Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Win8 without the store?

  1. #1

    Win8 without the store?


    I am not a huge fan of "stores," which I see only as a way for companies to track and monitor their users for profilling and marketing purposes. I refuse to use any iDevices for this reason. I have many Android devices, but do not maintain a Google account, do not use the Play Store, and indeed rip out most Google apps from the devices as well as firewall off all of the Google-controlled netblocks I know about. It is...difficult sometimes to sideload everything, but I have been able to keep my devices free of big-G snooping and install most things I've wanted, other than some commercial applications. (It is, after all, just linux with a pretty face.)

    So now I am faced with installing Windows8 (actually plan to install as dual-boot at first since I don't want to commit until I'm comfortable), which of course contains Microsoft's catch-up tracking "store." I have no plans whatsoever for using the tablet/phone interface since I use my desktop computer for actual work (video and audio processing, etc.), uses for which these little "apps" would be effectively useless (I don't compress TS streams on my phone or tablet, either) and so won't be messing around with the Windows Store...but is it possible to (as with Android) completely firewall off the store? I'm concerned because seemingly the only way to upgrade to Windows 8.1 is through the store, which will of course leak personal information, something I am not particularly interested in doing. (Especially to a company I trust as little as I trust Microsoft.)

    Is it possible, assuming installing only "real" Windows programs and not "apps," to completely firewall off the MS Store?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    I doubt it but you can disable the "active" Store tile which means it shouldn't nag you on a consistent basis:

    Click image for larger version

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 376
    W8.1, W7


    How to disable the Windows Store in Windows 8

    That's for 8, don't know about 8.1. Tested it, works, but proceed at your own peril
    (before experimenting, be sure to have some fresh disk image available, or as a minimum, make a fresh restore point)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    That's for 8, don't know about 8.1. Tested it, works
    So what were the results of your test? Did the tile go away? Did it just turn it off permanently? If so, how do you know that it was permanent? Did the tile on/off still display but was greyed-out? Please tell us more so we can consider using it as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 376
    W8.1, W7


    Hello, this was some time ago (reinstated Store lately to prepare for some 8.1 update on my work laptops, only time I ever needed the store for anything lol), AFAICR the tile went away, and trying to start Store from a link in Classic Shell's Program menu just gave the 'Store not available'. Reinstated store by setting the 'disabling' back to the original 'Not configured' in Group Policy. Works fine, 8.1 download showing up. Turning store on\off has done no harm here on 2 different laptops.

    And btw, this is posted from an 8.1 installation on my 'experimental laptop', seems 100% successful, to my amazement.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
    Hello, this was some time ago (reinstated Store lately to prepare for some 8.1 update on my work laptops, only time I ever needed the store for anything lol), AFAICR the tile went away, and trying to start Store from a link in Classic Shell's Program menu just gave the 'Store not available'. Reinstated store by setting the 'disabling' back to the original 'Not configured' in Group Policy. Works fine, 8.1 download showing up. Turning store on\off has done no harm here on 2 different laptops.

    And btw, this is posted from an 8.1 installation on my 'experimental laptop', seems 100% successful, to my amazement.
    OK friend; thanks for that additional detail.

    my2cents
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    I think you all may have misunderstood the question.

    The tile doesn't particularly bother me, since if I'm at the desktop and not the Metro UI, I won't see it if I understand how this works. And since I never plan on using the Metro interface at all (I mean, I use the desktop machine for real work, not the stuff I can do on my tablet) and never plan on using anything in the tablet interface, the cosmetics shouldn't be a problem. (Should they? Question to explore another day: is there a way to dump Metro completely and just use the thing as a faster Win7?)

    I'm talking about discovering the IP blocks where the store resides (a little surprised they aren't already available on the Net) and firewalling them completely off at the router level so the computer can never touch the store and therefore never leak personal information to Microsoft. I mean I want no contact with the store at all. Is that possible?

    (Edit and Snarky Side Comment: Why doesn't it surprise me that Microsoft is using the same third-party registrar, MarkMonitor ("the Global Leader in Online Brand Protection"), that the "big-six" are using to monitor their customer's Internet use searching for copyright violations in the "six-strike" system?)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieSummers View Post
    I think you all may have misunderstood the question.

    The tile doesn't particularly bother me, since if I'm at the desktop and not the Metro UI, I won't see it if I understand how this works. And since I never plan on using the Metro interface at all (I mean, I use the desktop machine for real work, not the stuff I can do on my tablet) and never plan on using anything in the tablet interface, the cosmetics shouldn't be a problem. (Should they? Question to explore another day: is there a way to dump Metro completely and just use the thing as a faster Win7?)

    I'm talking about discovering the IP blocks where the store resides (a little surprised they aren't already available on the Net) and firewalling them completely off at the router level so the computer can never touch the store and therefore never leak personal information to Microsoft. I mean I want no contact with the store at all. Is that possible?
    Yes, I sure did misunderstand you because there is no way I could have possibly extracted your real intent from your original post and I certainly cannot help you with your second request so good luck to you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Yes, I sure did misunderstand you because there is no way I could have possibly extracted your real intent from your original post
    Sorry; I thought saying, "Is it possible, assuming installing only "real" Windows programs and not "apps," to completely firewall off the MS Store?" in my original post made the intent pretty clear. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    I installed Windows 8 without creating any account at the Windows Store. I am not planning to update to 8.1 for some time, but it appears you can do it without creating an account. It is my understanding that they use the account to track your internet usage.

    That said if you have not installed Windows 8 or bought it, I would wait until the full version of 8.1 becomes available and do a clean install of it, and not bother with Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Win8 without the store?
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