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 socialize, stay in touch, share and view documents, organize photos, listen to music, and watch movies, 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 check out some of the popular apps available in the Store.
To start looking for apps to install on your PC, tap or click Store on the Start screen to open the Windows Store. 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, 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 personalized 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. Swipe down from the top edge of the screen (or if you’re using a mouse, right-click) to see the categories in the Store, and 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 upper-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.
Swipe down from the top edge of the screen (or if you're using a mouse, right-click) anywhere in the Windows Store to go to different categories or lists of apps, Your apps and Your account, or back Home to the main page of the Store.
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 so it’s easier for you to find and use later.
Press and hold or right-click to select the apps you want to pin.
Tap or click Pin to Start.
The apps you pinned will appear at the end of your Start screen.
You can rearrange pinned apps, resize tiles, and group related apps together. For more info about personalizing your Start screen, see Start screen.
To start using an app, tap or click the app on the Start screen (if you've pinned the app) 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 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.)
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.
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.
Apps in the Windows Store are built so they don’t slow down your PC. When you’re done using an app, Windows will leave it running in the background and then close it eventually if you don’t use it. But if you want to close an app and remove it from view, drag the app to the bottom of the screen. (If you’re using a mouse, click the top of the app and drag it to the bottom of the screen.)
If you’re using a mouse, you can close an app from the list of recently used apps. Point to the upper-left corner of the screen, move the pointer down, right-click the app you want to close, and then click Close.
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.
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.)
Tap or click Change PC settings.
Tap or click SkyDrive, and then tap or click Sync settings.
Under App settings, choose whether or not you want to sync Apps and App data.
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 Turn on automatic app updates.
All of the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 apps you own are in the Your apps section of the Windows 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.
On the Start screen, tap or click the Store tile to open the Windows Store.
Swipe down from the top edge of the screen or right-click, and then tap or click Your apps.
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.
Why can't I sign in to the Windows Store?
How do I redeem a gift card or promotional code?
Edit payment method for the Windows Store and view billing history
Set your preferences for the Windows Store
Use the Windows Store in a different country or region
Use Family Safety with the Windows Store
Age ratings in the Windows Store
How to buy apps for kids
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