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How to Find, Download Microsoft Windows Store Apps

Microsoft's Windows Store launched with Windows 8 in 2012 offering only apps and games. Windows 10 in 2015 added music, movies, and TV shows, and April's Creators Update added books. But how can you shop at the Windows Store and what will you find? Let's check it out.

First, you'll need Windows 10 to shop for the full array of items in the Windows Store. And if you're looking for a good book to read, you'll need the Creators Update. To check your version of Windows 10, right-click the Start button. If you see the Settings command in the menu, you have the Creators Update. If you see Control Panel in the menu, you're still running the prior flavor of Windows and need to install the Creators Update, which you can do from the Windows Update screen in Settings.

To open the Windows Store, click on its icon on the Taskbar, or click on the Start button and scroll down the list to the shortcut for Store and click on it.

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The Windows Store opens. At the top of the window are the various product categories – Apps, Games, Music, Movies & TV, and Books.

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The store's home page opens, flashing the latest promotions and other highlights. Scroll down the home page, and you'll find daily deals, special picks, and most popular items, among other content. Be sure to scroll all the way down the home page to see all the latest lists and promotions.

Microsoft's Windows Store

Shopping for Apps

Let's say you want to shop a specific category. Let's start with apps. Click on the Apps menu. You'll see the latest promoted apps.

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Scroll down to see top, featured, top paid, and top free apps, and more.

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For any list, you can click on the "Show all" button.

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The store then displays the complete list of matching items.

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Click on the left arrow before the word Store to return to the previous page. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Apps page to see a list of app categories that you can click on and browse.

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At the specific category page, you can click on each of the headings at the top to narrow or change the list of items.

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If you find a free app you want to download, like Hulu, click on it and select "Get." The app will start downloading, before giving you the option to Launch or Pin to Start.

Hulu App on Windows 10

If you want a paid app, click Get, which will ask you to sign into your Microsoft account if you're not already signed in.

Paid app on Windows 10 Store

If you've never purchased an app, you'll be asked to add a way to pay: credit card or debit; PayPal; mobile phone; or gift card.

Paid app on Windows 10 Store

Shopping for Games

Now, click on the Games menu. The Games page pops up, highlighting a certain game or games.

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Scroll down the page to see best-selling games, top paid games, top free games, and other lists. Again, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, and you'll see a list of game categories that you can browse.

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If you find a particular app or game that interests you, click on its entry to view its full page.

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If you see an Install button, the game is free for the taking. Click on Install, and the app or game is downloaded and installed. If you see a price tag and Buy button, then the app or game will cost you some cash. Click on the Buy button to download it.

If you've already set up a payment method with Microsoft, Windows asks for your PIN or password to authenticate your identity and asks you to confirm the purchase. If not, you'll be asked to set up a means of payment.

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Shopping for Music

Now let's segue to the Music category by clicking on its menu. The Music page pops up highlighting certain artists or albums.

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Scroll down the page to see a list of recommended and popular artists and albums. At the bottom of the page you'll find a list of genres. If a particular album or song strikes your fancy, click on its link to see its full page. Click on the price tag if you wish to purchase the album. That music will then be available in the Groove Music app, which will be discontinued as of Dec. 31 and merged with Spotify.

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Shopping for Movies & TV

Next, click on the menu for Movies & TV. Scroll down the page to see all the featured movies and TV shows. Click on a specific movie or TV show if you wish to purchase it. It will then be accessible via the Movies & TV app.

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Shopping for Books

Then click on the menu for Books. Scroll down the page to see all the book titles. Click on a specific book that you want to purchase. You can read those selections on any Windows 10 device with the Windows Creator update via Microsoft Edge.

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Shopping for Specific Items

Maybe you're looking for a specific app, game, album, song, movie, TV show, or book. Instead of browsing the different categories, search for an item by title or other criteria. Type a keyword in the Search field. The store displays a list of potential matches. You can click on one of the suggested matches or click on the Search icon to look for your item.

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If you search for your item, the store then displays results across all the product categories.

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You can narrow the results to a specific category. Click on the Type menu and then choose a category, such as albums, and the results are refreshed to match your selection.

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