Installing software is one of the most common ways that malware attacks your computer. Whether there’s a nasty piece of ransomware hiding in the installation file or the program itself is spyware, keeping an eye on what you install is the best way to keep your computer safe.
We’ve shown several methods to keep other users from installing software on your computer. Coming soon in the Windows 10 Creators Update is a new option you can enable to restrict installed software to Windows Store apps only. This blocks users from installing traditional desktop software off of the internet.
You probably won’t want this if you’re a power user, since the Windows Store is full of dead apps and doesn’t contain much of the best Windows software. However, those with young children using the computer can enable this setting to restrict kids to using the (theoretically) safer apps on the Store.
Windows 10 CU "Allow apps from Store Only" is not just for 3rd party but also Microsoft's own non-Store app installs
eg PowerPoint Viewer pic.twitter.com/FzrBN54daQ
— Tero Alhonen (@teroalhonen) February 27, 2017
To turn this on, open Settings > Apps and then click the Apps & Features tab. Where you see the Choose where apps can be installed from heading, click the drop-down box. Change this setting to Allow apps from the Store only. If you like, you can instead select Prefer apps from the Store, but allow apps from anywhere. This displays a warning when installing non-Store programs, but won’t block them.
Macs contain a similar setting that only allows software installs from verified publishers by default, so it’s not surprising to see Windows do the same. If you haven’t tried any Store apps before, find out how they compare to their desktop counterparts.
Do you regularly use any Store apps? Would this setting help you protect inexperienced users of your computer? Tell us in the comments!
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