Windows 10 in S Mode


  • Hi guys, today we will introduce Windows 10 S Mode to you.

    As we know, Windows 10 in S Mode is a more limited and locked-down Windows operating system. In S Mode, we can only use apps from Microsoft Store and Microsoft Edge browser to achieve a faster and more secure performance.


    Step-by-step to enable Windows 10 in S mode. 

    With the release of Windows 10 1803, Windows 10 S evolved into Windows 10 S mode. With this evolution, S mode becomes available for all win 10 editions.

    After understanding the function of Windows 10 in S mode, you may be interested in how to make it on our machine.  kindly refer to the 4 steps below to enable S mode on win 10


    Step 1 Create an install.wim file :

    1. Mount your Windows 10 1809/1803 iso, copy all content into another folder(the path shorter the better, such as C:\win10\sources) 
    2. Open PowerShell as administrator
    3. Run the command below.

      dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:C:\path \sources\install.esd

      In the command above make sure to change the path to the sources folder with the install.esd file on your device.

      Identify the index number for the image edition, we're extracting Windows 10 Pro, which in this case has an index number of 6.

    1. Run the command below to create an install.wim file

      dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:C:\path \sources\install.esd /SourceIndex:6 /DestinationImageFile:C:\path\to\folder\sources\install.wim /Compress:Max /CheckIntegrity

      In the command make sure to change the path to the sources folder with the install.esd file on your device. The destination path should be the same as the source.

    You have done Step 1.

    Step 2 Create an unattend.xml file:

    Windows System Image Manager (SIM) is a specific tool to create unattend file, you can install it from the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

    Download and install the Windows ADK

    1. Launch adksetup.exe file to begin the installation, we only need to check the Deployment Tools package, which contains the Windows SIM. Once complete the installation, open Windows SIM and navigate to the folder you exported the Windows 10 files.
    2. In the "sources" folder, select the install.wim image file, and click the Open button, choose the edition you need. Then you will see a message, click Yes, this process will take some time.
    3. Click the File menu, select the Select Distribution Share Navigate to the folder that you're using to store the project folders and files.
    4. On Folder name, type a name to create a folder to store additional project files.
    5. Click the Open
    6. Click the File menu, select the New Answer File option.
    7. In fact, answer file can customize many items in image, but today we're just configuring Windows 10 with S mode.
    8. Under Windows Image, expand the Components folder.
    9. Right-click the amd64_Microsoft_Windows_CodeIntegrity component, select the Add Setting to Pass 2 offlineServicing 


    On the right side:

    1. Under Answer File, select the amd64_Microsoft_Windows_CodeIntegrity component.
    2. Under Settings, change the SkuPolicyRequired value to
    3. Tools menu, select the Validate Answer File
    4. If there are no errors, click the File menu, and select the Save Answer File As option.
    5. Navigate to the folder you want to save the file.
    6. Under File name, use the unattend.xml file name.

    Once complete above steps, the unattend.xml file will be created, finished product.

    Step 3 Modify Windows 10 image:

    We use PowerShell to modify Windows 10 image, kindly see the steps below.

    1. Run the command below to create a mounting point in the root of the drive and press Enter:

      md c:\mount\windows

    1. Run the command to mount the install.wim image file:

      dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:c:\path\sources\install.wim /index:1 /MountDir:C:\mount\windows

    1. Run the command to create a folder called "Panther" inside the mounted image

      md c:\mount\windows\Windows\Panther

    1. Run the command to import the unattend.xml file to the Panther folder:

      copy c:\path\to\folder\unattend.xml c:\mount\windows\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml

    1. Run the command to apply the unattend.xml file to the mounted image:

      dism /Image=c:\mount\windows /Apply-Unattend=c:\mount\windows\Windows\Panther\unattend.xml

    1. Run the command to save the changes and unmount the Windows 10 image:

      dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:"c:\mount\windows" /commit


    <settings pass="offlineServicing">

            <component name="Microsoft-Windows-CodeIntegrity"











    If you get an error indicating that the image couldn't be unmounted, use the dism /cleanup-wim command to resolve the issue.


    Step 4 Install Windows 10 S mode:

    To install Windows 10 with S mode enabled, we need to replace the install.wim or install.esd file with the modified install.wim image on installation media.

    Next, create USB installation media to install Windows 10 in S mode and then we’re done.

    Switch Out of Windows 10 S Mode 

    After testing and experiencing Windows 10 in S mode, you may want to switch out of this model. On 1809 version, there’re 2 ways you can easily achieve that.

    1. Microsoft Store
    2. MDM policies


    Method 1: Microsoft Store mode switch process

    1. On your PC running Windows 10 in S mode, open SettingsUpdate & Security  > Activation
    1. Select Go to the Store 
    1. On the Switch out of S mode page, select the Get After you see a confirmation message on the page, you'll be able to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store.


    Method 2: Use the new MDM policies to automatically switch a device out of S mode

    Added in Windows 10, version 1809. Determines whether a consumer can switch the device out of S mode. This setting is only applicable to devices available in S mode.

    Value type is integer. Supported operations are Add, Get, Replace, and Delete.

    Supported values:

    • 0 - No Restriction: The user is allowed to switch the device out of S mode.
    • 1 - User Blocked: The admin has blocked the user from switching their device out of S mode. Only the admin can switch the device out of S mode through the SMode/SwitchFromSMode node.

    Added in Windows 10, version 1809. Switches a device out of S mode if possible. Does not reboot.

    Supported operation is Execute.

    Added in Windows 10, version 1809. Returns the status of the latest SwitchFromSMode set request.

    Value type is integer. Supported operation is Get.


    • Request fails with error code 404 - no SwitchFromSMode request has been made.
    • 0 - The device successfully switched out of S mode
    • 1 - The device is processing the request to switch out of S mode
    • 3 - The device was already switched out of S mode
    • 4 - The device failed to switch out of S mode


    Microsoft Intune has implemented the necessary interface to manage these options through a single interface.

    The path is: Microsoft Intune -> Device configuration – Profiles -> Create profile -> Edition upgrade -> Mode switch


    This policy settings can be configured one of three different ways:

    • No Configuration (Default) – This option does not affect devices at all. Devices in S mode will stay in S mode, and the end user will be able to switch the device out of S mode from the Microsoft Store if desired
    • Keep in S mode – This option will prevent end users that are using devices in S mode from being able to switch the device out of S mode using the Microsoft Store
    • Switch – This option will trigger an automatic switch out of S mode for any devices that are currently in S mode


    We hope you find the instructions above easy to understand. Let’s try out.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Friday, January 11, 2019 3:03 AM

All replies

  • Thank you for sharing
    Friday, January 11, 2019 3:28 PM
  • My apologies in advance if this is a stupid question.

    Microsoft already make available a selection of iso files which licenced users of Windows 10 can download and install. Would it not make life easier for users who wish to adopt (or re-adopt) Windows S if Microsoft made it too available for download?

    Friday, January 11, 2019 7:28 PM