Microsoft seems to have scrubbed Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps from fresh installations of Windows 11, starting with Windows 11 Build 25987, which was released to Windows Insiders, a Microsoft’s official community for Windows enthusiasts and industry professionals to try out previews of new versions of Windows and features.
To be clear, if you’re using a previous version of Windows 11, you won’t be affected by this even if you upgrade to Windows 11 Build 25897. Your Windows Maps and Movies & TV apps will continue to be on your device. Also, Microsoft reportedly hasn’t given any indication that these apps are being killed off, as you can still get them from the Microsoft Store, and they will continue to be updated.
What it does mean is that if you perform a clean install of Windows 11 going forward from today, those two apps will not be pre-installed. Microsoft has confirmed all of the above in a Windows Insider Blog post, but has not elaborated on why it’s made this decision. NeoWin points out that you can delete them if you like, and doing so frees up only a few megabytes of disk memory. It’s hard to say at this point what the fate of these two apps will be, considering that they’re rarely updated and that Microsoft recently removed offline support for Windows Maps.
What’s the impact of this move?
Most Windows users may not even be aware of these apps, so they will probably not be sorely missed by those that do a clean installation of Windows 11 from now on.
It does, however, look like Microsoft is taking steps to optimize and streamline the Windows 11 operating system in general. In the most recent major version update, Windows 11 23H2, we saw the Chat removed and its functionality be absorbed into the free version of Microsoft Teams. We also saw the removal of the old Mail app.
These are more minor changes, in my opinion, but attention to detail like this can pay off as Windows has sometimes had the reputation of being a rather cluttered and bloated operating system, especially compared to macOS and ChromeOS. I think this bodes well for the type of operating system Microsoft is trying to turn Windows 11 into, especially with the new intense focus on AI with Windows Copilot and hybrid computing.