[Windows 10 Tip] Remove Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Contact Support and Feedback Apps

This exclusive Windows 10 tutorial will help you if:

  • You want to remove Cortana Search app completely from Windows 10
  • You want to get rid of SearchUI.exe service running continuously in background
  • You want to remove Microsoft Edge web browser, Contact Support and Feedback apps in Windows 10
  • You want to remove Lock Screen app completely
  • You want to permanently disable Action Center and don't want any notification in Windows 10
  • You want to disable new modern (metro) style Start Menu and Taskbar jumplists in Windows 10
  • You want to disable new fly-out UI of icons in Taskbar notification area (system tray)

All these things can be done with the help of a few simple steps which we are going to tell in this detailed tutorial.

We know that Windows 10 comes with lots of built-in modern (metro) apps such as Calculator, Mail, Messaging, Phone, Skype, Bing, etc. By default Windows 10 doesn't allow you to uninstall or remove any of these default apps but you can remove these apps using Powershell commands as given in following tutorial:

[Guide] How to Remove All Built-in Apps in Windows 10

Although Powershell commands help us in removing built-in apps but following 4 apps can't be removed using Powershell:

Cortana Search - This app provides Microsoft's personal digital assistant Cortana in Windows 10. Cortana app uses the SearchUI.exe process which continuously runs in background and can't be disabled. Even if you kill or end task of SearchUI.exe process using Task Manager, it comes back again within few seconds.

Microsoft Edge - Its a new web browser from Microsoft which supports modern web standards and technologies. If you use Internet Explorer or a 3rd party web browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera, you might want to remove this new web browser.

Contact Support - This app can be used to contact Microsoft support team for help and assistance.

Windows Feedback - This app can be used to provide feedback about Windows 10 to Microsoft. Its said that this app regularly collects data and sends it to Microsoft but we can't confirm it.

If you want to remove any or all of the above mentioned system apps in Windows 10, this guide will definitely help you. Today in this tutorial, we are going to share an easy way to disable or remove these system apps in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Modern (Metro) Apps Storage Location

Lets tell you first about these apps location in Windows 10. Actually all modern (metro) apps are divided into following 2 categories by Windows:

  • Standard Windows apps
  • System apps

All apps which you install from Store and all built-in apps such as Mail, Messaging, etc which can be uninstalled using Powershell method are called Windows apps and can be found in following location:

C:\Program Files\WindowsApps

This folder is restricted and you can't access this folder. But if you take ownership of this folder, you can open it. To take ownership of this folder, add the "Take Ownership" option in file/folder context menu with the help of following article:

[Tip] Add "Take Ownership" Option in Files / Folders Context Menu in Windows

Now right-click on "WindowsApps" folder and select "Take ownership" option. It'll take some time in taking ownership of the folder and in granting you permission on the folder. Once the process completes, you can double-click on "WindowsApps" folder and can see its content.


This folder contains several sub-folders which contain files of all modern apps installed in your computer. We have already told you about this folder in past in following tutorial:

How to Change Metro Apps Default Installation Location in Windows 8?

The other category "System Apps" contains essential apps which are required by Windows to provide several UI elements to users. System apps include Microsoft Edge web browser, Cortana search app, Contact Support, Windows Feedback, Lock Screen app, Action Center, Parental Controls, etc. You can find these system apps in following location:



There is also another folder which contains both Windows apps as well as System apps. You can find it in following location:


Replace username term in above mentioned path with your user account name in Windows 10. You can launch this folder directly using following command in RUN dialog box:



This "Packages" folder is used to install apps for user accounts that's why it contains all apps files.

Now lets come back to our main article!

If you want to remove Cortana Search, Microsoft Edge, Contact Support and Windows Feedback apps in Windows 10, you just need to either delete or rename their respective folders present in "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder. We'll not recommend to delete any app folder. Just rename the folder and it'll do the same job. Once you rename any app folder, Windows will be unable to find that app's folder and executable file, thus it'll not be able to run that app in your computer.

Remove Microsoft Edge Web Browser

If you want to remove Microsoft Edge web browser, go to "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder and rename "Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe" folder. Just add anything before the original folder name. For example you can add BACK or ! (Exclamation mark) or any desired text before folder name.


We renamed the folder to "BACK_Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe" and it disabled Microsoft Edge web browser completely in Windows 10.

Now if you try to launch the Edge browser from Start Menu, it'll do nothing as Windows will not find the folder and files related to Edge browser.

Remove Contact Support App

If you want to remove Contact Support app, go to "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder and rename "ContactSupport_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder to "BACK_ContactSupport_cw5n1h2txyewy" or any desired name. It'll disable the app completely from running in your system.

UPDATE: Now you can easily uninstall "Contact Support" app in newer Windows 10 builds by opening Settings app and go to "System -> Apps & Features -> Manage Optional Features" page. On that page, you can uninstall Contact Support app.

Remove Windows Feedback App

If you want to remove Windows Feedback app, go to "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder and rename "WindowsFeedback_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder to "BACK_WindowsFeedback_cw5n1h2txyewy" or any desired name. It'll disable the app completely from running in your system.

Remove Cortana Search (SearchUI.exe) App

Removing Cortana Search app is a tricky task as Cortana app always runs in background using SearchUI.exe service. To remove Cortana app, you'll need to rename "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder in "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder.

But since SearchUI.exe file runs in background, Windows will not allow you to rename this folder. You'll get an error message that "The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program. Close the folder or file and try again.".


Keep the error message dialog box opened and then open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together or by right-clicking on Taskbar and select "Task Manager" option. Now select Cortana from the background processes list and press Delete key or click on "End Task" button.


Now immediately click on "Try Again" button present in "Folder in Use" error message dialog box. Now you'll be able to rename Cortana folder and SearchUI.exe file will no longer run in background.

Once you remove Cortana, you can remove the Search box from Taskbar using following tutorial:

How to Remove Cortana Search Box and Other Icons from Windows 10 Taskbar

Also Check:

[Did You Know] Windows 8 "Search Everywhere" Feature Still Works in Windows 10

BONUS TIP 1: Disable or Remove Lock Screen App

As we know Windows 10 shows Lock Screen just before the Login Screen (or Sign-in Screen) and you can disable the Lock Screen using Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor as mentioned in following tutorial:

How to Disable Lock Screen in Windows 8 and Later

If you don't want to restrict Lock Screen using the methods given in above mentioned link, you can remove Lock Screen completely in Windows 10 using following steps:

In "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder, just rename "Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder to "BACK_Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy" or any desired name. Now Windows will not show Lock Screen whenever you log out or lock your computer. It'll directly show Login Screen.

More Info: [Tip] Disable or Remove Windows 10 Lock Screen

BONUS TIP 2: Disable or Remove Action Center and Notifications

If you don't like the new Action Center and its regular notifications in Windows 10, you can disable them using following tutorial:

[Tip] Disable Notifications and Action Center in Windows 10

But still you'll receive a few notifications regularly in Windows 10. If you want to completely disable and remove Action Center and notifications, you can open "ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder in "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder and then rename "Windows.UI.ActionCenter.dll" file to "BACK_Windows.UI.ActionCenter.dll" or any other desired name.


BONUS TIP 3: Disable Metro Start Menu, Taskbar Jumplists and New Fly-out UI

Similarly if you want to disable Start Menu or Jumplists, open "ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder in "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder and rename "StartUI.dll" and "JumpviewUI.dll" files respectively.

Following 4 DLL files are responsible to show new fly-out UI of Battery, Clock, Volume and Network icons in Taskbar notification area:

  • BatteryFlyoutExperience.dll
  • ClockFlyoutExperience.dll
  • MtcUvc.dll
  • NetworkUX.dll

You can rename these DLL files to disable the new fly-out UI of these icons. Alternatively you can restore classic UI of these icons with the help of following tutorial:

[Tip] Restoring Classic Programs and User Interface in Windows 10

PS: If you rename the "ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder and restart your computer, it'll disable Start Menu, Jumplists and right-click on Taskbar Notification area. It'll also stop "ShellExperienceHost.exe" process running in background as this process is responsible for showing the new modern (metro) UI of all Taskbar and Start Menu stuff.


1. You can safely rename "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" folder to any name to prevent any installed app from running.

2. You can safely rename "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages" folder as well to prevent any built-in app from reinstalling itself in future.

3. DO NOT rename "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder as it'll break down Windows functionality. You can rename sub-folders present inside it. But keep following 2 folders unchanged:

  • ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy
  • Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy

As we told above, the first folder "ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy" is responsible to show modern UI of Start Menu and Taskbar so renaming this folder will not allow you to use Start Menu and right-click on Taskbar items and system tray icons.

The second folder "Microsoft.LockApp_cw5n1h2txyewy" will disable Lock Screen, so if you want to use Lock Screen, do not rename it.

4. If you find any difficulty in renaming any file or folder, take ownership of the file or folder first as mentioned in the beginning of the tutorial and then rename the file/folder. You can also take the ownership manually as described in following tutorial:

[Guide] How to Take Ownership of a File or Folder Manually in Windows

5. You may need to restart your computer to take effect.

6. In future, if you want to restore any app, just restore the original name of the file/folder.

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Posted in: Windows 10

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  • Dear V.G., Would there be any harm to the machine if, instead of writing BAK in front of the files in the c program files windows apps, you just deleted the files entirely?

  • VG

    ^^ I advised to NOT delete the files and folders so that if you want to restore those apps and programs in future, you can just restore their original names. Also if you face any kind of issue later, you'll be able to fix the issue by restoring file/folder names. So renaming the files/folders is better than deleting them.

  • How to disable the new context menu when we right click on the taskbar (without effecting other parts)?

  • VG

    ^^ Not possible unless you use a 3rd party theme.

  • Lock screen part doesn't work for me. It still there.

  • VG

    ^^ By renaming that folder, Lock Screen will not show only when you lock the machine after successful sign-in.

  • why does windows 10 not delete the Temp files and internet temp files? I've tried over and over and I've looked all over the internet for options and so far, no options are working. Is there any way possible to regain control to the cleaning of these files?

  • VG

    ^^ You can delete temp Internet files using Internet Explorer web browser options. To remove Temp Windows files, just launch temp and %temp% folders using RUN dialog box and empty the folders. You can also use Disk Cleanup tool.

  • VG,
    Using Search Windows, I can locate documents on my PC, but even though I've set the search parameters to include Outlook, a search fails to include emails. Any workaround?

  • Thanks for the brilliant article. I have disabled the Feedback and Support apps but their entries remain in the start menu "All Apps" list, is there any way to remove them from there?

  • Really a good guide for windows 10 cleanup.

  • like the man asked, .... how do you remove these "uninstalled" apps from the Start Menu "All Apps" List?????!!

  • Hi VG,
    I followed many of your tutorials (since windows XP / 7) and found them very useful. I'm now facing an issue with Windows 10 and I was wondering if you could have already explained it, but I didn't find it ... My issue is:
    When upgrading W7 to W10 (option keeping all files and apps), there was one application ("8GadgetPack", used to present a sidebar in desktop) that was automatically "uninstalled" by the system due to incompatibility. This was presented in the "Action Center", notification panel.
    That's fine, I removed it completely (control panel / programs and features), but the notification (of such app been uninstalled due to incompatibility) continued appearing in any reboot.
    Googling the issue I found some comments about removing from the registry any line for such app. I did so, but I still get the message (Action Center / notification) of the app uninstalled due to incompatibility.
    It's not a big issue (PC works fine) but it's annoying to see the message every time I start the PC.
    Do you know what do I have to do in order to stop such message appearing (despite having the app removed)?
    Thanks a lot!!

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try to disable notification options using Settings app -> System -> Notifications and actions?

  • Hi VG, thanks for your quick answer. Yes, I tried switching off the "Show app notifications" but it still continues showing (when starting the PC), the same original notification in the Action Center ("This app is no longer available" 8GadgetPack was removed from your PC ...).
    Such application was fully removed some days back. I cleaned from the registry all lines that mentioned such app. So it seems that the notification is not coming from a current check, but it was stored somewhere last week (when upgrading to W10, which should include the famous Nov update) and keeps popping up.
    The point is how to find the place where such repetitive message is stored, and delete it ...
    Again, just annoying to see it every time PC is started ...
    Thanks a lot!

  • VG

    ^^ First try following shortcut and clean all reports:


    If it doesnt work, then you can retry to install that app and then uninstall the app after installing. It might fix the issue. You can also try to disable Action Center:


  • Hi VG,
    No luck ... I cleared all the problems in the report (just a few, none related to this app) and then I re-installed the app (new version, that is compatible with W10) and restarted. Same pop-up. Then I uninstalled the app and same pop-up ...
    Not sure if there could be other action to eliminate the (old) incompatibility message stored somewhere ...
    It seems that I will have to re-install W10 (this time starting without the app in the system, so I will be able to installed it after the upgrade). This will be a heavy work just to avoid a (non harmful) pop-up

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try to right-click on the notification in Action Center and click on never show this or similar option?

  • Hi VG

    Is there a way to clean up the unused icons such as contactsupport on the start menu which can be pushed out to a number of machines like using Group Policy?

  • VG

    ^^ Its not known at the moment. You can remove other start menu items by deleting their shortcuts from Start Menu folder but you cant delete Contact Support, Feedback, etc apps shortcuts from Start Menu.

  • So... the page is called "Remove xxxx" but it does not 'remove' anything ?

  • Hi,

    How do I remove the Search shortcut from All apps list? It's not working anymore after disabling Cortana so no use keeping it there.

    Thanks for the win 8 search tip!

    Regards from Finland

  • Easy method for disabling cortana is to remove the bing.dlls for cortana, take ownership, delete of course you will get an error message that it is open in cortana just click over to taskmanager, size them up so that nothing is on top of the error - end cortana task and try again. You might need to do this twice because Cortana is pretty quick to restart but it's a step in the right direction to removing one of Microsoft's built in THEFT tools.

    I couldn't care less about spying on me.. But I'm sick of them stealing my designs and publishing them all over their products, allowing them to get in the hands of any company that's looking for something new and interesting. You may also want to look at the printers and devices .dlls since many of them are configured to stream this and stream that to anonymous IP addresses (I discovered this last year after watching NVIDIA's Backend upload GB after GB from my desktop, I started reading NVIDIA's files and realized a bit too late that although I do not have a printer I was sending a lot of bytes over spooler).

    Most recently I have discovered windowsphone and backgroundupload task both uploading from my air gapped pc.

    Although I deleted Cortana and the majority of these other apps. They are still "installing" and "successfully" doing whatever with the server according to event viewer.

    Hopefully someone out here can assist me with strengthening the firewall settings since thing like 3Dprinter.dlls and Nvidia program files both say to "bypass windows firewall." I also have several mysterious wireless connections having been established on the desktop (the air gapped pc that has never had a wireless adapter) according to event viewer under setting sync.

    Since this was still happening although I had Mcafee on lockdown, since I was still recording mysterious outgoing traffic and no incoming traffic, I have tried using Windows firewall to no avail blocking everything still having out going traffic... So now I'm trying Comodo - but windows phone got through it! Removing remote desktop registry entries only screws up my own files - files that I have never uploaded, I have never used any remote services and I have yet to jump to cloud...

    But removing remote desktop entries opening my own files I get errors either telling me I need to connect to the Internet or that I am not logged into the remote server.

  • Thanks for the tips VG, I am tweaking around in order to force Windows10 behave the way I like.

    I disabled successfully Edge, however the small Icon still appears in dialogs (choose what application open by default) and in the All Apps windows where all apps are listed on first letter.

    Do you have a clue how to get red of this icon?

    Many thanks in advance!


  • Same counts for OneDrive, Evernote, contact support, Insider Hub...and so on...

  • Nice one bob, I thought the same thing. Remove....lol fam

  • Hello,

    I have the same issue that Eric points out, even if concerns Feedback istead of the applications he lists. Once you remove them, how can you get rid of the icons that remain (sometimes) in start menu?

  • Very easy:
    Open Start Menu
    Pan down to WindowsPowerShell
    Right Click then select Run as administrator then click YES to allow
    Type: Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage then press ENTER
    this will remove XBox Icon. Just type name of Icon you want to remove inbetween the Stars. This will remove Unwanted Icons from Start Menu on LeftSide.
    This is the list of all removable icons:
    Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage
    These Only Remove the Icons from the Start Menu; They Do Not Uninstall the Apps.
    If you wish to Permanently Remove Windows AppStore Type the Following:
    Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -online
    Then Press ENTER and Quickly Restart Your Computer and the APPSTORE is Gone!
    I have done all of these myself and I have no problems with my computer:-)

  • Who ever wishes to Remove the Windows Lock Screen I can Help. It is very simple. Please, Follow steps exactly.
    Press and Hold Windows Key and the letter R to Open Run Command
    Type: Netplwiz then ENTER
    You will be prompted with the User Account dialog, select your User Account FIRST and then Uncheck the Option Labelled: (Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer) at the top.
    Restart your Computer and the Lock Screen is Gone:-)
    "This is done after the Last Windows Update Aug.2016."

  • JML,
    Very simple to remove Search Shortcut..
    Place curser over the Search Box then Right-Click
    Look for the word "Hidden" then click it.

  • V.G.,

    Please, don't think I am Spamming you or trying to Be Rude.
    I just happen to visit this site while looking for some tips and found a lot of good tips here and I just wanted to give back some tips that I have used myself and work. Some came right from Microsoft Windows Tech Support.
    Most is from months of research with great success!
    So, again Please don't think I am Posting anything Harmful to anyone..I only wish to help:-)
    "I am Running Windows 10 without Microsoft Account now with Google!"
    I have Successfully Removed:
    "OneDrive" Free 5GB and replaced it with "GoogleDrive" Free 15GB!
    "Internet Explorer"
    "3D Builder"
    "Windows App Store"
    My computer runs super fast now! With the help of Britec on YouTube a must see!
    A couple of Great Helpful (Free) Apps I highly recommend:
    "Install Package" ninite.com You'll Love this one!
    "Search Everything" Just do a web search for this one and be sure to update it. This one is amazing!
    "Spotify" Free Only on Computer! For the Music Lover's Out There!

    "Reach-Out\Peace-Out & Tech-Up!" :-)

  • Thank You So Much for the Info on adding ( Back_ ) to the begining of File Names to stop Cortana and Microsoft Edge Completely!

    I still have trouble removing thier Icon from the Start Menu.. Any helpful Insight would be greatfully welcome:-)

    WindowsPowerShell will not remove it like others because, its inbeded with Windows 10.

  • I have stopped Cortana background from registry:

    Delete CortanaUI inside ContractID in HKCU

    No memory occupped. Search works fine.

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