New Windows 10 feature will enable blocking of Win32 apps

jayar.decenella@gmail.com' By: Jay Decenella
2 minute read

While MacOS Gatekeeper and Android are configured to keep third-party apps at bay, Windows 10 currently does not have an option to prevent non-Windows Store apps from being installed on PCs. Well, that is going to change in the near future once Microsoft completes its tests for a new feature to do exactly that.

The upcoming change will come with the Creators Update for Windows 10 due for release in April of this year. The new feature means you will be able to fetter out classic Win32 programs. According to Microsoft, the goal of this restriction is to ward off bloatware and malware from consumer and enterprise PCs.

Programmer Viktor Mikaelson first spotted the upcoming feature before he shared the discovery via Twitter. The feature will be accessible through the Apps & Features settings, where users will see such options as “Allow apps from anywhere,” “Prefer apps from the Store, but allow from anywhere,” or “Allow apps from the Store only.” These options will let you control the source of apps installed on your PC.

Once you select the strict Windows Store-only option, a dialog box will appear stating: “You can only install apps from the Windows Store. Limiting installations to apps from the Store helps to keep your PC safe and reliable.” There is also an option that says, “Prefer apps for the Store”. Under this option, you will see a dialog box that warns you if you attempt to install a program from third-party sources but decide to proceed anyway.

Many see the new feature as a useful tool to help IT administrators secure enterprise networks from the risk of malware and as a way to encourage Win32 app developers to migrate their programs to the Universal Windows Platform.

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