Wind turbines on the mountain

What is Bloatware?

I use Windows 10 in a virtual machine in VMware Fusion 12 on a Intel based Mac for testing and for a couple of legacy applications that only run on Windows.

Windows comes with a whole host of apps which, although they are probably useful if you dont have a Mac, are no use to me. I just view Windows as a container to run my legacy apps. Consequently I dont want any extra software I don't need in my Windows installation. This is my definition of 'bloatware'

I also want the same browser, Firefox, that I use as my default browser on the Mac. I also dont want to install a third party software remover. So I wondered if there was an easy command line tool to help me remove many of the preinstalled apps Microsoft added to the OS and of course there is!.

Windows 10 Desktop - set to Windows Classic blue - Hex color: #0A3B76
Windows 10 Desktop in 'Classic blue' - Hex color: #0A3B76.

TL:DR — Open a command prompt with elevated permissions. Run PowerShell. Use 'dism' to find then delete apps you dont want.

Step by step instructions

  1. Open a command prompt with administrator permissions
  2. Run PowerShell
  3. Get a list of what is installed on your machine
  4. Delete the items you don't want
  5. Reboot and enjoy less bloatware
  6. More about 'Deployment Image Servicing and Management' (DISM)

1. Open a command prompt with administrator permissions

  1. Click the 'Windows' menu
  2. Select 'Command Prompt' click right and select 'Run as administrator.
Windows 10 Command Prompt 'Run as administrator'
Windows 10 Command Prompt 'Run as administrator'

2. Run PowerShell

  1. Click into the Command Prompt
  2. Type powershell.
Windows 10 Command Prompt with PowerShell loaded
Windows 10 Command Prompt with PowerShell loaded

3 Get a list of what is installed on your machine

Theres a handy command-line tool which is installed with Windows, that is normally before deployment. You can use it to install, uninstall, configure, and update Windows features! Exactly what we need.

dism /Online /Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages | select-string Packagename

The output wll be soemthing like this:

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> dism /Online /Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages | select-string Packagename

PackageName : Microsoft.3DBuilder_13.0.10349.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.BingWeather_4.25.20211.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller_2020.1111.2238.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.GetHelp_10.2004.31291.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Getstarted_7.3.20251.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.HEIFImageExtension_1.0.32532.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Messaging_2019.125.32.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Microsoft3DViewer_2020.2009.29132.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.MicrosoftOfficeHub_18.1901.1141.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection_4.2.11280.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes_3.7.142.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal_2000.20081.1312.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.MSPaint_2020.2009.30067.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Office.OneNote_16001.11126.20076.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.OneConnect_5.1902.361.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.People_2019.123.2346.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Print3D_3.3.791.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.ScreenSketch_2020.814.2355.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.SkypeApp_14.35.152.0_neutral_~_kzf8qxf38zg5c
PackageName : Microsoft.StorePurchaseApp_12011.1001.113.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.VP9VideoExtensions_1.0.32521.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Wallet_2.4.18324.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WebMediaExtensions_1.0.20875.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WebpImageExtension_1.0.32731.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2020.20090.1002.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsAlarms_2019.105.629.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsCalculator_2020.2009.4.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsCamera_2018.826.78.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_16005.11029.20108.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsFeedbackHub_2019.226.2324.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsMaps_2019.108.627.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder_2019.105.618.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.WindowsStore_12011.1001.113.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI_1.24.10001.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.XboxApp_48.48.7001.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay_1.54.4001.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay_5.420.11102.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider_12.67.21001.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay_1.21.13002.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.YourPhone_2020.1125.138.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.ZuneMusic_2019.18111.17311.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe
PackageName : Microsoft.ZuneVideo_2019.18111.17311.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Look through the list for possible Bloatware. Your list of items may vary :)

Delete the items you don't want

I'm pretty sure I don't have an Xbox or a Zune for example. Type the command and paste the packagename after /Packagename:and then Press 'Enter' to remove it.

dism /Online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /Packagename:

The output will look something like this:

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> dism /Online /Remove-ProvisionedAppxPackage /Packagename:Microsoft.ZuneVideo_2019.18111.17311.0_neutral_~_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.18362.1139

Image Version: 10.0.18363.1237

The operation completed successfully.

Reboot and enjoy less bloatware

DISM - Deployment Image Servicing and Management

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command-line tool which is installed with Windows, that is used to mount and service Windows images before deployment. You can use DISM to install, uninstall, configure, and update Windows features, packages, drivers, and international settings. DISM commands are used on offline images, but many are also available for a running operating system such as this one.

You can read all about DISM over at Microsoft in the Windows Hardware Developer pages. DISM - Deployment Image Servicing and Management.

Note: Marvel at how Mark, Copy and Paste in the Windows Command Prompt hasn't got any better since the 80's