The Windows Store is as important as ever in Windows 10. Whether you used the store or not, if you’re utilizing Windows 10, you’ve no doubt ventured into the store to check out what it has to offer.
Microsoft has optimized and made the Windows Store work even more fluidly than it ever did in Windows 8 and 8.1.
Let’s look at how the Windows Store works in Windows 10 and discuss why you should consider using apps with the Windows experience.
Using the Windows Store in Windows 10
You’ll find a Windows Store tile by default in the Start Menu. You can pin this to your Taskbar, create a desktop shortcut, or simply use Cortana to search for it to get started.
When opened, you’ll notice a vibrant, alive main menu allowing you to see some of the latest and most popular apps in the Windows Store.
Before we get to the apps, let’s look at the settings in the Windows Store.
Windows 10 App Store Settings
Click on your picture in the title bar to open the settings menu.
Clicking on your Microsoft Account will allow you to switch between accounts to buy, download, and upgrade apps as you see fit.
My Library will showcase everything you’ve downloaded to Windows 10, giving you quick access to the apps.
Downloads and updates show you if you have any available app updates for Windows 10 ready. You can also manually check for updates if for some reason they haven’t pushed automatically to you.
Settings allow you to choose a few options for how the Windows Store works in Windows 10, such as automatic app updates and live tile suggestions.
You’re even able to streamline your purchase experience by not using your password when buying apps.
All other settings, such as redeem a code, view account, payment options, and purchased are all shown through the Live website and not the app. This makes for a cumbersome experience in some ways rather than Microsoft utilizing its app to do everything at once for consumers.
In order to download apps, games, music, movies, or TV, you can do so in one of two ways: You can click on the categories at the top of the Windows Store and browse for what you want or you can search for it.
One of the perks of using Cortana is you can search for apps to use on your Windows 10 PC without opening the Windows Store.
Once you find an app you want, you’ll find a variety of information on its app page.
You’ll find ratings and reviews, similar and popular apps, a preview of what the app looks like, and more technical data, such as app version and when it was last updated.
When you’re ready to install the app, click on “Free.”
In this example, the History app is free; if you’re buying a paid app, it’ll say Paid and the pricing. You’ll also have to go through additional steps to confirm the purchase as opposed to streamlining that experience in the settings.
Your app will start and downloading a few moments later, will be ready to use. You can click “Open” to start using it.
For whatever reason, newly installed apps aren’t automatically added to your Start Menu. They’ll show up in Recently Added and the All Apps view, but you’ll need to pin or create a shortcut to the app where you want to access it from.
If you right-click on the app in the All Apps view or Recently Added, you can pin it to the Start Menu or Taskbar.
You’ll also be able to Uninstall the app from here or its live tile, too.
Using the Windows Store in Windows 10 is relatively easy. The improvements you see are in the back end speeding up search and how media is filtered.
Microsoft has also spearheaded the effort to bring higher quality apps to the Windows Store like you see in the iTunes Store. This has significantly increased the availability of apps with more functionality, and it’s encouraged companies like Twitter to begin rolling out Windows versions of popular apps.
If you’re upgraded to Windows 10 without looking at the Windows Store, you should give it a shot. Even if you don’t find anything that might work for you, you might be surprised by the apps that you find.
The Windows Store functions much better than it ever did in Windows 8 and 8.1, and it’s only getting better as Microsoft pushes Windows as a service and apps are cross-compatible with Xbox One and Windows Phone.