Windows 10 version 1511 removes your apps as you update builds

It has come to be known that when you upgrade Windows 10 to a newer build such as TH2 (Version 1511), it removes apps silently which are incompatible with the new build. The operating system does not warn the user, it is removing apps secretly. It is not possible to know exactly which apps will be removed in advance.

Windows 10 build 10586 I saw the first mention of such hostile behavior from one of our readers, "xtcrefugee", who warned us that Windows 10 1511 will remove Windows 7 games for Windows 10 automatically.

However, this behavior is not limited to games. ATI/AMD users suffered too by the removal the Catalyst driver software. Catalyst is Control Panel software for the video driver. For some reason, the operating system uninstalls it if you upgrade Windows 10 RTM to Windows 10 version 1511. Another app which the Threshold 2 upgrade "does not like" is the software information tool called Speccy. On one of my PCs, it uninstalled the ASUS SmartGesture drivers which I had installed and the ASUS SmartGesture software too which I had configured to disable certain gestures, and replaced it with stock drivers from Windows Update which re-enabled those accident-prone touchpad gestures. Other apps which are allegedly uninstalled for *some* users are CPU-Z, CPUID, CCleaner, SmartFTP, Avira Antivir Security, Novell client, Cisco VPN client, NetGear Genie and ESET AntiVirus. It might be that some of these apps might be incompatible, especially if you have an older version of the app installed. However, it is Microsoft's responsibility to inform the user about which apps are going to be removed after such a system upgrade to a new build.

It appears that Windows 10 version 1511 is uninstalling mostly those apps which work directly with hardware or perform some fine tuning of drivers.

This is a very unexpected and unpleasant behavior. The worst thing is that you cannot even guess what exactly will be removed. The operating system does not provide a single warning or extra information to the user. So, it can remove even some paid app which you purchased earlier to use with your Windows version prior to the upgrade.

It is not known if this is an intentional step taken by Microsoft where incompatible apps are silently removed or whether it is a bug in the setup program. But it is definitely a good idea to create a backup of your apps and their licenses to avoid issues if you decide to upgrade your Windows 10 to newer builds. This might even be the reason that caused Microsoft to remove ISO images for Windows 10 1511 from public servers before eventually restoring them. Tell us if you suffered the loss of any app from this upgrade already and how you dealt with it.

A Microsoft spokesperson said this is part of the Services agreement and thus should be expected by the user. They cite "The Microsoft Services Agreement allows Microsoft to change or discontinue certain apps or content where we deem your security is at risk." By using 'security' as the reason, Microsoft can remove any feature in Windows itself or any app which they feel puts you at risk. There is little to no transparency from the company.

14 thoughts on “Windows 10 version 1511 removes your apps as you update builds

  1. Tony

    I have few questions:that means that you’ll get a clean installation? Can it delete the NVIDIA drivers / GeForce experience, which i use for the driver installing the drivers(I’m using the GT 640,not GTX)?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Nobody knows what exactly it will delete.

    2. Nick

      Well it completely screwed my GT 840M it doesn’t even work anymore and I can’t install the driver.

  2. ysg

    1511 broke my taskbar on my Asus Transformer T100. Clicking any taskbar item did nothing. Also could not type in “search windows”
    I restored to a previous version with System Restore and things were fine. But overnight it did it again, once again making my laptop unusable. I sude the fix to stop Windows Updates shown here:

    I don’t know what to do next. I do want to receive updates but cannot accept this Microsoft stealth behavior

  3. ysg

    Please remove my full name from my previous post and replace it with my initial ysg
    Thank you

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Done :)

  4. Gary King

    My windows 7 games are still in place.

  5. Jose_49

    Now that I think it over… Speccy is always uninstalled after each build upgrade (even between Insider Fast releases)

  6. Ai

    windows 7, 8, 8.1 did exactly the same – ghacks is paranoid :P

  7. Tiago

    Can we get a list of uninstalled apps after the upgrade took place?

    1. Tiago

      I have seen the popup notice, but clicked on it too quickly and never saw it again….

    2. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I have no idea if it even exists. I guess it does not exist.

  8. Takeru

    I think that confirm my old theory, “Microsoft does not care about pirated copies”, they did nothing about my “Kmspico” which I use to activate Office 2016 and windows 10.

  9. Adam

    This happened to me with CPU-Z, Photoshop, and a number of other apps. Most of the apps are not uninstalled,however, they are actually just moved to the “C:\Windows.old” folder. In most cases, you can just move the program’s folder from the “windows.old” folder, back to “Program Files” or whatever the original location was, and your apps will still work just fine. I think the only thing that I actually had to re-install was Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Service.


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