Stroll through the Microsoft Store for Windows 8.1 Apps - dummies

Stroll through the Microsoft Store for Windows 8.1 Apps

By Peter Weverka, Mark Justice Hinton

Windows 8.1 comes with a few apps installed, such as the Weather and Travel apps. To obtain other apps — free or otherwise — you use the Microsoft Store.

  1. On the Start screen, select the Store tile, which looks like a shopping bag with handles and the Windows logo.

  2. Look over the Store home screen.

    The Store is organized into categories that stretch off the right side of your screen, so scroll the screen right to see more.

    To scroll with a mouse, roll the wheel or click the bottom of the screen. To scroll on a touchscreen, tap and then drag your finger from right to left or left to right. To use the keyboard to scroll, press the Page Down or Page Up keys.

    You can also use the Tab key to jump between sections or the right and left arrow keys to move through the screen one item at a time.

  3. Right-click to display the app bar and note the following category headings:

    • Picks for You: Examine apps that Microsoft thinks will interest you based on your history of downloading apps.

    • Top Paid: Check out apps that have the highest average rating among apps you have to pay for.

    • Top Free: Check out apps that have the highest average rating among free apps.

    • New Releases: See apps recently added to the Store.

    • Popular Now: Find out which apps are most popular with other shoppers at the Store.

    • Games: Play card games, solve puzzles and word games, and more.

    • Social: Connect to friends and family.

    • Entertainment: Check out apps that don’t fit the other categories, such as those for drawing.

    • Photo: View, edit, and share photos.

    • Music & Video: Listen to music and watch movies.

    • Sports: Follow your favorite sport or team. (Yeah, cricket!)

    • Books & Reference: Read and research.

    • News & Weather: Keep current.

    • Health & Fitness: Want to get in shape? There’s an app for that.

    • Food & Dining: Locate eateries, as well as rate and review restaurants.

    • Lifestyle: If you think entertainment is a vaguely defined category, check out lifestyle.

    • Shopping: Put the world’s catalogues at your fingertips.

    • Travel: Get you there and back.

    • Finance: Manage the money you don’t spend on other apps.

    • Productivity: Send e-mail and create schedules.

    • Tools: Manage your computer.

    • Security: Keep your computer and data safe.

    • Business: Analyze business data.

    • Education: Study the stars, languages, or piano, or prep for the SAT.

    • Government: Learn more about the government and its workings.

    You may see other categories, as well.

    Is the app you want a game or entertainment? Will it make you productive or is it a tool? The category to which an app is assigned is determined by the app developer. In some cases, it’s not clear why an app is in one category and not another. So it goes.

  4. To return to the Store home screen from any other store screen, use one of the following methods:

    • Mouse: With the mouse pointer in an empty area, click the right mouse button to display the app bar. Click Home.

    • Touchscreen: Swipe down from the top or up from the bottom to display the app bar. Tap Home.

    • Keyboard: Press Windows+Z. Press the Enter key or the spacebar.

    The back arrow in the upper left of most screens takes you back one screen. Click this arrow to retrace your steps through the Store.