Windows 10 Generic Image / No Bloatware

With the popularity of Modern Device Provisioning using  Windows Autopilot or AirWatch, using a “Generic Image”  (Microsoft OS without OEM added-value software added) as the baseline OS is a very common practice.

I have been asked multiple times if a generic image (ISO from Microsoft) contains any bloatware.  – The short answer is NO.   It is the OS version as published by Microsoft. Let me explain further.

Bloatware and Windows Bundled-Apps

Customers that have been getting the standard OEM loaded OS receives PC manufacturer specific trialware and other bundled software, commonly referred as bloatware.

By definition, bloatware is referred to any unwanted software included on a new computer or mobile device by the manufacturer.  This could be trialware, utilities, adware, and such, which is not originally included in the Microsoft Operating System ISO file.

Microsoft changed the game a little, when they introduced “bundled-apps” into Windows 10 published OS.   Although these apps were not introduced by the manufactures,  many people  have called these bloatware as well.     They include:

Apps that can be removed Apps that can not be removed
3D Builder


Alarms and Clock

Bubble Witch 3 Saga


Calendar and Mail


Candy Crush Soda Saga

Get Office

Get Skype

Get Started

Groove Music



March of Empires

Microsoft Solitaire Collection



Movies & TV




Phone Companion


Royal Revolt



Voice Recorder



Contact Support



Windows Feedback

Microsoft Edge


Most OEMs have the capability to ship devices with the “Generic” Windows 10 ISO  version.  In Microsoft’s case:, for their Surface devices they call it  Signature Edition.   OEMs  have different names. 


Removing Bundled Apps

For obvious reasons, businesses and enterprises do not want to include these kinds of apps when they provide Windows PCs to their end-users.

There are two ways of removing  (for those apps that can be removed) Microsoft’s pre-installed / bundled OS applications:

  1. Reset Windows 10 – using the  Refresh Tool (also known as Start Fresh) in Windows 10  settings options.
  2. Use a PowerShell Script   to remove them

Both of these options can be called as part of the device provisioning process  (either called via Intune, script or  task sequence)

Screenshot of Freshly Installed Windows 10

Below is an screenshot of a freshly installed Windows 10 Pro created with the Win10 v1803  ISO – You can clearly see the “bundled apps” Microsoft has allowed.



Hope this helps!

Please ping me on Twitter if you have any questions!


About Jorge Pereira Accomplished Information Technology services professional with over 25 years of experience performing technical pre-sales, solution selling, public speaking / presentations, consulting, project delivery  and program management.   Over the past few years, Jorge has focused on customers solutions in the areas of:  Artificial Intelligence, Generative AI, Workforce transformation, End-User-Computing (EUC) Lifecycle Management, Modern Device Management, and  Cybersecurity.    He writes on the jorgep.com blog   and you can find him on Twitter @jorper98 More info about Jorge here
Disclaimer:  I work for Dell Technology Services as a Workforce Transformation Solutions Principal.    It is my passion to help guide organizations through the current technology transition specifically as it relates to Workforce Transformation.  Visit Dell Technologies site for more information.  Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer.

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