Windows 10 gives control to the users of which type of app they can install on the PC. For example, you can allow apps from Microsoft Store only which is the safest method, or you can install apps from anywhere which is less secure.
These settings can be changed at any given time. However, some users experience that the options are often grayed out and are unable to change it.
This can be because of an antivirus running on your computer, or the Administrators of the domain have switched off these settings for your computer so that they can not be altered by anyone else.
The function of Choose where to get apps is mainly to secure the computer from any applications that might be malware. They can be configured to Microsoft Store only, allowing only applications from the store to be installed, or to anywhere, meaning all applications supported by Windows 10 can be installed on this computer.
These settings can be found by navigating to the following:
Start Menu –> Settings –> Apps
In the Apps and features window, you can select one of the 4 options from the drop-down menu under Choose where to get apps.
The 4 options are as follows:
- Anywhere, but let me know if there’s a comparable app in the Microsoft Store
- Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that’s not from the Microsoft Store
- Microsoft Store only
By the looks of it, Microsoft really wants its users to be able to install any application of the internet, but have the option to be paranoid and use only applications from the store.
This article might be helpful for those wishing to install third-party applications but cannot do so because their settings have been grayed out. Let’s proceed further on how this problem can be eliminated in Windows 10.
Clear Windows Store cache
To begin with, clear the cache stored on your local computer linked to Microsoft Store application, as it is often the reason that the settings are grayed out to modify the application installation location.
To do this, open up the Command Prompt by writing cmd in Run.
Now enter the following command:
The .exe file will take a few moments to execute, and the Microsoft Store will open automatically when it is finished. Now stroll back to the Apps and features window to check if the issue has been resolved.
If not, continue to the next step.
Enable “Choose where to get apps” options from Group Policy
The Group Policy Editor is a great tool for users to modify the applied policies enforced by their domain Administrators. If the policy has been applied to gray out the mentioned option, it can be corrected by the editor.
- Launch the Group Policy Editor by typing in gpedit.msc in Run.
- Navigate to the following from the left pane:
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Defender SmartScreen -> Explorer
- Now double-click Configure app install control in the right pane and then select Not Configured. Click Apply and Ok.
- To enforce the changes, enter gpupdate /force in Command Prompt.
Now check if the issue still persists. If it does, continue to the next step.
Enable “Choose where to get apps” options from the Registry Editor
The Registry Editor is a tool mostly used by advanced users. It is a tool used to manipulate System Registries to alter its settings. You can enable the “Choose where to get apps” option from the Registry Editor.
It is always recommended to create a system backup before playing around with the registries.
- Launch the Registry Editor by typing in regedit in Run.
- Navigate to the following from the left pane
HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows Defender -> SmartScreen
- In the right pane, select the following two String and DWORD, and press Delete (Or right-click and select Delete from the Context Menu:
- Restart the computer to make the changes.
When rebooted, check to see if the error has gone. You should now be able to switch between the desired settings mentioned above easily.
What applications do you want to install that are not from the Microsoft Store?