Turn Off Windows 10 Annoying Features

Recently, I performed a clean install of Windows 10 Home on a new computer I built. Having mostly used Professional versions of Windows 10 or Windows 7, I was surprised with a number of inconvenient and even annoying ‘features’ that are automatically enabled in Windows 10 Home.

While some of these ‘features’ were only slight annoyances, such as advertisements in the start menu, many others have impeded in its usability. Using a number of registry tweaks and a third party Group Policy editing tool I have been able to disabled many of these features, for a more refined Windows experience.

This list represents the ‘features’ I have managed to disable at the moment. I will continue to update the list as a discover and disabled additional ones.

Automatically Downloading Apps and Games

To my immediate surprise after installing Windows, I found my fresh installation had a number of games and other apps installed.  As they did not consume a great deal of space, their installation was not a huge problem. However, I did not see the need for them to be installed when I was never going to use them.

After uninstalling the apps, I thought the process was over, however, the next time I opened the start menu, the same apps had been downloaded and installed again. Upon researching the issue, I found Windows automatically installs some apps and even reinstall them after to manually remove them.

To stop this behavior I found the following edit of the registry to be effective:

  • Open Registry Editor
  • Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager”
  • Open the SilentInstalledAppsEnabled key and change the value to 0

App Suggestions in the Start Menu

Another feature I decided to remove was app suggestions appearing in the start menu. Essentially apps you could download from the store appeared in a small suggestions section of the start menu. The following registry tweak prevents them from appearing:

  • Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager”
  • Open SystemPaneSuggestionsEnabled and set the value to 0

Replacing Shutdown Option with Update and Shutdown

This setting appears to be a good idea at first to ensure Windows updates are installed regularly. However, in practice I found it to cause a significant problem. One time, while working on the system, I found it to be behaving abnormally. In my experience, this was the type of behaviour that could be overcome by a reboot. However, I could not quickly reboot the computer as updates were available. My ‘restart’ and ‘shutdown’ options had been replaced by ‘update and restart’ and ‘update and shutdown’. Considering all I wanted to achieve was to quickly reboot the computer, neither of these options were acceptable.

To change this behaviour, you will need to edit the local Group Policy on your computer. Unfortunately, Windows 10 Home does not come with Group Policy editor inbuilt you will need to find a third party tool that allows you to edit the group policy.  Once you have a Group Policy editor installed, navigate to the following location and enable the policy

  • Windows Components > Windows Update > Do not display ‘Install Updates and Shut Down’ option in Shut Down Windows dialog box

Automatic Reboot for Updates

Another feature of Windows 10 Home that is difficult to like is the automatic reboots for updates. Essentially when an update is available, the computer can automatically reboot itself and install it if the user is inactive for some time. I found that while it attempted to save the state of everything you had open, it often didn’t work in practice.

To disable this feature, you will again need a Group Policy editor installed and navigate to the following Policy

  • Windows Components > Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates
  • Enable the Policy
  • Selection an option that suits you
    • I prefer option number three “Auto download and notify for install”
    • This option automatically downloads the updates, but ultimately allows you to decide when to install them

Enable Control-Alt-Delete on Login Screen

I find having this feature enabled can be useful for Windows 10 machines when managing them using team viewer. The standard login screen can be difficult ‘slide up’ to unlock when the remote connection is not very strong. Most remote management systems provide a button to send the CTRL+ALT+DEL key sequence to the remote machine.

It can be enabled or disabled using a group policy editor at the following location:

Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security\Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL

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