Block Windows 8/10 Store updates from downloading automatically

One of the items we monitor for our clients is bandwidth utilization and how that affects the performance of their applications and network throughout the day. A feature of Windows 8/10 is the ability to get apps from the Windows Store and then have these apps get updated automatically, which in theory is a great practice, but it can be difficult to manage this centrally for organizations who want to limit the impact of bandwidth throughout the course of business operations.

To correct this issue, we need to place a registry key on each Windows 8/10 device that blocks automatic updates from happening to Windows 8/10 store apps. The key to do this is:


You need to create a new REG_DWORD value called “AutoDownload” and in the data field: 00000002

This will disable automatic downloads of Windows 8/10 store apps.

In order to roll this out to our client machines, we can use the “reg” command line tool:

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore /v AutoDownload /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002 /f

This command will add the registry key with the appropriate values and force the overwrite of any existing value that may have been there. This command can then be used with many other scripting techniques, such as PSExec, login script, or the reg command itself in order to roll this out across an organization:

REG ADD \\COMPUTER\HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore /v AutoDownload /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002 /f

The above command will force the registry key to be placed on the remote computer named “computer” assuming you have the correct permissions to perform the change. This will allow you to control centrally the process of downloading and installing Windows store updates and avoid unnecessary interruptions in available bandwidth during core business hours.


Using WMI to retrieve the version of Greenway Intergy software installed remotely

One of the applications we support is Greenway Intergy EHR (Electronic Health Records):

EHR & Practice Management

This application must be installed locally on client machines, and it can be useful to determine the version installed. Of course, you do not want to physically go around to each machine to do this, so let’s come up with a simple script that will accomplish this task.

I have used “PSExec” throughout my career, and for good reason – it is a simple tool that allows an administrator to run remote commands on a Windows device and collect the results centrally. In fact, many commercial management tools use this software as a core component for remote administration. It is a free tool and can be used like so:

psexec \\COMPUTER wmic product where “Name like ‘%%Greenway%%'” get Name, Version >> greenway-report.txt 

The above command will use PSEXEC to call “wmic” – the Windows Management Interface command line tool – on the remote computer “COMPUTER” – to pull the current version of the Greenway software installed and place it in a text file in the current directory called “greenway-report.txt”. There are many options you could use here, such as passing a username/password combination to PSEXEC if your current credentials did not allow you remote access to “COMPUTER”, parsing the text file for particular information using PowerShell or another scripting language, etc – but this should get you started in your adventures in scripting.

Automation is a key component of any properly configured infrastructure and the ability to script redundant and tedious tasks makes a huge difference in how your IT resources are utilized.