Starting with Windows 10 build 15042, Microsoft introduced a new security setting that restricts installing apps to only those from the Microsoft Store. When you try to install a third-party app or program, you may see a warning message saying “The app you’re trying to install isn’t a Microsoft-verified app“.

While this setting aims to protect your PC from potentially harmful apps, it can be annoying if you frequently install software from trusted third-party sources.

Fortunately, Windows 10 provides a few ways to change this app recommendation setting and allow installing apps from anywhere. In this blog post, we’ll walk through 3 methods to turn off app recommendations in Windows 10.

Method 1: Change App Installation Settings in Windows 10 Settings

The easiest way to allow installing apps from anywhere is through the Windows Settings app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app by clicking the Start button and then the gear icon.
  2. Go to the “Apps” category.
  3. Under “Apps & features“, click the “Choose where to get apps” dropdown menu.
  4. Change the setting from “The Microsoft Store only (recommended)” to “Anywhere“.
  5. Close Settings and you’ll no longer see the warning when installing third-party apps.

If the “Choose where to get apps” option is grayed out or missing, you may need to change the app installation policy through the Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor, as explained below.

Method 2: Disable App Recommendations via Group Policy Editor

For those on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, the Local Group Policy Editor provides an easy way to configure app installation settings. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor by pressing Win+R, typing “gpedit.msc” and clicking OK.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Defender SmartScreen -> Explorer.
  3. In the right pane, double-click “Configure App Install Control” to edit this policy.
  4. Select “Enabled” and choose “Turn off app recommendations” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click Apply and OK to save the change.
  6. Restart your PC for the new setting to take effect.

After this policy change, Windows 10 will no longer show warnings or prevent you from installing apps from outside the Microsoft Store.

Method 3: Allow Apps from Anywhere via Registry Editor

If you can’t access the Group Policy Editor, modifying a couple Registry keys will also let you install third-party apps without restrictions. As always, be careful when editing the Registry as incorrect changes can cause system issues.

  1. Press Win+R, type “regedit”, and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  2. First go to:
  3. Look for a string value named “AicEnabled” in the right pane. Double-click it and change the value from “StoreOnly” to “Anywhere”. If the value doesn’t exist, create a new String value with that name and data.
  4. Next, navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\SmartScreen
  5. Double-click the “ConfigureAppInstallControl” string and change its value from “StoreOnly” to “Anywhere”, or create it if missing.
  6. Close Registry Editor and reboot your PC.

Windows 10 will now allow installing apps from any source without displaying the “isn’t a Microsoft-verified app” warning.


By default, Windows 10 blocks installing apps from outside the Microsoft Store for enhanced security. However, this can prevent installing legitimate third-party programs that you trust and need.

Luckily, it’s quite straightforward to change Windows 10’s app recommendation setting and allow installing apps from anywhere. You can do this through the Settings app, Group Policy Editor (Windows 10 Pro and above), or Registry Editor.

After applying one of the methods covered in this guide, you’ll be able to install third-party desktop apps without any warnings or restrictions. Just be cautious about the sources you download software from and only install apps that you know are safe.

Changing this setting opens up more flexibility but also some risk, so it’s a bit of a tradeoff between convenience and security. But for many users, especially advanced ones, the ability to install a wide range of Windows programs is worth it. Hopefully this post has helped explain how to adjust Windows 10’s app installation options to suit your needs.

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