Downloading Apps from the Windows Store
With Windows 8.1, you can download apps for your computing devices from the Windows Store. Note that you must be signed into your computer using a Microsoft Account to download apps from the Windows Store.
To download an app once you have signed in using a Microsoft Account, click the “Store” icon within the Start screen to open the Windows Store app. Here you can browse the available apps to download. You can browse apps by category or simply review the featured apps that are displayed. You can click an app that is shown within the Windows Store to read more about the selected app. On the app page shown, you can click the “Back” button in the upper left corner to return to the last page shown. You can read the general information about the app and then scroll to the right to read the “Details” and “Ratings and reviews” of the app. You can also see related apps that others have purchased.
To download the app, click the “Buy,” “Try” or “Install” buttons at the upper-left side of the page. Free apps will typically just show the “Install” button and paid apps will often show the “Buy” and “Try” buttons. The “Try” button will allow you to install a trial version of the app, which you can later purchase if you want to keep. You can also click the “Buy” button to buy and download the app immediately. You will need to provide some form of payment to download and purchase a paid app.
After selecting an app to install, you will see your download and installation information temporarily appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. After your app has been downloaded and installed, a message box will appear onscreen informing you of that fact. You can then close the Windows Store app by clicking at the top of the app window and then dragging the app all the way to the bottom of the screen.
Also note that the Windows Store will also provide updates to the apps installed on your computer. These updates can occur automatically or you can perform them manually. To enable automatic app updates, open the “Windows Store” app and then open the Charm Bar by rolling to the upper-right or lower-right corners of the screen. Then click the “Settings” button within the Charm Bar to see the “Settings” panel for the Windows Store app. Click the “App updates” command to display the “App updates” screen. You can then set the “Automatically update my apps” toggle switch to the “Yes” position to automatically download and install updates for all of your apps on that computer. If this switch is set to the “No” position, you must manually update your apps. Note that you can click the “Check for updates” button in this screen to check for any available app updates. If there are any updates available, they will be shown in this screen. You can then select the updates to install and click the “Install” button that appears at the bottom of the screen to install the updates manually. After you are finished updating your apps, you can click the “Back” arrow button in the upper-left corner of the window to return to the previous screen in the Windows Store app.
Managing Files in Apps
You may see a new type of “Files” screen appear within apps when you perform functions such as saving an app file, opening an app file, or selecting a file within an app. The “Files” screen that appears within many apps allows you to quickly find, save, or open the selected type of file within your computer. However, there isn’t as much standardization with how file selection is implemented within individual apps as there is within a standard Windows component, such as the File Explorer window.
Generally, within a “Files” window, you can click or tap the drop-down arrow in the upper-left corner of the window to select a folder location or library within your computer. You will see subfolders of the selected folder or library shown as icons at the left side of the screen, with files within that folder or library location shown to the right. You can click these folder icons to enter those folders and display their contents. Any files will be displayed to the right of the folders, if there are any folders to show. Within a selected location, you may see other commands at the top of the window that allow you to browse the folders and view files. For example, you can click the “Go up” command, if shown, to move one level higher within the folder hierarchy from the currently selected location. Sometimes you may see another drop-down arrow that displays sorting options for the current folder. You can click or tap the drop-down arrow next to that command to change how the files within the folder are sorted. For some apps, you may also see another drop-down that filters that types of files shown within the window. You can click or tap the drop-down arrow next to that command to change or select the type of files to display.
You will also see any app file management commands shown in the options bar at the bottom of the “Files” window. So, for example, if you are opening a file, you would select the file to open and then click the “Open” or “Select” button that appears in the options bar at the bottom of the window. The buttons available will change depending on the app. When saving an app file, you will most often enter the name that you want to give to the file into the text box shown at the bottom of the window and then click the “Save” button.