How to Enable or Disable features in Windows 10 via Group Policy Editor

I found at of settings in Group Policy Editor or GPEDIT.MSC related to Windows10 which can be used to enable or disable certain features on Windows 10. They all are located in Administrative Templates of Computer and User Configuration and applies to the l computer. Type Group Policy Editor on Start screen or use WIN + R and type gpedit.msc and hit enter. In this post, we will share how you can use to enable or disable features in Windows 10 via Group Policy Editor.

Enable Disable features Windows 10

How to Enable or Disable features in Windows 10 via Group Policy Editor

  • Controlling Windows Store Access
  • Windows 10 App Settings
  • Windows 10 User options

1] Controlling Windows Store Access

Location : Windows Components > Stores

  • Turn of Automatic Download of updates
  • Allow stores to install apps on Windows to go Workspaces
  • Turn of Store application.

Using it, you can not only control the automatic updates but also block complete access to Microsoft Stoe Apps. They are useful in the corporate environment where only in house apps should be used.

Though I haven’t seen any option to set Windows 10 apps to auto-update this feature can be used somehow, either by the app itself or through some other program.

In case you want to disable the New App installed Notification from Windows 8 Store, enable the settings at this location :

Location: Windows Components > File Explorer

  • Do not Show new application installed notification

2] Windows 10 App Settings

Proxy control for Windows 10 Apps

It is possible to control the apps to connect over a proxy network or only over the permitted network, both Intranet, and the Internet. Useful if you want to make the apps work on proxy if the primary network has blocked it. More useful for Admins to make sure the network works only in a specific IP range.

Location: Network > Network Isolation

  1. Specify Internet / Intranet Proxy Server for Apps
  2. Private Network ranges for Apps

Safeguarding Printer Driver crashing the Apps :

Location: Printers

  1. Isolate Printer Driver from Apps

It makes sure that Printer Driver instead of loading the drivers into the Apps, it is isolated and does not crash the apps. However, the apps have to honor or support this isolation method. Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, etc. already support this.

Enable / Install Apps from outside Store :

If you have developed apps which are signed by a valid certificate and can be recognized by the computer, you can install apps with no issues by enabling these settings. Typical examples are Line of Business Apps developed in your company.

Location: Windows Components > App Package Deployment

  • Allow All Trusted Apps to Install

Block Packaged Apps launching Desktop Apps :

The logic here is that a Store app or a signed app can start a file which in turn might launch the desktop app because of the default association of the file with the desktop app. Since Desktop Apps run with higher privilege, it can result in security concerns.

Location : Windows Components > App Runtime

  1. Block Launching Desktop Apps with a File
  2. Block Launching Desktop Apps with an associated protocol

However enabling the policy settings does not block packaged apps from launching http, https, and mail to protocols that would be passed to a desktop app. The handlers for these protocols are accustomed to handling data from untrusted sources and are therefore hardened against protocol-based vulnerabilities. The risk of allowing these protocols to be passed to a desktop app is minimal.

3] Windows 10 User Options

Stop sharing personal details with Apps

Windows 10 allows Apps to read some basic details from your user profile to be used in the app. As an example, your name can be used to fill in the name of the app automatically. You may choose to disable sharing such details.

Location : System > User Profiles >

  • Disable Sharing Personal Details to the app for all users.

Stop users uninstall apps from Start Screen :

Uninstall a metro app is as easy as doing a right-click. If you do not have user to uninstall Apps from the Start screen, enable this setting.

Location : User configuration > Administrative Templates > Start menu and Taskbar >

  • Prevent Users from Uninstalling Apps from Start Menu.

Disable Application Compatibility :

Windows 8 or any other Windows has compatibility feature detection inbuilt which allows you to install programs using different settings. Starting with Windows 8, it is now possible to disable this compatibility feature entirely if you wish to remove old app support entirely on your PC.

Location :  System > Troubleshooting & Diagnostics > Application Compatibility Diagnostics

  • Detect Compatibility Issues for applications  and drivers

Disable Start Screen Background Image :

If you don’t like the background image on Windows 8 Start Screen and would love to have an only solid colored background, follow these steps

Location: Windows Components > Windows Desktop Manager

  • Enable Solid Colours only

There are lot more policies that are available for admins to change settings in Windows 10. if you have anything specific, leave that in the comments.


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