Enabling the Windows Store

If you are a user of the new “Windows to Go” feature of Windows 8 Enterprise edition, which enables you to boot and run the Windows 8 operating system off an external USB device, you may have noticed something odd when trying to use the Windows App Store:


In a nutshell: “Windows Store isn’t available on Windows To Go workspaces”.

How to fix?

This seemed odd to me, I can’t think of any technical reason why this might be the case, especially given Windows to Go still has the full formerly-known-as-Metro user interface.  Then I stumbled across this blog article on the MSDN blogs site which pondered the same question.

It appears that the Windows Store is locked down by Group Policy for unknown reasons, I suspect due to paranoia (key term here is ‘Enterprise’, after all).

I don’t want to steal the thunder of the original article, but for brevity – the steps to unlocking require a change to the system’s group policy.  Here’s a paraphrasing of the steps outlined in the original MSDN blog article:

  1. Open the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) – for local policy
  2. Go to Computer Configuration/Administrative templates\Windows Components\Store. Go to the “Allow Store to install apps on Windows To Go workspaces” policy.
  3. Enable & Apply

Sometimes you might want to make this apply right away, to do so open a Command Prompt and gpupdate /force

This worked for me Smile

Note that this applies to the local Group Policy and may be superseded by a domain-level Group Policy.

Still no joy?

If you still have issues, perhaps you may need to make a registry change, first noted here.  This may have unintended consequences but I can’t think of any off the top of my head, so why not give it a try (worst case, you can restore the registry value to the default):

  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit), you should be prompted for permission elevation (under UAC)
  2. Navigate/expand to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  3. Find the following DWORD value: PortableOperatingSystem
  4. Change the value from 1 to 0 and reboot the system


If you’ve made these changes, of course you will be able to download the Sanders Technology Digest application – here’s a handy link..  Or why not try the Windows Store directly?


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