Why does Wipe/Fresh Start remove MS Store and other built-in UWP app distributed by Microsoft?

Brass Contributor

I am trying to find out if this is expected behavior. When I first onboard (join) a new device to Intune and a user logs in for the first time, MS Store and other built-in UWP apps distributed by Microsoft (i.e., Calculator, Photos) are all there. I do specify some for uninstallation via Niehaus’ branding script, and, as expected, those are removed.


The problem, however, is that if I need to Wipe/Reset a device. I pretty much always use Wipe as I find it to work more reliably and much quicker than either Fresh Start of Autopilot Reset. For some reason, after performing an Intune Wipe (same thing happens after a Fresh Start) the MS Store and other built-in UWP app that I want to keep are all gone. Only the apps that I have specified for install via the Intune portal are there. I could obviously specify the missing store apps to be installed via the Intune portal, but I can't specify the MS Store for install this way (it would be nice if you could!). My question is, is this normal and expected behavior? Are Wipe and Fresh Start supposed to remove the MS Store and all UWP apps? Based on the MS Docs, I don't feel this is supposed to be happening, but maybe I'm mistaken. Any feedback will be much appreciated.

8 Replies

I am also having this problem. I have confirmed that the appx directories are not in c:\program files\windowsapps. As you said default apps like To Do, Sticky Notes, Photos and Windows Store are not present after either a wipe or Fresh Start. I do not recall this being an issue before in the last 4 years of running Intune at various sites, it seems like a relatively new problem.

I downloaded a windows iso, mounted the wim file and extracted the contents of c:\program files\windowsapps and copied to one of my problem pc's and reran the command

Get-AppxPackage -allusers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

and this did not resolve the issue either.

The only fix I have found is to reinstall windows from the iso which is a truly horrible option and defeats the purpose of an intune wipe or fresh start.
SOmewhere in 2022 I also noticed this when the company portal app needed to get reinstalled after a wipe and some directories needed to be removed manually before the app could be reinstalleed

So i am going to assume they made some improvements in this flow so that all store apps will be reinstalled from scratch... but i assume the missing store apps will still be missing after the device is enrolled for a while?
I believe the issue for me was a registry item being changed in my debloat script, so if you are changing any registry keys to prevent MS from auto-installing or auto-reinstalling certain UWP apps like Candy Crush and what not, one of those might actually be preventing the reinstallation of the MS Store app and other apps after a wipe/reset. I can't recall precisely which registry key it was. If I figure it out, I'll post back here and let you know.

@ahelton_kcl @Rudy_Ooms_MVP 
Well this is embarrassing :facepalm:
The culprit is that the windows10cloudconfig-buitinappxremoval.ps1 (at Download Cloud config app removal script from Official Microsoft Download Center) as part of the windows in cloud config. 

Hehehe... sounds indeed as an "ooopsie :) ".. no problem! Between your posts I also checked the behavior to be sure but yeah... that script you used was the culprit :)