Ian Moulster's blog

A Microsoft employee translating Microsoft technology into plain English

Buy a Windows 8 app once, use it in multiple places

Buy a Windows 8 app once, use it in multiple places

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Here’s a thought. Let’s say you find an app in the Windows Store that you like, but isn’t free. Take “Hydro Thunder Hurricane” as an example – it’s a really fun 3D game. Now, let’s say you decide to buy it. You may have a couple of questions:

  • Does that mean only I can use it? What about my spouse? Or the kids? Do they have to buy it again?
  • Does that mean that if I buy it on my Windows 8 (or Windows RT) tablet, that I need to buy it again on my PC, and again on my laptop?

The answer to all of these questions is “no”. That is, you only need to buy it once and you can use it on multiple devices, and across multiple accounts.

Here’s how:

  • The first thing to realise is that you can install a Windows 8 app that you buy from the Store on up to 5 different devices. So buy it on your Surface tablet for example, and install it on your PC, and on a laptop. And you’ll still have two further devices you could install it on if you want to. See here for more
  • Secondly, let’s say you have a Windows 8 tablet that the whole family uses (eg a Microsoft Surface). And let’s say that you have set up separate accounts for everyone in the household so that all of their apps, settings etc are kept private and separate. Well the good news is that you can install your paid-for apps into each of these accounts on the same PC. For example: Assuming you’ve bought the app using your own account. Log out of this account, and onto one of the kids’ accounts, and open the Store app. Swipe the charms and choose the Settings Charm, then “Your Account”, then choose “Change User”. Enter your own account details, then find and install the app. When it’s done, switch back to the original account.

With this approach you can make sure that you only pay once for the Windows 8 apps that you buy, whether it’s on a different machine or on a different account.

PS to change accounts on Windows 8 (or Windows RT), get back to the Start screen and click or tap on the user name & picture at the top right. You’ll see a list of users, just select the one you want to log in.

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  • If you open the store app and goto Your Account. It states that you can install app on 15 PCs, not 5.

  • Interesting, when I do that it definitely says 5 PCs, not 15. I have tried it on a few machines. I'll see if I can get to the bottom of it, thanks for flagging

  • Update: With Windows 8.1 release you can now install it on 81 devices. Result!

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