Windows 8 : Disable access to the Windows Store with GPO

When you use Windows 8 in the Enterprise I can imagine that you (the IT Administrator) wants to disable some features. One of the first features (just like Windows Media Center in the Windows 7) I expect customers want to disable will probably be access to the Store.

Windows 8 Group Policies
I downloaded the proper Group Policy Settings Reference Sheet from Microsoft.com and the correct policy to disable access to the store could be a User Policy or a Computer Policy. So you can disable access to the store for the normal users and leave it accessible for the IT Administrator or Management (if you like).

Two different GPO’s at “SystemInternet Communication ManagementInternet Communication Settings”:

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With the following Help Text:

“This policy setting specifies whether to use the Store service for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association.When a user opens a file type or protocol that is not associated with any applications on the computer, the user is given the choice to select a local application or use the Store service to find an application.If you enable this policy setting, the “Look for an app in the Store” item in the Open With dialog is removed.If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the user is allowed to use the Store service and the Store item is available in the Open With dialog.”

And two different GPO’s at “Windows ComponentsStore”:

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With the following Help Text:

“Denies or allows access to the Store application.If you enable this setting, access to the Store application is denied. Access to the Store is required for installing app updates.If you disable or do not configure this setting, access to the Store application is allowed.”

What’s the difference?
So with the first Policy you can enable or disable the Store for finding an application to open a file with an unhandled file type or protocol association. The second Policy actually disabled access to the Store.

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When you disable access to the store you will still see the Store tile on your Start Screen, but when you open the store you will see the following message:

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Remove the Store Tile
To entirely remove the Store tile from your Start Screen, just remove the Store shortcut in “C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms” (thanks to Roel Janssen for posting this solution).