When you install Windows 10 from scratch, some Universal Platform applications do get installed by default or at least linked in the Start Menu. That’s true for Windows 10 Home, Pro and even Enterprise.
Microsoft has been criticized in the past for pushing games to newly installed Windows 10 Pro systems. We never got an official explanation why Candy Crush Saga, Seeker’s Notes, or Netflix on Pro systems.
Have things changed? Tero Alhonen suggested that they have. He posted a screenshot on Twitter that showed the Start Menu of a Home system installation of Windows 10 Home without Candy Crush Saga. His screenshot still showed other apps, Netflix and Spotify in particular.
Martin Geuss chimed in stating that he still saw games being listed in the Start Menu using the MSDN ISO of Windows 10 version 1903. Geuss installed Windows 10 Pro as well and it too listed several games in the Start menu on first start of the system.
Paul Thurott finally installed Windows 10 Pro and still got games installed; these were listed in a Play group on the system and no longer listed individually. Microsoft changed the layout of the Start Menu in the May 2019 Update, and that is probably the reason why.
Time to find out what is going on
I installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 version 1903 on a test system and created a local account that I used to sign in. The Start menu of the operating system was divided into two groups of apps called Productivity and Explore.
Some options displayed just a download icon and the hover text “a great app is on its way” at first. It took a while for the apps to become available.
The Productivity group listed Office, Mail, Microsoft Edge, Photos, Weather, and a group with Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, PowerPoint, and OneNote applications.
The Explore group listed the Microsoft Store, Spotify Music, Netflix, Microsoft News, Xing, and the Play group with Candy Crush Friends Saga, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Candy Crush Saga, March of Empires, Gardenscapes, and Seekers Notes.
Some games were not installed but did install as soon as you clicked on the icon in the Start menu.
Devices with Windows 10 Home or Pro installations will get games and other third-party applications regardless of the selected account type. The only exception to the rule is if the Pro version is domain joined; games won’t be listed in that case.
Enterprise and Education systems get only productivity apps, and there are mechanisms in place to turn these off as well.
There may be regional differences as well in regards to apps and games that do get installed on Windows 10 devices.
It is easy enough to remove these from Windows 10; just right-click on individual apps or games and select “unpin” or “uninstall” from the context menu. Windows 10 version 1903 comes with options to unpin an entire group of apps as well in the Start Menu by right-clicking on the group title.
I think that Pro systems should not come with games or entertainment apps by default, but that is just my opinion.
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