Apps Choose where to get apps in Windows 11


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To help protect your PC and keep it running smoothly, Microsoft recommends only installing apps from the Microsoft Store. You can choose where you can get apps from and if you want to see app recommendations when you try to install an app from outside of the Microsoft Store.

The Application Installation Control feature let's you choose to get apps from:
  • Anywhere - Users will be able to install both desktop and Store apps without getting a message dialog.
  • 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 - Users will be able to install both desktop and Store apps. Users will get a "The app you're trying to install isn't a Microsoft-verified app" message dialog when trying to install a desktop app to see if they want to visit the Store for more apps.
  • The Microsoft Store only - Users will only be able to install apps from the Store. If users try to install a desktop app, they will get a "The app you're trying to install isn't a Microsoft-verified app" message dialog to visit the Store for more apps. Limiting installations to apps from the Store helps to keep you PC safe and reliable. Users will still be able to run desktop apps that were previously installed.
See also:

This tutorial will show you how to choose where apps can be installed from for all users in Windows 11.


You must be signed in as an administrator to change your app recommendation settings in Windows.



Contents

  • Option One: Choose where to get apps in Settings
  • Option Two: Choose where to get apps using REG file
  • Option Three: Choose where to get apps via Policy in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Four: Choose where to get apps via Policy using REG file


EXAMPLE: App recommendation warnings

Microsoft_Store_only.png
Warn_not_from_Microsoft_Store.png





Option One

Choose where to get apps in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Apps on the left side, and click/tap on Advanced app settings or Apps & features > More settings on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Choose_where_to_get_apps-1.png

3 Select Anywhere (default), 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, or The Microsoft Store only for what you want from the Choose where to get apps drop down. (see screenshot below)

Choose_where_to_get_apps-2.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Two

Choose where to get apps using REG file


1 Do step 2 (Anywhere), step 3 (Recommendations), step 4 (PreferStore), or step 5 (StoreOnly) below for what you want.

2 Choose to Install Apps from "Anywhere"

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Install_apps_from_Anywhere.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"AicEnabled"="Anywhere"

3 Install apps from "Anywhere, but let me know if there's a comparable app in the Microsoft Store"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Install_apps_from_Anywhere-but_let_know_if_comparable_app_in_Microsoft_Store.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"AicEnabled"="Recommendations"

4 Install apps from "Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that's not from the Microsoft Store"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Install_apps_from_Anywhere-but_warn_before_installing_app_not_from_Microsoft_Store.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"AicEnabled"="PreferStore"

5 Install apps from "The Microsoft Store only"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Install_apps_from_Microsoft_Store_only.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"AicEnabled"="StoreOnly"

6 Save the REG file to your desktop.

7 Double click/tap on the downloaded REG file to merge it.

8 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

9 You can now delete the downloaded REG file if you like.




Option Three

Choose where to get apps via Policy in Local Group Policy Editor


The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Four to configure the same policy.


1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).

2 Navigate to the policy location below in the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender SmartScreen > Explorer

Choose_where_to_get_apps_gpedit-1.png

3 In the right pane of Explorer in the Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Configure App Install Control policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4 Do step 5 (default) or step 6 (specify) below for what you want.


 5. Not Specify Where Apps can be Installed from

This is the default setting to allow using Option One and Option Two.


A) Select (dot) Not Configured. (see screenshot below)​

B) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below.​

Choose_where_to_get_apps_gpedit-2.png


 6. Specify Where Apps can be Installed from

This will override and prevent using Option One and Option Two.


A) Select (dot) Enabled. (see screenshot below)​

B) Select what you want below in the Pick one of the following settings drop menu.​
  • Turn off app recommendations
  • Show me app recommendations
  • Warn me before installing apps from outside the Store
  • Allow apps from the Store only
C) Click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below.​

Choose_where_to_get_apps_gpedit-3.png

7 Close the Local Group Policy Editor.




Option Four

Choose where to get apps via Policy using REG file


1 Do step 2 (Anywhere), step 3 (Recommendations), step 4 (PreferStore), step 5 (StoreOnly), step 6 (default) below for what you want.


 2. Specify Install Apps from "Anywhere"

This will override and prevent using Option One and Option Two.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 7 below.​

Policy_Install_apps_from_Anywhere.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen]
"ConfigureAppInstallControlEnabled"=dword:00000001
"ConfigureAppInstallControl"="Anywhere"


 3. Specify Install Apps from "Anywhere, but let me know if there's a comparable app in the Microsoft Store"

This will override and prevent using Option One and Option Two.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 7 below.​

Policy-Install_apps_from_Anywhere-but_let_know_if_comparable_app_in_Microsoft_Store.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen]
"ConfigureAppInstallControlEnabled"=dword:00000001
"ConfigureAppInstallControl"="Recommendations"


 4. Specify Install Apps from "Anywhere, but warn me before installing an app that's not from the Microsoft Store"

This will override and prevent using Option One and Option Two.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 7 below.​

Policy-Install_apps_from_Anywhere-but_warn_before_installing_app_not_from_Microsoft_Store.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen]
"ConfigureAppInstallControlEnabled"=dword:00000001
"ConfigureAppInstallControl"="PreferStore"


 5. Specify Install Apps from "The Microsoft Store only"

This will override and prevent using Option One and Option Two.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 7 below.​

Policy-Install_apps_from_Microsoft_Store_only.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen]
"ConfigureAppInstallControlEnabled"=dword:00000001
"ConfigureAppInstallControl"="StoreOnly"


 6. Default - Not Specify Where to Install Apps from

This is the default setting to allow using Option One and Option Two.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 7 below.​

Default_Do_not_specify.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen]
"ConfigureAppInstallControlEnabled"=-
"ConfigureAppInstallControl"=-

7 Save the REG file to your desktop.

8 Double click/tap on the downloaded REG file to merge it.

9 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

10 You can now delete the downloaded REG file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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