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How to Enable or Disable Tracking of App Usage History in Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
By default, Windows 8 keeps track of the Store apps that are used and searched most frequently to have them conveniently listed on top in search results, Search charm pane, and Share charm pane, and in the drop-down app list in the file picker .

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable tracking of Store app usage to either have all apps sorted alphabetically or most frequently used and searched apps listed on top in search results, file picker, Search charm, Share charm for all or specific users in Windows 8.


EXAMPLE: Search charm pane, Share charm pane, and File Picker

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App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8 OPTION ONE App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8
Turn On or Off Show Most Searched Apps on Top in Your Search Pane

Note   Note
This option is only available in Windows 8, and not in Windows 8.1. It will only affect having the Store apps that you search most often either show on top (turned on) or all apps sorted in alphabetical order (turned off) in the Search charm pane in only your user account.

1. Open PC settings.

2. Click/tap on Search in the left pane of PC settings, and do step 3 or 4 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below step 5)

3. To Turn Off "Show the apps I search most often at the top"

A) In the right side under Search history, move the "Show the apps I search most often at the top" slider to the left, and go to step 5 below.

4. To Turn On "Show the apps I search most often at the top"

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) In the right side under Search history, move the "Show the apps I search most often at the top" slider to the right, and go to step 5 below.

5. When finished, you can close PC settings if you like.

Click image for larger version






App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8 OPTION TWO App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8
To Enable or Disable Tracking of App Usage using a REG File


Note   Note
This option does the same thing as OPTION THREE below, but will affect all users on the PC. If disabled, this option will also gray out the "Show the apps I search most often at the top" setting in OPTION ONE above.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.


The .reg files below are for the registry key and value below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI

DisableMFUTracking
DWORD

0 = Enable app usage tracking
1 = Disable app usage tracking


1. Do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.

2. To Enable Tracking of App Usage for All Users
NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.


Enable_Tracking_App_Usage.reg

download

3. To Disable Tracking of App Usage for All Users

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.


Disable_Tracking_App_Usage.reg

download

4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to Merge it.

6. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve.

7.
When finished, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.






App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8 OPTION THREE App Usage Tracking - Enable or Disable in Windows 8
To Enable or Disable Tracking of App Usage in Group Policy


Note   Note
This option does the same thing as OPTION TWO above, but will only affect all or specific users (your choice) on the PC. If disabled, this option will also gray out the "Show the apps I search most often at the top" setting in OPTION ONE above.

Group Policy is only available in the Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise editions.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do this option.

1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.

2. In the left pane, click/tap on to expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and Edge UI. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

3. In the right pane of Edge UI, double click/tap on Turn off tracking of app usage. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do.

5. To Enable Tracking of App Usage

A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 6A)
NOTE: Not Configured is the default setting.

6. To Disable Tracking of App Usage

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

7. You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor window if you like.





That's it,
Shawn