Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Windows 10 will soon block non-Store apps like OS X does

While annoying, it could keep malware and bloatware off your machine.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
February 28, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

AOL

In its latest beta build of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has slipped in a new feature that could make your PC either safer or more irritating, depending on your point of view. If you try to install a Win32 (desktop) app, it'll either pop up a warning that "the app you're installing isn't from the Windows Store" or completely block it, depending on the level of security you select. When enabled, you can still install Windows Store and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps with no warning.

The feature, noticed by Twitter user @vitorgrs (below) is disabled by default, so it won't bother you unless you search for it and turn it on. It might be incredibly annoying to power users, as it would block Photoshop, Firefox and other desktop apps. it could be a boon for your parents or grandparents, though, as it'll stop them from accidentally installing bloatware or other problematic apps.

Microsoft already blocks unknown Windows 10 software from being installed with a message that "the publisher could not be verified." However, it's relatively easy for bad actors to get around that and users can just bypass the error message.

With the new security settings, Windows 10 blocks any app that isn't in the Windows Store, whether it's a UWP or desktop app (Microsoft only recently allowed third-party desktop apps in the Windows Store). That means its policy will be very similar to Mac's OS X, which makes you jump through hoops to install non-App Store software.

Microsoft is reportedly testing a "Windows Cloud" service that's basically a Chrome OS-like version of Windows 10. The software giant may eventually offer it for free or at a discount to try to claw back hordes of educators and other uses that have switched to Google's OS. If the rumors are right, that new OS doesn't allow you to install regular Windows apps either, but it's apparently not the same thing as with the new Windows 10 Creators Update feature.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

View
Quibi confirms it's shutting down

Quibi confirms it's shutting down

View
The latest ‘Fortnite’ patch makes the game 60GB smaller on PC

The latest ‘Fortnite’ patch makes the game 60GB smaller on PC

View
Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

View
Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr