Windows Store is a great place to discover and install applications, however in certain situations you as a parent or an administrator might want to restrict downloads and installation of new apps.
Microsoft has added an option to turn off Store in the Group Policy Editor, with this policy enabled, all users are denied access to the Store, which in turn will stop them from installing new apps without your authorization. Here’s how you can enable this policy.
Restrict Access to Windows Store with Group Policy Editor
Open the Run dialog and type in gpedit.msc to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
In Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store.
In the right-pane Setting list, find and double-click on “Turn off the Store application” option.
Set the setting to Enabled, then click on OK to save and close the configuration window.
Now when anyone try to open the Store app, they will get this message:
Windows Store isn’t available on this PC. Contact your system administrator for more information.
Note that this doesn’t prevent users from opening apps already installed, so they can still use apps that you have allowed.
To re-enable Store, simply change back the setting to “Disable” or “Not Configured”.
Restrict Access to Windows Store with Windows Registy Editor
If you are using the basic edition of Windows 8, you will not have access to the Group Policy Editor. Instead you’ll have to use Windows Registry to enable this setting on your PC. To do so, open Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore. Under this key, create a new DWORD value called
RemoveWindowsStore and set its value to
1. To re-enable, simply delete the value or set it