Removing Unwanted Windows Apps Using PolicyPak and PDQ Deploy

Once you have your applications deployed using PDQ, how do you quickly REMOVE in-box junk, recommended, and advertised apps like Candy Crush, Windows Mail, XBOX apps and so on?
Easy.
By using PolicyPak Scripts Manager, and a PolicyPak preconfigured script.

Check out this video to see PolicyPak instantly remove junk from the Windows 10 desktop… in no time flat.

Removing Unwanted Windows Apps Using PolicyPak and PDQ Deploy

Shane: Hey, everybody, I’m Shane.

Jeremy: I’m Jeremy.

Shane: What are we going to do here?

Jeremy: Let me ask you. Do you have people who ask you from time to time, “How the heck do you get rid of all the” – I’m not going to call it crap, I’ll call it junk – “how do get rid of all the junk that Microsoft preinstalls?”

Shane: The noise?

Jeremy: The noise, and get down to just maybe the good apps that you want instead of all the stuff that’s preinstalled. Do you get that from time to time?

Shane: I’ve actually asked that.

Jeremy: Yeah, it’s very annoying.

Shane:It was a slam-dunk in previous versions of Windows.

Jeremy: Yeah, but now it’s like all this stuff. And there are two types of packages. There are packages that are preinstalled. Then there are packages that are suggested, and they’re kind of like almost installed. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get rid of all that stuff all in one fell swoop?

Shane: Let’s do it.

Jeremy: Let’s do it. We’re going to leave this machine up and running here. I’ve actually got this script. You can get this script from PolicyPak.com. It’s not hard to generate if you want to do it yourself. Basically, what you’re doing is you’re getting an AppX package (“Get-AppxPackage”), finding its name, and removing the AppX package (“Remove-AppxPackage”).

We’re going to take this whole giant script. We’ve got like, I don’t know, 90 things. Then we’re going to use PolicyPak Scripts Manager. PolicyPak Scripts Manager is a built-in thing for us. We’ll go to “WEB Engineers.” We’re going to say “PP Uninstall Junk Apps.” Maybe “unwanted apps” is probably the nice way to do it: “uninstall unwanted apps.”

Shane: Okay.

Jeremy: Now the thing is, you could do this is a garden-variety Windows script, but then it’s going to run every time, slowing the machine down at log on. Wouldn’t it be better if you could deploy it once and never again? That’s the lash-up.

We’ll go to user side, “PolicyPak” and we’ll dive down under “Scripts Manager.” We’ll then right click and “Add” a “New Policy.” Now here’s the other part about this. You might want to have some packages that are going to be removed, say, when you’re on the sales team, but then you want to get back some packages if you’re on the marketing team. So you need an on script and an off script. I’m not going to do the off script part, but you can use your imagination.

Here’s the on script. I’m going to use “PowerShell script,” “Run script as user” and paste in all that stuff. We’re going to get rid of all these things in real time. But you can envision that there’s an off script as well, so when I move from sales to marketing I’m turning back on some packages. I’m installing some things.

Shane: And you have a cheat sheet right there too.

Jeremy: Yeah, you’re ready to rock. You could do it “Always.” Probably overkill for what we’re doing here, but there could be a script where if the user keeps making a change over and over again, you’re going to keep changing it over and over again. “Oh, really? Who’s in charge? Us or the users? It’s us.” Or “Once,” which is what we’re going to do here, or “Once or when forced.”

Let’s just do it one time and never again. We’ll go ahead and click on “Next” here. We’ll call this “remove junk apps,” and we’re ready to rock. It’s just that simple. We’ll go over to our endpoint machine which has all the stuff here, and we’ll watch it in real time. We’ll go ahead and go to a “Command Prompt.”

Shane: You’re going to go ahead and force a GP Update, I take it?

Jeremy: You are reading my mind. Now we’re going to run “gpupdate /force,” but we’re going to watch it in real time. Now it takes a second or two to kick in, but you’ll know it’s kicking in when all of a sudden you’re going to start seeing things fly off the Start Menu and fly off the “Recently added” list. I see some fluttering. I see some activity. There we go. Boom, boom, boom. It’s nuking each of the things off.

Now notice this once category we have here: “Good Apps That won’t Delete.” That’s the kind of stuff you’d be deploying using PDQ Deploy. In my case, I just put “Notepad” in there. You can see, using this script, it’s substantially taking away all the things that most people don’t want in their builds. And it does it one time and never again.

Shane: PolicyPak, baby.

Jeremy: Here for you, guys. Thanks so much.

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