Microsoft explains why some Windows 10 apps can’t be removed

Windows 10 app store

Whether you buy a Surface or build your own desktop, your
Windows 10 installation will still include several preinstalled
apps.

Windows 10 ships with a number of apps that users normally
aren’t able to uninstall unless they use PowerShell or
third-party application that gives greater control over the OS.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has added more apps to the
list of uninstallable programs on Windows 10. After recent
feature updates, you can get rid of most superfluous
preinstalled apps you never use and it’s as simple as pressing
and holding an app icon on the Start Menu.

In fact,
you can now also uninstall Paint and Notepad. However,
there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, you
cannot uninstall the new core apps, such as the Your Phone app
and Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge dialog

After the recent update to Windows 10, Microsoft said it
removed the uninstall option for the Chromium browser, which
means that once you install the browser, you cannot remove it
unless you play with PowerShell tool.

In multiple support documents, Microsoft has explained that
some apps can’t be removed because the issue is more complex
than it first appears. The problem is how apps interact with
each other and Windows 10.

For example, Windows 10 preinstalled apps could be linked to
something else on the operating system. In one support
document, which was quietly updated over the weekend, Microsoft
stated
that the Chromium-based Edge is an essential component of the
OS and is used to support apps that rely on the web UI, such as
the payment or login gateways.

“…Because Windows supports applications that rely on the web
platform, our default web browser is an essential component of
our operating system and can’t be uninstalled,” Microsoft’s new
support documentation reads, which was updated again after
users noticed that Edge can’t be removed.

The above statement from Microsoft makes a strong point. If you
were to use a web-dependent Microsoft Store app without the web
platform on Windows 10, where would the login hyperlink in apps
beam you to with no Microsoft Edge browser?

Likewise, in another support document, Microsoft noted that you
cannot uninstall the Your Phone app because it is deeply
integrated into Windows to “light up multiple cross-device
experiences”.

“In order to build more of these experiences between phones,
PCs, and other devices, the app can’t be uninstalled,”
Microsoft noted.

Windows 10 Your Phone
Image Courtesy: Microsoft

Of course, you can delete the Your Phone app with a PowerShell
command, but you’ll also lose the link your phone functionality
in Windows 10. Any connected devices and services you might use
with the Your Phone app will not work

In simple terms, Microsoft Edge, Your Phone app, and some other
apps are linked to something else on Windows 10. If they were
to be removed, they might cause issues elsewhere on your
device.

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