Getting apps for your PC

Windows tutorial: Page 7 of 11

A world of apps in the Windows Store

Apps make using your PC easier by opening up new ways for you to get things done and have some fun. Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 come with built-in apps that help you socialise, stay in touch, share and view documents, organise photos, listen to music and watch films, but you can find even more apps in the Windows Store.

Note: You need to have Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 to see and install apps from the Windows Store. If you don't have Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, you can take a look at some of the popular apps available in the Store.

Installing apps

To find apps to install from the Windows Store, tap or click Store on the Start screen or your desktop taskbar. You need to be connected to the Internet to open the Store and you'll need to sign in using a Microsoft account.

Once you're in the Windows Store, there are a few different ways to look for apps:

Browse featured apps and lists. If you're not sure what kind of app you want, a good place to start is the featured apps in the Store. Start scrolling to the right to view lists of popular apps, new releases and top paid or free apps. (To see all the apps in a specific list, tap or click the name of the list.) You'll also see personalised app recommendations in Picks for you, based on apps you own and apps you've rated.

Explore categories. If you're looking for a certain type of app (like an entertainment app or a game), you can explore the different categories in the Store. Tap or click Categories, then tap or click the category you want.

Search for an app. If you know the name of the app you want or are looking for apps by a specific publisher, enter the name into the search box in the top-right corner of the Store. You'll see results for apps that match your search.

When you find an app you want, tap or click Buy or Try (free trial) if it's a paid app, or Install if it's free.

Tip

Use the menu at the top of the Windows Store to view lists of apps, categories, your account info, or back Home to the main page of the Store.

Pinning apps

After an app is installed from the Store, you'll find it listed in the Apps view with all the other apps on your PC. You can pin the app to your Start screen or your desktop taskbar, so it’s easier for you to find and use later.

Step 1

On the Start screen, slide up from the middle of the screen to see the Apps view. (If you’re using a mouse, click the arrow The arrow button near the lower-left corner of the screen.)
Apps view

Step 2

Press and hold or right-click to select the apps you want to pin.

Select apps

Step 3

Tap or click Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar. The apps you pinned will appear at the end of your Start screen or desktop taskbar.

Then you can rearrange the pinned apps. On the Start screen, you can resize tiles, and group related apps together. To learn how, see Start screen.

Pin apps to Start

Using your apps

To start using an app, tap or click the app on the Start screen or your desktop taskbar (if you've pinned it there), or from the Apps view. What you can do with an app depends on the app you've installed, but here are some basic tips.

App commands in an app

See the app commands

App commands help you do different things in apps. For example, in a weather app, one app command might be to change the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius. To see what commands are available in an app, swipe down from the top edge of the screen or swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen, and then tap the command you want. (If you’re using a mouse, right-click within the app, and then click the command you want.)

Charms in an app

Use charms in an app

In many apps you can use the charms to search, share content, send files to printers or other devices, and change settings. To use charms in an app, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap the charm you want. (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click the charm you want.) For more info, see Search, share, print, and more.

Using three apps at once

Use apps together

When you’re using more than one app, you can quickly switch between apps, and have up to four apps on the screen at the same time (depending on the resolution of your display). For more info on how to use multiple apps in Windows, see Getting around your PC.

Closing an app

Close an app

Apps in the Windows Store are built so they don’t slow down your PC when you're not using them. When you stop using an app, Windows leaves it running in the background and then, after a while, closes it for you. But if you want to close an app using touch, drag it from the top of the screen to the very bottom. If you’re using a mouse, move your mouse pointer to the top of the app and then click the Close button in the title bar.

Tip

If you're using a mouse and you can't see a Close button when you move your mouse to the top of an app, you might not have the latest update for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. Install the Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355).

Syncing apps between PCs

After you’ve installed apps from the Windows Store, when you sign in to another Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 PC using your Microsoft account, your apps are automatically synced on the new PC you're using—so it's easier for you to pick up right where you left off. Automatic syncing of apps and app data is turned on by default, but you change these settings at any time.

To change app sync settings

  1. Swipe in from the right side of the screen and then tap Settings. (If you’re using a mouse, point to lower-right corner of the screen, move up, and then click Settings.)

  2. Tap or click Change PC settings.

  3. Tap or click OneDrive, and then tap or click Sync settings.

  4. Under App settings, choose whether or not you want to sync Apps and App data.

Automatic app updates

Keeping your apps up-to-date is one way to make sure your apps work correctly. App updates are free and can also include updated or new features for your app. By default the Windows Store automatically updates apps installed on your PC, so you don't need to worry about checking to see when updates are available. For more info on how to make sure automatic updates are turned on, see Turning on automatic app updates.

Installing your apps on other PCs

All of the apps you've installed from the Windows Store are listed in the My apps section of the Store. You can see which of your apps are installed on the different PCs you use, and can install apps directly from here, so you don't have to search for them in the Store and install them one at a time.

Step 1

On the Start screen, tap or click the Store tile to open the Windows Store.

Store tile on the Start screen

Step 2

Tap or click Account, and then tap or click My apps.

Your apps

Step 3

Swipe down or right-click the apps you want to install, and then tap or click Install.

Note: You can install Windows 8 apps on a Windows 8.1 PC, but can't install Windows 8.1 apps on a Windows 8 PC.

Choose apps to install

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