Apps + games

Downloading apps and games FAQ

  • Your phone might have temporarily lost its Internet connection, or you might be trying to download an app that's too big to download over your phone's mobile data connection. If you're trying to download an app that's larger than 50 megabytes (MB) – this applies to many games – you'll need to connect to a WiFi network to complete the download.

    1. Make sure you have a mobile data or WiFi connection. (You'll need WiFi for apps or games that are larger than 50 MB.)

    2. In the App list, tap Store Store Tile.

    3. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see the number of incomplete downloads. Tap it to see the downloads queue.

    4. Tap the stuck app or game, then tap Retry.


    One common cause of a lost WiFi connection is a screen time-out, which pauses your connection and can prevent apps from downloading. If you're downloading lots of games or other large apps on your phone via WiFi, you may want to go to your phone's lock screen settings and temporarily increase the screen time-out period, or disable it.

  • The people who create apps and games for Windows Phone are constantly making tweaks and improvements, fixing bugs or adding new features. When a newer version of an app you've downloaded is available, you'll see a number on the Store Tile on your Start screen.

    When you open the Store, you'll see a message at the bottom of the screen indicating how many updates you have. Tap it, then tap update all (or tap the individual apps you'd like to update).

  • If you delete an app or get a new phone, you can always go to the Store on your phone and tap Buy or Install to reinstall it. To reinstall a number of apps at once, go to the Windows Phone Store on the web, click Purchase history, then click Reinstall for each app that you want on your phone.


    • Make sure your phone is set up to receive apps from before you start reinstalling them. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, tap Find My Phone, then select the Send apps to my phone using push notifications (not SMS) checkbox. (This option might get disabled if you turn on Battery Saver in your phone's settings.)
    • If you want to avoid mobile data charges, connect to WiFi before you start reinstalling from
  • When you get an app or game from the Windows Phone Store on the web, you can send it to your phone automatically. All you need to do is turn on one setting on your phone.

    Apps usually begin downloading on your phone a few minutes after you click Buy or Try on your computer. You can see the progress of the installation in your phone's App list (for apps) or your Games Hub (for games).

    To automatically install apps that you get on the web

    1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, then tap Find My Phone.

    2. Select the Send apps to my phone using push notifications (not SMS) checkbox.


    • Some larger apps and games will download only if you have a WiFi connection.
    • If there's a problem with downloading an app or game automatically, you may get an email or text message with a link to the game. Click the link in the message on your phone to begin the download.
  • When you shop for an app in the Windows Phone Store, you'll find a list of hardware and software requirements on the app's details screen. See How can I tell if an app has specific hardware or software requirements? for more information.

  • In general, apps show up in the App list (on Start Start button, flick left), and games show up in the Games Hub (on Start Start button , tap GamesGames Tile).

    Apps can appear in other places as well, and even connect with your phone in interesting ways. For example, in the Photos Hub, you might see photo-related apps you've downloaded. Or, in Wallet, you might be asked to install your bank's app when you add a credit or debit card. Depending on the app, Windows Phone might be able to send relevant information to the app to save you time, or vice versa. For example, installing your bank's app can give you access to your account info in your Wallet, without you having to open the app. Or, if you install the Skype app, your Skype contacts will be added to your contacts list in the People Hub.

  • Live Apps are apps that support Live Tiles: pinned tiles on the Start screen with information or images that change periodically. For example, a weather app's tile could display current temperatures and conditions that update every few minutes, or a social media app might show recent messages to you.

  • Some apps and games are available only for specific phone models – often because the app is provided by the phone's manufacturer. When you sign in to the Windows Phone Store on the web, we'll check your phone model and automatically allow you to get the app if it's available for your phone. If it isn't available for your phone, we'll notify you on the app details page.

Tell us what you think