I bought a game from the Microsoft Store app on my tablet, and would like to also install it on my desktop computer. What’s the easiest way to do that?
Most people don’t seem to realize that the Microsoft Store app actually knows about every app and program you purchase on any of your Windows computers, not just the current device. That means if your computer dies and you buy a new one, the new PC will know what apps you have purchased previous and not require you to buy them again. It also means that if you buy a game on one computer (perhaps your home PC) you can easily install it for free on your work computer too.
The trick is knowing how to navigate the Microsoft Store app itself, or, as I like to do, sidestep it all with Cortana. I’ve been talking for years about how the search system in Windows 10 is terrific, and now that it’s powered by Cortana (and you can type, you don’t have to talk, no worries) it can handle even more complex and sophisticated requests. It’s also constantly learning and improving too. I’m a fan.
Let’s see what I mean. To do this, I’m going to start by checking something you should check sporadically too: Do any of your apps have available updates? Not an easy thing to check unless you just ask Cortana!
As you can see, I just typed “app updates” and it not only knew that’s something within the Microsoft Store, but it even shows a clickable “Check for updates” button in the results pane. So… click on the “Check for updates” button to have the app open up in precisely the correct spot:
Honestly, it couldn’t get much easier than that, could it? Now just click on the blue “Get updates” to see if there are any updates for the apps you have installed on this Windows 10 computer. Since it can auto-update, there’s a decent chance you’ll see this:
Great. Now let’s look at your query since it’s all happening in the same spot. On the left side navigational choices click on the top option, “All owned“. (no, not pwnd, for you hacker kidz out there!)
The date purchased seems to be completely random – my kids purchased Candy Crush Saga years ago! – but notice that there are two blue buttons: Install and Launch. Install means that it’s a purchased program, app or game, but not actually on this computer. Launch means it is installed.
I’ll scroll down a bit further because then you can more easily see my children’s influence in which programs are on the list:
According to the date, there was one day in late April of 2016 that was a bonus day for acquisition of games! Let’s grab a copy of Simple Solitaire for this particular Windows computer by tapping or clicking on “Install“. It’ll check the license, then begin a download immediately:
Doesn’t take long for the system to pop up this message, however:
That’s it. I’m ready to play solitaire and I didn’t have to find it again in the store or worry about buying it again. And this from a game I bought a few years ago. Pretty smooth and simple, really. Just ensure that you’re signed into the same Microsoft account on your various devices and you’ll be able to enjoy the Microsoft Store features too.
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