Windows 10 app connector and Windows Shell Experience

1) What does the App Connector do and why does it need access to my location, camera, etc.? 

2) What does the Windows Shell Experience do and why does it need access to my contacts?

 

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Last updated February 22, 2020 Views 35,288 Applies to:
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1) App Connector

The App Connector is an app located in c:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Appconnector_* which has a bunch of stubs for numerous languages, sizes of icons, and AnyCPU. Application info can be found in C:\Users\*\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Appconnector_*. App Connector seems to be related to MS Azure App Services like OneDrive and possibly Office 365 connectors like https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn948518.aspx that might optionally need to take pictures or know what country you're in as some services might have restrictions or optimizations by location for services they can provide.

 

File explorer is one program that uses this app. Disabling it may mean a poor experience using these types of services as the app seems to be related to background file transfers and prefetching.

 

The app has the following capabilities:

    <Capability Name="internetClient" />

    <uap:Capability Name="picturesLibrary" />

    <uap:Capability Name="videosLibrary" />

    <uap:Capability Name="removableStorage" />

    <uap:Capability Name="appointments" />

    <uap:Capability Name="contacts" />

    <uap:Capability Name="phoneCall" />

    <DeviceCapability Name="webcam" />

    <DeviceCapability Name="location" />

2) Windows Shell Experience

The Windows Shell Experience Host is a windows app located in C:\Windows\SystemApps\ShellExperienceHost_* that deals with the windows user experience like the start menu, action center, jump view UI, quick connect UI, notifications, and animated clock and battery displays.

 

The app uses Windows.UI.Xaml.Automation automation including the OpenContactButton, OpenContact,  and ContactLookupProgressBar. This app looks like it deals with the display of opening a contact on your device and view details of the contact.

 

There's also a settings page that can allow you to share Wi-Fi (

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/wi-fi-sense-faq?fromblog=67191 )

 with one group of contacts. There's an option in the current Manage Wi-Fi settings for Outlook, Skype, and Facebook contacts.

 

There is probably a way to view who in your contacts is currently using your Wi-Fi connection. I haven't tried out the Wi-Fi sharing capabilities yet so this is a little fuzzy to me. I wouldn't disable this as it will make your desktop experience worse unless you have an alternative.

 

The app has the following capabilities:

<wincap:Capability Name="shellExperience"/>

<!-- Capabilities are added here from the .appxfragment files -->

<rescap:Capability xmlns:rescap="http://schemas.microsoft.com/appx/manifest/foundation/windows10/restrictedcapabilities" Name="contactsSystem"/>

<wincap:Capability Name="cortanaSettings"/>

<wincap:Capability Name="packageContents"/>

<wincap:Capability Name="visualElementsSystem"/>

<wincap:Capability Name="contentDeliveryManagerSettings"/>

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