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Windows 10 Decrapifier


What it is?

Windows 10 Decrapifier is a PowerShell script by csand, a fellow member at TenForums.com. It is used to clean a Windows image prior to its deployment by removing unwanted or unnecessary apps and tasks, and modifying privacy settings. Because it runs in script forms, users can modify it according to their own specific needs.

Running the script as-is with no modifications, it removes all Store apps except Store itself and other important apps such as Calculator and Sticky Notes. For most users this is OK.

Why Run the Script?

There are many Windows native apps I do not use nor want. Your mileage may vary, but I am quite sure that you, too, uninstall some apps as soon as your get to the desktop after a clean install. The same is true for some native tasks and settings as well.

After running the script, its results are immediately obvious. For instance, in my tests now, RAM usage on a VM after clean install of the latest Insider build, after letting the VM stay idle for a few minutes, is about 2.2 GB (VM with 6 GB RAM, 8 vCPU). The same VM after running the script, after reboot and a few minutes wait to let VM to “calm down” shows only 1.3 GB RAM usage. On a physical machine, deploying a fresh image with my standard settings and software uses about 4.4 GB RAM after first boot to desktop, whereas the same machine shows 3.2 GB RAM usage after boot if the script was run in Audit Mode before the image was captured.

The whole system footprint really is smaller.

How to Get It?

Download the script from Spiceworks: https://community.spiceworks.com/scripts/show/4378-windows-10-decrapifier-18xx-19xx

In this example, I installed Windows 10 Insider build 18990 (W10 PRO x64 EN-GB) on a Hyper-V virtual machine, booting it to Audit Mode. I ran Edge and downloaded the script, saving it as CleanWindows.ps1, and opened it in the PowerShell ISE script editor to edit the script. I decided to keep two specific apps in my deployment image: namely, Feedback Hub which is essential for a Windows Insider like me, and the Microsoft Weather app (it’s simply my favourite of all weather apps; #1 in next screenshot). Apps to keep are itemized in variable $GoodApps, which appears in line 85 in the script.

I then run the script with three switches to clean the Start Menu, keep OneDrive and related settings, and keep Cortana and Windows Search (#2 in screenshot, click to enlarge):

All available switches are documented on the script’s instructions page.

My opinion?

This script does a good job, working almost as expected. I used the word almost in the previous sentence because, at least on my tests using the latest Insider build, the -cortana switch which is supposed to leave Cortana and Windows Search intact did not work. Other than that, the script really produces a nice and tidy Start:

If you really do not need Cortana, I can wholeheartedly recommend using this script. Of course, as Cortana can be reinstalled, you can also use the script to clean Windows setup and then reinstall Cortana. It’s much faster and easier than removing unwanted apps one by one. Integrating script to an MDT deployment image, you can deploy identical, clean image meeting the corporate guidelines to all devices.

Although this one switch not working for me, I will for sure start using the script, with my edits.

I have only one objection: the name. What is crap to someone, is essential to another user. Doubting my non-native English, I had to check the meaning of word crap before criticizing it:

I do not like the name, I do not like degrading and mocking names used for Windows and its features, however funny and witty they are supposed to be. This is why I also only used the name of the script seldom (and with reluctance) in this story, and mostly talked just about the script. But, as I mentioned, that’s my only objection. This is, of course, just a subjective, personal opinion.

Kari

 

 

Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

2 Responses “Windows 10 Decrapifier”

  1. CountMike
    October 3, 2019 at 16:25

    I’m dead against programs like that. There are better ways to remove “crap”. most of it built into windows.

    • October 10, 2019 at 12:19

      I am not as much against this script itself, as it can be modified by user. What I am against is the name of it, the name chosen by the author. The name basically says that each and every Store app is crap, which is not true. There are users for whom Mail app is everything they need for their email accounts, those who simply like a game of Solitaire, Microsoft Weather app is the best weather app I have seen, and so on.

      However, generally speaking I must agree with you. Most of optimizers, tweakers and such are snake-oil, doing in some cases more harm than good. Windows is totally capable to take care of itself, and it is quite easy to remove and disable features and elements with just a few commands.

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