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What is Store Broker? Why is it hogging my Windows system? Clue: It has a cousin named wsappx.

Updated on February 7, 2016

The Problem

Many Windows 8 users have complained that a process called 'wsappx' appears in their Task Manager* under 'Background Processes' and hogs a whole lot of memory.

Whereas the wsappx problem has been addressed, a process called 'Store Broker' (which appears under 'Windows Processes' of Task Manager) has not been given the attention it deserves. Like wsappx, Store Broker is another Windows Store process that starts automatically.


*Windows 8 users can open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, then choosing 'Task Manager'

This is what troublesome disk usage might look like

Source

The Solution

I briefly addressed 'wsappx' almost a year ago on several other websites, but only in a brief paragraph.

Personally, I prefer numbered steps when following instructions:
1. Hold down 'Ctrl', 'Alt' and 'Delete' buttons on your keyboard.
2. Task Manager appears at the default 'Processes' tab. If not, go to Processes tab.
3. Scroll to find 'Store Broker' and right-click it.
4. Click 'End task' on the menu that appears. Store Broker will disappear from the list.
5. Check back a few times to ensure it has not restarted itself.

In my tests, the same process applies to Store Broker as wsappx, except that it is the former is less persistent in restarting itself.

I have not been able to ascertain exactly what information about me or my computer Store Broker is logging and sending back to Microsoft's servers. However, if you are particularly concerned about privacy, I suggest you disable the 'Connect Automatically' option for your WiFi, and connect only after you have killed the processes and made sure they have not restarted themselves.

Windows 10 users may like to read my article on how Microsoft has made it impossible for users to opt out of any information-sharing with them here:

Windows 10 - Should you upgrade? The Dangers.

If you are short on time, you are now trained to kill wsappx and Store Broker and may leave. Godspeed.

Anyone interested in my kinda-miffed-at-Windows-for-its-sneakiness opinion, read on.

We're watching you, Windows Store. And not 'cos of your skinny font.

Windows '99c' Store

I have opened Windows Store only ONCE, almost two years ago, when I first started using Windows 8. I have never downloaded anything from Windows Store. I have not bought anything from Windows Store, ever. Nor have I ever even searched for anything on Windows Store.
There is absolutely zero relationship between myself and Windows Store.

Yet, when I switch on my computer, there they are, wsappx and Store Broker, sitting like Toads amongst all the other Handsome Prince processes (yes, I know it was a frog in the fairy tale, but they are toads).

Why did I not want to have anything to do with Windows Store? Well, at about the same time I was writing on Yahoo Answers, an article appeared on tech website, Fixed by Vonnie, which explains exactly why.
You can find it here.

Read it and weep. For Microsoft. Except if you are an Apple fan, then point and laugh.

Rating for Store Broker

1 star for Store Broker

Tips and Tricks

Task Manager is reasonably helpful for controlling what is happening with your computer.

The problem is that many times, processes are cryptically named (probably on purpose) to scare the uninitiated away from turning them off and thus allowing the manufacturers are good stream of data from our computers. My suggestion is that, aside from antivirus processes, play around with Task Manager and one-by-one end every task that seems unnecessary (Hint: If you are halfway through your thesis and haven't hit 'Save' for a while, don't end your word processor task)

I have tried this trial-and-error method for over 15 years, and only have had Windows freeze up twice. Before you swear off this method, remember this:
Ending a task simply kills the task - it has NO effect on the program running the task, your computer will NOT be damaged.

Happy hunting for rogue tasks.

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