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.