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How to reinstall default apps in Windows 10

Here's how to get those default apps back without reinstalling Windows.

Did you go a little crazy uninstalling all of the default apps in Windows 10, only to discover that some of the apps are actually necessary for other Windows 10 features to work?

Luckily for you, getting them back is as easy as...well, uninstalling them in the first place. If you haven't yet installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you should -- it will bring back any default apps you previously uninstalled, minus a few (such as Get Skype) that have been eliminated from the operating system.

Reinstall all default apps

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Open PowerShell as an administrator. To do this, open the Start menu and scroll down to find Windows PowerShell > Windows PowerShell. Right-click on Windows PowerShell and click More > Run as Administrator from the dropdown menu. You may see a pop-up window asking you if you want to allow this app to make changes to your computer -- click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Type or paste the following code into the PowerShell window:

Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"

Press the Enter key. At first, it might seem like nothing is happening -- wait about a minute and then check your Start menu to see if the Windows 10 default apps have reappeared. If you see an error message, restart your computer and check your Start menu (if you don't see the default apps, check to make sure you've copied the code correctly).

Reinstall individual default apps

The first method is handy if you want to reinstall all of the default apps at once. But what if you just want to reinstall one default app? It's a little trickier, since you'll need to find the appxmanifest.xml file path for the app you want to reinstall, but it's not that tricky.

Open the PowerShell as an administrator, as described above. Type or paste the following code into the PowerShell window and hit Enter:

Get-AppxPackage -allusers | Select Name, PackageFullName

This will show you a list of default apps and their appxmanifest.xml file paths, and will look something like this:

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Find the app you want to reinstall in the list, and double-click its PackageFullName (the string in the right column) to select it.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

After you highlight this string, press Enter or Ctrl + C to copy it to your clipboard. Then, type the following code into the PowerShell, replacing PackageFullName with the string you just copied (just press Ctrl + V to paste the string into the code) and hit Enter.

Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\PackageCodeName\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode

It should look something like this:

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

You should be able to open the Start menu and see the app you just reinstalled immediately. If you do not see it right away, you may need to restart your computer.

Editors' note: This article was originally published on September 28, 2015, and was updated on October 3, 2016 to reflect changes made in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.