In 2019, Microsoft finally introduced support for Win32 games in the Microsoft Store for Windows. But if you’ve downloaded the games, you might want to hold off on the latest Windows Insider build. The most recent Dev Channel update prevents users from uninstalling Win32 apps, meaning many of the games in the Microsoft Store and Steam will remain on your computer for now.
Microsoft’s Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25211 was recently released to subscribers of the Windows Updates Dev Channel. The new build comes with a ton of new features, bug fixes, and one big catch. This particular update has only been rolled out to the Dev Channel and should not affect Windows Insider subscribers using the Beta Channel or Release Preview builds of Windows.
Some of the more substantial updates rolled out in Preview Build 25211 include:
The new features come alongside a handful of bug fixes as well, but this all comes with an interesting caveat. Machines with this update installed cannot remove or repair Win32 apps with interdependencies. Basically, this means that you can’t uninstall many of the games that run on the Steam client or Steam itself. Fortunately, this turns out to be a temporary thing.
Since the Microsoft Store started supporting native Win32 apps, it has become increasingly popular with developers who want more customization and control over their applications, not just game developers. The list of games and applications that rely on Win32 just keeps growing, making the limitations of this build a nuisance.
Microsoft has always warned that its Dev Channel updates are often very rough and not very stable. While the ability to bring up the taskbar without ctrl+alt+the way there is tempting, we recommend that you don’t install this update just yet, as rolling back Windows Insider updates without also affecting important apps or documents is a bit difficult could be.