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Uninstall unwanted Windows 10 applications using Intune

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about a method you can use to remove those unwanted modern applications from your enterprise environment using Intune and the Microsoft Store for Business.

There are a couple of ways you can remove modern applications from your users with Intune. With the recent deployment of Intune Management Extensions, one of the most obvious ways would be to deploy a PowerShell script. However, I’ve personally found this method isn’t always fool proof and (at the time of writing this post), there is no way to re-run the script should the unwanted application reinstall itself (like when a new version of the operating system comes around).

Modern management thinking

While the concept of modern management is to give the user freedom to use the device however they need to be productive, whilst still securing the device, the applications and the information on it; many organisations still want unnecessary applications (or bloatware for lack of a better term) removed. I’m talking about things like the “Skype Preview”, “Xbox” or the “Get Office” modern applications that are preinstalled with Windows 10. These can be unwanted in an enterprise environment where Office 365 ProPlus with Skype for Business will be deployed, or the Xbox app may provide a distraction from productivity.

Removing these applications is a lot easier than one might think. Did you know the modern applications that you see pre-installed with Windows 10 are also available in the Microsoft Store for Business?  You can simply add the unwanted application to your library in the business store, then deploy an uninstallation of that application through Intune to your targeted users or devices.

Step by Step instructions

For steps on how to do that, see below:

  1.  Log into the business store at https://businessstore.microsoft.com
  2. Search for the modern application you would like to remove (eg. Xbox).
  3. Click “Get the app”. When that completes, click the “…” next to the install button and choose “Add to Private Store”. This process can take up to 36hrs to complete but most of the time it should only take a few minutes.
  4. Log into the Intune portal at https://portal.azure.com
  5. You may need to synchronise the Business Store. Do that through Intune > Mobile apps > Microsoft Store for Business > Sync
  6. Once synchronisation is complete go to Intune > Mobile apps > Apps, and you should see the application that was just added to the store.
  7. Click on the application and go to Assignments > Select groups > Add the group you want to target for the removal of the application.
  8. Once the group has been selected this is where you can specify the uninstallation. Select “Uninstall” under the Type drop down menu. Select the relevant license type (in this case it is User Licencing).
  9. Save all changes and wait for the magic to happen. As machines update their policy from Intune, the removal of the unwanted application will occur.

As you can see from this simple screen shot – here is Xbox before the above steps were performed.

Uninstall unwanted Windows 10 applications using Intune

And this is what happened after the policy refresh.

Uninstall unwanted Windows 10 applications using Intune

If you would like to know more about how you can leverage Microsoft Intune for your organisation, please feel free to reach out at any time.

Tags: Cloud, Microsoft, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S), Microsoft Intune

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