Managing the Store app pin to the Taskbar added in the Windows 8.1 Update

Update 9/9/2014

Warren here yet again to update this blog to tell you that the GP to control the Store icon pin has shipped in the August 2014 update: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975719/. If you want to control the Store icon pinned to the taskbar be sure to install the August 2014 update on all the targeted machines.

You can now have the Store disabled and the Store Icon removed via GP, or leave the Store enabled but remove the Store Icon pinned to the taskbar if that is what you need. The previous behavior of preventing the Store icon from being pinned during installation of Update 1 if the Store is disabled via GP remains unchanged.

The new GP is named: “Do not allow pinning Store app to the Taskbar”  

The full path to the new GP is: “User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesStart Menu and TaskbarDo not allow pinning Store app to the Taskbar”

Explain text for this GP:

This policy setting allows you to control pinning the Store app to the Taskbar

If you enable this policy setting, users cannot pin the Store app to the Taskbar. If the Store app is already pinned to the Taskbar, it will be removed from the Taskbar on next login

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, users can pin the Store app to the Taskbar

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on this issue and their patience while we developed and shipped the fix.

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Update 7/14/2014

Warren here with an update on the Store icon issue. Good News! Your feedback has been heard, understood and acted upon. A fix is in the works that will address the scenarios below:

 

Scenario 1 – You want to block the Store but have enabled the GP to block the Store after applying Windows 8.1 Update.  A fix will be made to the GP, such that it will remove the Store Icon pin if the “disable Store” GP is already set.

 

Scenario 2 – You want to provide access to the Store but want to remove the Store icon pin from the taskbar. A GP will be provided that can manage the Store icon pin.

 

Thanks for all of your feedback on this issue!

 

Warren

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4/9/2014

Warren here, posting with more news regarding the Windows 8.1 Update. Among the many features added by Windows 8.1 Update is that the Store icon will be pinned to the users taskbar when users first logon after updating their PC with Windows 8.1 Update.

Some companies will not want the Store icon pinned to the taskbar on company owned devices.  There are currently two Group Policy options to control the Store tile pin – one that you can use before deploying the update that will prevent the Store app from being pinned to the Taskbar, and another that you can use after the update has been deployed and the Store app has been pinned to the Taskbar.

Option 1:  Turn off the Store application before Installing the Windows 8.1

Use the Group Policy “Turn off the Store application”

As mentioned earlier, the Store Icon is pinned to the Taskbar at first logon after Windows 8.1 Update is applied. The Store application will not be pinned to the taskbar if the Group Policy “Turn off the Store application” is applied to computer. This option is not retroactive. The Group Policy must be applied to the workstation before the update is applied. The full path to this Group Policy is:

Computer ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsStoreTurn off the Store application

Or

User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesWindows ComponentsStoreTurn off the Store application

You can use either Group Policy. As the name of the policy indicates, this will completely disable the Store. If your desire is to allow access to the Store but do not want the Store tile pinned to the Taskbar see option 2.

Important note: By default the Group Policy setting “Turn off the Store application” will not show up in GPEDIT.MSC or GPMC.MSC if you run the tools on a Windows Server. You have two options: Install the Remote Server Admin Tools (RSAT) tools on a Windows 8.1 client and edit the group policy from that machine or install the Desktop Experience feature on the server used for editing Group Policy. The preferred method is to install the RSAT tools on a workstation. You can download the RSAT tools for Windows 8.1 here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39296

Option 2:  Use Group Policy to remove Pinned applications from the Taskbar after Installing the Update

Use the Group Policy “Remove pinned programs from the Taskbar”

This GP is a big hammer in that it will remove all pined tiles from the task bar and users subject to the policy will not be able to pin any applications or tiles to the Taskbar. This accomplishes the goal of not pinning the Store tile to the taskbar and leaves the Store accessible from Start.

User ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesStart Menu and TaskbarRemoved pinned programs from the Taskbar”

Other Options

The last available option at this time is to have users unpin the Store app on their systems. Programmatically changing the Taskbar pins is not supported nor encouraged by Microsoft. See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378460(VS.85).aspx