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How to disable the Windows Store in Windows 8

By on October 19, 2012 | Last Updated: December 21, 2012 | Read 35,901 times.
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If due to tightened security you do not want a user to be able to use the Windows Store, you can disable it via a policy in the Group Policy Editor or via a Registry key.

Note: If you are not using Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise you will not have access to the group policy editor. Instead you should follow the instructions here.

To access the Group Policy Editor you should type Group Policy in the Start Screen and then click on the Settings category. The option for Edit Group Policy should now appear.

Click on the Edit Group Policy option and the Group Policy editor will open. Under the Local Computer Policy, expand the tree to the following path:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Store

When you see Store, left click on it to select it as shown in the image below.

 

Store category

 

In the right-hand pane you should now see a variety of settings. Double-click on the Turn off the Store application setting and its properties screen will open.

 

Turn off the store policy

 

Select the Enabled radio button and then click on the Apply button. Finally click on the OK button and close the Group Policy Editor. Windows 8 will no longer allow you to use the Windows Store app.

 

Windows Store is disabled

 

If you want to enable this feature in the future, just go back to the same setting and change it to Not Configured.

If you are not using Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise you will not have access to the Group Policy Editor. Instead you will need to enable the setting through the Windows Registry. This setting can be enabled by creating the RemoveWindowsStore REG_DWORD value under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore Registry key and setting it to 1.

Note: You should only use these Registry files if you do not have access to the Group Policy Editor.

If you do not feel comfortable editing the Registry, you can download this Registry file that will disable the Windows Store app for you:

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/windows-8/policies/store/DisWS.reg

Just download the above Registry file and double-click on it. When it asks if you wish to merge the data, click on the Yes button.

If you want to use enable the Windows Store app again in the future you can download and run this Registry file:

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/reg/windows-8/policies/store/EnWS.reg

 

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