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August 11, 2020

MS Denies Support for MS Store Removal

Oho! Here’s an interesting pronouncement from Microsoft Support. The title of a November 12 Windows Support note says it all: “Removing, uninstalling, or reinstalling Microsoft Store app is not supported.” Basically, this means that anybody who uses the well-known PowerShell methods to uninstall or reinstall the Microsoft Store thereby becomes ineligible for support directly from the OS’s maker. Take a look at bulk of the body of the Support note, copied verbatim from the preceding link:


In Windows 10, we do not recommend removing or uninstalling the Microsoft Store app.

More Information

This behavior is by design.

If you uninstalled Microsoft Store by any means and want to reinstall it, the only Microsoft-supported method is to reset or reinstall the operating system, which will reinstall Microsoft Store.

Important notice:

Uninstalling the Microsoft Store app is not supported, and uninstalling it may cause unintended consequences.

There is no supported workaround to uninstall or reinstall Microsoft Store.

Microsoft’s only supported methods for repairing Windows 10 installations with Windows Store issues, according to this note, require users or admins to “reset or reinstall the operating system.”

But Wait! Other approaches Are Possible and Workable

Before I would reset or reinstall the Windows 10 OS on a PC having severe enough Windows Store issues to need repairs of some kind, I would try a couple of other things first. To begin with, one could follow the instructions in OPTION 2 of Shawn Brink’s excellent TenForums tutorial entitled Re-register Microsoft Store App in Windows 10. If that didn’t do the trick, I would next try an in-place upgrade repair install (covered in another great TenForums tutorial Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-Place Upgrade).

There are very few Windows 10 problems I’ve ever encountered that an In-Place Upgrade Repair Install won’t fix — and in my experience such things have usually involved device driver and/or hardware issues. Anybody who’s worked with MS Support staffers or read about people’s encounters with MS Support knows they’re fond of recommending reset or reinstall as something of a panacea for nasty, difficult problems.

This is technically correct, but my “try these two first” items may involved a lot less work for people with Microsoft Store problems — if they work. Neither one of them (reset Store or in-place upgrade repair install) takes more than 15-30 minutes on most PCs. Reset or reinstall requires rebuilding the runtime environment from scratch: reinstalling all applications, recreating all preferences and settings, and so forth. On one of my PCs, this is a half-day chore (or longer) even taking advantage of automated installation tools like Chocolatey.

And that is why, with all due respect to Microsoft Support, I will respectfully disagree with this advice to recommend two other less labor-instensive repairs before enacting their prescription.

[NOTE] Thanks to Martin Brinkmann at Ghacks.net for bringing this support note to my attention in a November 15 article there. My advice is a superset of his, but I’m glad he pointed it out to me. In fact, I always find his site and insights interesting.

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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