So, you are trying to install programs on Windows 10 Home in S mode and it is failing? Well, it is supposed to fail and congratulations on now owning an Apple iPad or iPhone as that is basically what all your Windows 10 devices are now.
Just like an Apple iPad or iPhone is restricted (unless jailbroken) in installing a program unless it is from the App Store and access to the App Store is restricted only to users with an active iCloud account, your Windows 10 devices are now required to have an active Microsoft Account to be able to remove the restriction and install programs not included from (HP, Dell, etc) the computer manufacturer. Once the restriction is removed, you may install any program that is designed with Windows 10 in mind or will be fine in compatibility mode.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States, I have lots of professors contacting me with the HP laptops that they bought for remote learning as their educational institution does not yet have a loaner program or the loaner program only offers Chromebooks which are better suited for students.
Windows 10 Home in S Mode
* Why You Should Disable
* Why You Should Keep Enable
* Removing the Restriction
* Enabling the Restriction
Why You Should Disable
You will want to disable S mode if you need DropBox, Google Chrome, and Zoom Client for Meetings as these are not in the Windows App Store. Google Chrome (sort of) was once available from the Windows Store but was just an app that linked to Google’s servers to download the version that you see today. It was removed and banned by Microsoft as it is against their terms of service.
Why You Should Keep Enable
You should keep S mode enabled if the Windows 10 device will be used mainly for a child in your household. It will keep the device safer but note that if it is used for school, the child may have difficulty keeping up with their lessons if the class requires training software (or even Zoom) to be added. The child can even create their Microsoft account to bypass or ask their Academic IT Department to help them do so so talk to the child about proper internet use.
Removing the Restriction
Easy Way: To simply remove or disable the restriction, you will need Windows 10 to show you the warning window then click the “see how” link where it will provide a special link to the Windows App Store and to login with a Microsoft Account (which is required when you plan on installing Microsoft Whiteboard) and other programs. This is where the next problem arises as most professors do not have or want to create an account. If you fall into the same category, not that you do not have to have an account of your own and can borrow from a family member. I have had clients with HP laptops that do not yet want to create a Microsoft account and I have used mine to remove the restriction. Just remember to sign out or disassociate the borrowed account when done so the device does not remain listed to that account.
Hard Way: If you are up for a challenge, press and hold down the “Windows” key on the keyboard along with the “I” key to bring up the Settings windows where you can go to “Update & Security” then “Activation” followed by “Go to the Store” so that it can be disabled.
Enabling the Restriction
From what I have seen so far, it does not appear that there is a way to enable the feature once it is removed or disabled. This may change in the future but from what I can infer, it may be a deterrent to keep Windows 10 users from removing as they will feel that their system is now vulnerable. On Android devices, if it is rooted to install software, to remove the rooted feature, we must factory reset the Android device so this is one possibility to do on a Windows 10 device but you will incur data loss (including the programs) if the data is not backed up to free online storage before doing so.