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What is it with all the copycats?

The other day I was working behind my laptop and discovered the ‘Mail’ program. Because I normally use Outlook I figured that I wouldn’t need the mail program anymore. Little did I realize that it was actually part of a combination: ‘Mail and Calendar’ and I definitely wanted to keep the Calendar part, especially because it showed my upcoming appointments on the start menu. Unfortunately I only realized the obvious when it was too late and I was staring at a gaping hole in my start menu.

So how to get them back?  I searched online for a solution and discovered several websites which all provided a PowerShell command to “reinstall all default applications”. The only problem… the command was plain out wrong. So how could so many websites all miss out on the obvious?  Here’s my take…

Check your facts!

There is an ongoing problem with media these days, and I am not only talking about blogs and such but also newspapers as a whole… It would seem hardly anyone bothers to check their facts. Even if all it takes is one simple command…

See, many blogs will tell you that in order to re-install all default apps you need the following PowerShell command:

Get-AppxPackage -allusers | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}

…there’s just one problem. If you actually bother to check the help page for Get-AppxPackage you’ll notice one small detail: “gets a list of the app packages that are installed in a user profile”. Removed programs aren’t installed as far as I know, so why some people claim this can re-install removed packages is way beyond me.

Of course it’s not: people don’t bother to check their sources anymore, even if all it takes is one simple Get-Help command.

So how did all this happen? Well…

Understanding what you’re writing about

The confusion begins with this TechNet article. You will notice that it lists the same command as I shared above, but there’s a difference. It clearly states that this command resets or re-installs default apps. In other words: it’s primary use is to reset (or reinstall) the default apps on your system which are misbehaving. This method is preferred because re-installing (or resetting) Windows 10 as a whole will take a lot more time.

But this doesn’t mean that deleted apps suddenly get magically reset. Also notice mention of the command Get-ProvisionedAppxPackage. This command gets information about app packages that are part of an image; and installing or removing apps will never affect such images.

Of course it’s much easier to simply copy the one thing that everyone else is saying… Who cares if they’re wrong?

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August 22, 2019 - Posted by | Editorial, PowerShell | , , ,

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