackage *officehub* | Remove-AppxPackage

Paint3D
Get-AppxPackage *mspaint* | Remove-AppxPackage

People:
Get-AppxPackage *people* | Remove-AppxPackage

Phone:
Get-AppxPackage *windowsphone* | Remove-AppxPackage

Photos:
Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage

Skype:
Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage

Sports:
Get-AppxPackage *bingsports* | Remove-AppxPackage

Store:
Get-AppxPackage *windowsstore* | Remove-AppxPackage

Voice Recorder:
Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage

Weather:
Get-AppxPackage *bingweather* | Remove-AppxPackage

Xbox:
Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage


Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store

If you decide to keep the Microsoft Store app, you can reduce its impact on your system by opening it up, click on the three dots in the upper right and choose Settings. Then turn off the Update apps automatically slider. This prevents the store from updating apps or installing new ones.

I also turn off the other two sliders for good measure.

If you deleted the Microsoft Store app and you need it back, you can simply visit the Microsoft Store website to downlaod and re-enable it.

Or if for some reason you want to restore all the apps you removed in one go, you can enter the following command in PowerShell.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

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