Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 10, brings with it access to the Windows Store, where you can download apps, games, music and films and TV programmes.
The store isn’t new – it launched with Windows 8, but if you bypassed 8 and are jumping from Windows 7 to Windows 10, it will be a new experience.
For the first time with Windows 10 the Windows Store offers a one-stop-shop across all Windows 10 devices including tablets, mobile phones and PCs.
If you upgrade to Windows 10, it’s well worth paying a visit to the store to download web apps for your favourite websites. The advantage of using web apps is that you can use them from your desktop instead of visiting web pages – much like you do with phone and tablet apps.
The apps will also update automatically as long as you’ve got a web connection and you get notifications.
Here’s how to download and use apps in Windows 10. If you haven't upgraded check out our article: How to upgrade to Windows 10 - What to expect from the upgrade process.
Step 1: Launch the Windows App Store
Click the Start icon to launch the Start screen and click ‘Store’.
In order to download apps you’ll need a Microsoft account, if you’ve used Hotmail, Xbox or Windows 8 you’ll already have one. If not you’ll need to register, find out more in our piece 10 things to do first after upgrading to Windows 10.
Step 2: Using the Windows App store.
When the store launches select Apps from the top menu bar.
Scroll down the screen and you’ll see various sets of curated apps including: App that we’ve picked for you, Top free apps, Getting Started and Top paid apps.
Click ‘Show all’ to view each one. Use the Search bar at the top to find a specific app.
Step 3: Installing apps
If an app interests you click to find out more information including reviews from other users and what version is available. To download it click Install, the icon will change to Open when it’s ready.
Step 4: Using apps
The app opens in a separate screen, use the icons at the top to minimise (minus), go to full screen (double arrow) or enlarge (box).
Step 5: Adding apps to the Start Menu
Add apps you use the most to the Start Menu so you can access them quickly.
Apps you’ve just installed will appear under ‘Recently added’. Alternatively enter the name of the app in the Search bar, right click the app icon and select Pin to Start.
Step 6: Resizing and live tiles
The app will appear as a tile on the start menu, allowing you can move it to your desired location.
You can change its size by right-clicking and selecting: Small, Medium and Wide.
Many apps are ‘Live’ displaying information as long as you have signed in or are online. For example the Facebook app will show updates from your news feed.
If you don’t think this will be useful, turn it off by selecting ‘Turn live tile off’.
Step 7: Customising app notifications
App alerts appear in the Windows 10 Action Centre accessed by clicking the square speech bubble on the bottom right. If you install lots of apps, this can quickly become full.
Type ‘Notifications’ into the Search bar and select Notifications & action settings.
In the pop-up menu under Notifications use the sliders to decide whether or not you want to show notifications and on the lock screen.
Underneath you can choose which apps you want to allow notifications from.
Step 8: Deleting apps
Windows 10 comes with several apps pre-installed, such as Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Money. If you don’t want these, launch the Start Menu, right click the offending app and select Unpin from Start or Uninstall.
Are there any apps you'd like to recommend to other BT.com readers? Let us know in the Comments section below.