Turn off app recommendations on Windows 10

This is again not quite new, but needs to be added here for the sake of completeness 🙂

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One of the first customizations of Windows 10 in the enterprise is probably to turn off app recommendations by Microsoft. This new feature displays suggested apps in the start menu like the good old Candy Crush Jelly Saga.

It can be turned off by group policy, MDM policy or registry. When you create a reference image, keep in mind that the reference client should not be connected to the internet. By the way, this is generally not recommended.

The group policy setting can be found here: Computer Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Cloud Content: Set “Turn off Microsoft consumer experiences” to Enabled.

The MDM policy is documented here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/dn904962(v=vs.85).aspx#Experience_AllowWindowsConsumerFeatures

To configure it via registry, set the REG_DWORD value “DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures” to “1” here: HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent.

All credit goes to Michael Niehaus, who published this in his Technet Blog back in November 2015:


Infrastructure preparations for Windows 10

Let me start my series of Windows 10 posts with some basic information, even if most of it was already published earlier all around the internet. Anyway, it is a good summary and should be included in a blog about Windows 10 😉

In order to implement Windows 10 in your environment, these are the required prerequisites:

KMS server

If your KMS server is already running on Windows Server 2012 R2, install the KMS key for Windows 10. Further information can be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/deploy/activate-using-key-management-service-vamt

If your KMS server is running on an older version of Windows, you can either install the required update: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3079821

Or seize the opportunity and upgrade your KMS server to Windows Server 2012 R2 (recommended)

Software Updates

Enable updates for Windows 10 in your WSUS server / ConfigMgr Software Update Point

Group Policies

Download the Group Policy templates for Windows 10 and add them to your Central Store (download link for Windows 10 1511): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48257

Windows as a service

Windows as a service requires WSUS 4.0 (which means you need a Windows Server 2012 R2 server hosting the WSUS server / ConfigMgr Software Update Point). Note: ConfigMgr 1602 supports an inplace upgrade of Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows as a service also requires an update for WSUS: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3095113


Download and install the latest (!) Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 10 1511: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/dn913721(v=vs.8.5).aspx


If you are still running System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 SP1, first update your ConfigMgr hierarchy to ConfigMgr 1511 and finally to ConfigMgr 1602. Nevertheless, you can start implementing a Windows 10 Wipe and load deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 and upgrade your hierarchy during your Windows 10 development phase.


If you are using MDT, update to MDT 2013 Update 2 (supports Windows 10 inplace upgrade task sequence): https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msdeployment/2015/12/22/mdt-2013-update-2-now-available/


If you are using MBAM to manage your Bitlocker-encrypted devices, plan the update to MBAM 2.5 SP1. Note: MBAM 2.5 already supports Windows 10, but MBAM 2.5 SP1 adds new features on Windows 10 devices like pre-boot recovery messages and the new MBAM clients supports Used Space Encryption: https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/mdop/mbam-v25/about-mbam-25-sp1

Hello World!

Welcome to deploynovellas.com!

Hello world is still the most suitable header for the very first post 😉

I started this blog to share my experiences I gained in customer projects related to Microsoft technologies. Since late 2015  I am envolved in an enterprise project deploying a new Windows 10 based workplace. Although Windows 10 is already installed on millions of devices, not many of Microsofts business customers are already finished with their Windows 10 projects. Hopefully, I am able to share some valuable field experience with you.  If you like to know more about the author of deployment novellas, please click here.

Enjoy reading!