Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Default Apps

This is a multi-part blog series focused on optimizing Windows 10 VDI

Roughly every 6 months, Microsoft releases a new major update to Windows 10.  Microsoft continues to add new capabilities into the base operating system that will have an impact on the user experience in a VDI implementation.

Default Apps

Microsoft expanded the list of default applications that come pre-installed within the base OS.

With each release, the number of default apps increased.

  • Build 1507: 24 Apps
  • Build 1607: 26 Apps
  • Build 1703: 31 Apps
  • Build 1709: 33 Apps
  • Build 1803: 35 Apps

As shown in previous tests, leaving these apps part of the base operating system directly impact user logon time and overall system density. It is generally recommended to review the list of apps and uninstall those that are not necessary for the users.

To see a list of default Windows apps, run the following PowerShell command:
Get-ProvisionedAppXPackage -Online|Select DisplayName

Color Code:

  • Green: Remove
  • Orange: Consider removing
  • Red: Keep
  • Black: App does not exist on build

Application Name Build 1507 Build 1607 Build 1703 Build 1709 Build 1803
Microsoft.3DBuilder Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.Appconnector Keep
Microsoft.BingFinance Consider
Microsoft.BingNews Consider
Microsoft.BingSports Consider
Microsoft.BingWeather Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller Keep Keep Keep Keep
Microsoft.GetHelp Remove Remove
Microsoft.Getstarted Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.Messaging Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.Microsoft3DViewer Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub Remove Remove Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.MSPaint Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.Office.OneNote Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.OneConnect Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.People Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.Print3D Remove Remove
Microsoft.SkypeApp Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.StorePurchaseApp Keep Keep Keep Keep
Microsoft.Wallet Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.Windows.Photos Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.WindowsAlarms Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep
Microsoft.WindowsCalculator Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep
Microsoft.WindowsCamera Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.WindowsFeedbackHub Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.WindowsMaps Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.WindowsPhone Consider
Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.WindowsStore Consider Consider Consider Consider Consider
Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI Remove Remove
Microsoft.XboxApp Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay Remove
Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.ZuneMusic Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove
Microsoft.ZuneVideo Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove

Note: Office Hub is an app that changed functionality across different builds.  In early builds, Office Hub was essentially an ad for Office 365.  In the Creator build, Office Hub adds management capabilities for Office users.

Daniel (Follow on Twitter @djfeller)
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 VDI Handbook
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15 thoughts on “Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Default Apps

Add yours

  1. We noticed recently that even after removing default apps and then deploying VDI that the apps will reinstall. Have you encountered this? There doesn’t seem to be a fix that MS has to prevent this from happening.


    1. how are you removing the app? You will need to do it in the master image via powershell using this command
      Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -online | Select DisplayName,PackageName

      Grab the package name item that relates to the display name item you want to remove. Then use this command so the app won’t be provisioned to new users.

      Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -Package packagename -online
      example of package name: Microsoft.WindowsMaps_2017.209.105.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe


      1. We’ve done exactly as you’re describing in XenDesktop 7.13 but after doing so and provisioning a desktop the user logs in for the first time and the apps start downloading again.


  2. What are the limitations with accounts? Are you able to have a local Administrator profile with XenDesktop and Windows 10. The reason i ask is we have a customer that is asking for The creators edition and Visual Studio 2017


  3. I have found through extensive testing that if you remove Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI, the Windows Store will no longer function, neitehr will the Windows Photos app.


      1. I removed the packages offline from the install.wim.
        I’ve generated a list of packages that can be removed from 1703.
        When you remove the same ones from 1709 you’ll find there are 3 new ones; GetHelp, Xbox.TCUI & Print3D.
        As soon as I add Xbox.TCUI to the list of packages to remove, Windows Store doesn’t function after the OS is installed.


    1. I’ve been chasing this one around for a while, I couldn’t find out why the Photo app was the only one that I keep that fails to run. I’ve updated my script and testing now.


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