I formatted my laptop which had Windows 10 previously. If I go to the Microsoft Store, I see the note "You own this app" on some apps. I did indeed downloaded these specific apps on the previous installation, but I've always used an offline account in Windows 10, without ever logging in to a Microsoft account.

Is there a way to keep installations unlinked between them? I assume that MS is doing this via my hardware ID.



The message you get is tied to your Windows 10 installation. You do not need a Microsoft Account to get this message. I have Store Apps (Lenovo) not in any way tied to my Microsoft Account. The Store message and your Microsoft Account are not necessarily or need to be tied together.

I can add that if you purchase apps, these will be tied to an account, likely your Microsoft Account

Also remember that your Windows 10 license is on the Microsoft Licensing Service so the App Store still knows about your Windows 10 License.

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