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Windows 10 includes the Microsoft Store, which lets you download free or paid software from the internet. Here’s how to install apps from the Store.

Free Apps vs. Paid Apps

Before using the Microsoft Store—or any modern app store—it’s important to understand the difference between the two types of software in the store: free and paid.

With “free” software, you can download the program without making a purchase, but there is usually a catch. These apps either work with a subscription service (such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Adobe, Facebook, or Slack), or they let you use a basic version of an app for free, sometimes with intrusive advertisements. If you want to unlock a feature later, you might be asked for payment using what are called “in-app purchases.”

The second type is “paid” software, which you buy up front before you download and then usually you own the right to use it completely, although there are also paid apps that sell more features later through in-app purchases.

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How to Install Software Using the Microsoft Store on Windows 10

Before we begin, we’ll assume that you have already created a Microsoft account and you are logged in. For app purchases, you’ll need some form of payment that has already been linked to your Microsoft account.

First, open the “Microsoft Store.” If you can’t find it, open Windows 10’s “Start” menu and type “Microsoft Store,” then click the “Microsoft Store” icon when it appears. Or you can find it in your apps list.

When the “Microsoft Store” app opens, you will see a screen that includes many flashy banners that advertise the latest deals and other promotions.

An example of the Home screen in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.

If you’re looking for a specific type of app, click one of the categories at the top of the window, such as “Gaming,” “Entertainment,” or “Productivity.”

Or you can search for a specific app by clicking the search button. In the search bar that appears, type what you’d like to find, then click an item in the list of results.

In the Microsoft Store, you can search for an app in the search box.

Once you locate a program you’d like to install, first check whether it is a free or paid app. If the app is free, you will see the word “Free” just above a “Get” button. Click the “Get” button and it will change into an “Install” button. Once you click “Install,” the download will begin automatically.

If the program requires a purchase before downloading, you will see a price listed just above a “Buy” button. If you’d like to purchase the item, click the “Buy” button.

After following the purchase steps, the download will begin. You will see a status bar as the program is downloaded from the Internet onto your computer.

An example of the download progress indicator in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10.

Once the app is installed, you can launch it by clicking “Launch” or “Play” button located just beside the download progress indicator bar. Or you can open the “Start” menu and browse for the app name in an alphabetical list. Click the app’s icon when you find it, and it will launch.

Open the Start menu then browse for the app by name.

If you have trouble finding the app you just downloaded in the “Start” menu, open “Start” and begin typing the name of the app to perform a search. When the results appear, click the icon of the app to launch it.

Also, if you ever need to see a complete list of all the apps you’ve bought or installed from the Microsoft Store, launch the “Microsoft Store” app and click the ellipses button (three dots) in the toolbar. Then select “My Library.”

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You will see a list of all the apps you have installed through the Microsoft Store, and you can sort it by install date and other criteria. If you want to uninstall the app later, you’ll need to visit Settings > Apps, select the program, then click “Uninstall.”

Have fun with your new app!

RELATED: How to Uninstall an Application on Windows 10

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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