Tip Tuesday: How do I reinstall an app?

Tip Tuesday: How do I reinstall an app?

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[Today we’re kicking off a weekly tips + tricks column spotlighting some of the fun, handy, and lesser-known new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Love to hear what you think! –ed.]

If you’re an app addict like me, it’s easy to lose track of what apps or games you’ve installed over time. But now there’s an easy way to check your complete download history—right from your PC—and quickly reinstall something you’ve accidentally ditched.  Go to My Phone, sign in with the same Windows Live ID you used on your phone, and then click Account. Below the Personal Info section, you’ll see everything you’ve picked up from Marketplace, organized by date. This list also comes in handy if you ever have to replace or reset your phone. See more hot tips

The new My Phone on the Windows Phone website lets you see your app download history and quickly reinstall a deleted app.

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  • @ brianm76, Please hear our voice, Dear Microsoft,

    We all accept Microsoft is the first Creator and inventor of many ideas, at least in ddesktop windows 7,

    I don't know Why Why Why Why..... some basics such as : microsoft's own formats XPS,... doesn't supported in WP7?????

    Why There are 10 votes available in feature suggestion page?

    and so many questions microsoft should answer....

    Ohh, Why should all data erased when I need to reset my phone???

    Please improve WP7 according to features we suggest you...

  • It would be greate if download from desktop then installing by Zune or transfering app setup file to phone via cable or Bloutooth,... and installing direct from phone storage, I mean just as an option, an Offline way to install an app/Game.

    also, I hope microsoft work more on phone OS wich is really a revolution in GUI and SmartPhone OS to enhance/add some features:

    Why the only way to update phone is connecting it to zune?

    There is no file manager, app maager, taskmanagegr,..... for advanced management of phone contents.

    I love Windows Phone 7, THanks

  • I have a couple of apps purchased with a different windows live ID account that I use now, because when I purchased my phone, Marketplace isn't avaliable in my country. Can I associate this apps to my new windows live ID account?

  • I have a question about this.    I received a Mango update notice on Sunday, and proceeded to update.  This failed due to a USB issue.  I took the phone into the AT&T support center, and they replaced the phone for me-- the usb port of the phone was bad.  The new phone isn't eligible for the Mango update yet (still 1.3 firmware), so I'm reloading my phone in the meantime.

    i went to the app page mentioned here (thanks!) and clicked reinstall for several of my apps. One of my apps (Flickr) said it couldn't be installed because "this app requires a higher version of windows phone software."  

    I wish there were a simpler way of getting my applications than reinstalling them one at a time..  perhaps I'm missing something simple.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @ScubaDog2011, thanks for the prompt reply. I really hope that there is some easy how-to guide for such tasks with some device specific exceptions (where applicable), which would help people understand the nitty-gritty of WP OS. Is there any blog which covers all aspects of OS and built-in apps or YouTube series for that matter? Any chances that you are going to write them down, so we can compile the guide from user-perspective (:D)? I highly doubt Microsoft would ever provide such step-by-step guide.

    Quick question: How to close the App in WP7.5 in multitask/app-switching view? :(

  • I still haven't explored all the things that are possible on WP7.5, but I'm having a blast demonstrating what I've found so far with some of my other WP7.5 friends.  It's great fun watching them light up like kids at Christmas.

  • @cpaxirs, is the app you are referring to an HTC-only app?  If it is, then you likely won't see that in the Marketplace.  The HTC Trophy is an Windows Phone 7 device, so almost any app written for it would work on all other Windows Phone 7 devices.  The only exceptions would be ones written specifically for that device to take advantage of unique hardware.  You didn't actually share what the name of the app was, so this is the best I can do to answer your question.

  • @abm, if you open up the Messaging Hub you'll see that it defaults to the THREADS pivot.  But swipe the screen to pivot to ONLINE  and you'll everyone in your contact list who is currently Available.  Then you can simply click on the person you want to chat with.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @ScubaDog2011, thanks for the tip :) It worked! Now, I'm wondering how to distinguish between online contacts from the offline ones in People hub (esp. Live Messenger ones) so I can start conversation with them in messaging hub? I'm sorry if its so obvious... coz I can't figure it out :P

  • cpaxirs
    1 Posts

    is there a app for dvr security camera access like super cam for HTC trophy

  • @brianm76, I don't think it's a Windows Phone issue at all.  I think it's Zune.  I was assisting a couple who are our best friends, both use Samsung Focus (and LOVE them better than the iPhones they use to have) to update to Mango.  The husband's phone did not get the notification so we used the Zune trick and got him updated.  No issues.  The wife's device, however, immediately got the notice of available updates as soon as we sync'd up to Zune.  We let it do its thing but it hung at step 8 (restarting phone) after the final update (7720.68) got installed and the phone was stuck at the SAMSUNG screen.  We left it overnight in case it was just taking insanely long to reboot after that huge update.  Unfortunately, this morning it was still stuck.  So, I had the husband force a hard reset (knowing all the personal date would be gone) and, of course, that worked and it booted Mango.  According to the husband, he was able to go into the www.windowsphone.com website, select MyPhone, and kickoff the reinstall of all the previously installed apps showing in the list.  So, while this isn't as one-step as iTunes apparently is (assuming you WEREN'T talking about it doing a restore of a backup and it really was just sycing), it's pretty close and affords you the advantage of NOT reinstalling apps you decide you didn't really want.  Personally, I'm surprised just how much I really like that site over the actual Windows Live site.  It acts more like a dashboard.

  • brianm76
    61 Posts

    @Michael Stroh the website is too restrictive and I will not post there until it is improved.  The voting structure does not make sense.  I only get 10 votes, so at the most I can vote for 10 items out of possible thousands.  For me, posting to the suggestion site is a waste of my time.  I used up my 10 votes and now I am unable to vote on any other posts until and unless the suggestions I voted on are implemented or closed in some manner.  Everyone should be permitted to vote on every suggestion once if they so choose.  Maybe build in the ability to earn addtional votes by posting suggestions that get high votes.  If the current structure stays the way it is, I will not utlilze the site.  

    @ ScubaDog2011 I have used Android but not to the extent of doing a full on phone reset.  I have, however had 2.5 years of experience with Iphone and when I did a full phone reset there, all my apps were added back as long as I had the apps synced to Itunes.  At the very least, Windows Phone should be designed to meet this standard.  Taking 2-3 hours go back and reinstall apps one at a time...not acceptable.  This should have been a feature from day 1.  I can load a back up however I cannot initiate a back up at any point in time, but only at a point when my phone OS was updated.  Again, this not done except when the phone is updated so how, without going through unauthorized means, are we to get an up to date back of our apps that can be reinstalled should the phone need to be hard reset.  

    Based on my experience with support so far, they ask a couple of questions and once that is done they tell you to reset your phone.  So odds that you will reset your phone in the event of an major issue are good.

  • @abm, you can delete any IE9 favorites by pressing and holding.   A context menu will come up giving you the choice to pin to start menu or delete.  I'll take this opportunity to remind folks that Press-and-Hold is like right-clicking on the Windows desktop.  When in doubt, press-n-hold.  Also, some apps use this in not so obvious places....for instance, pressing and holding in "white space" of a screen instead of on a menu item or link.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @ScubaDog2011 & others, plz tel me how to delete a favorite from IE9ManJoe?

  • malette
    2 Posts

    Love the update, it's like having a new phone....SO much better than the IPHONE.....Thanks MS

  • hopefully it will stay correct unlike the 360(xbox.com) download list which has broken links still to most of the older content.(sure you could redownload it from the 360 itself but if youve downloaded alot it takes to long to load every so many items)

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts


    In your app list, a downloading app will now show up where it should be located (i.e. alphabetical order) with a downloading progress bar beneath it.

    Depending on exactly how you have your phone set up, I've noticed about a 30 second delay before it starts. (I actually turned off the "Connect to these features faster" option (located under "Find my phone" and instead opt for the text message to take care of that.

  • I have to wonder, has anyone tried mass-installing from the new windowsphone.com website?  I only needed to reinstall one app (which worked beautifully), so I can't test this.

  • @Yakko Warner, you're actually bringing up an issue I caught as well, but this goes back to the original launch.  Since you can install an app via Zune OR Over The Air (OTA), apparently you can't reinstall it in a method different from the way it was first installed.  Apps installed OTA must be reinstalled OTA, etc.  At least, that's been my experience.  It's not a big deal to me, since both pathways are simple & easy.  But others might take issue.

  • @a688, personally, I don't care a flip about the reinstall process.  It works just fine for me.  I asked a specific question about how the competitors do it.  Is it really that difficult a question?  However, since I know how are, I'll answer your question instead being like you:  yes, Microsoft should try to be better than the competition.  Now, since you're so smart, exactly how would you describe the mechanics of making a mass reinstall happen, hmm?  

    In the meantime, can someone answer my original question?  How does the reinstall process work on the competitors' devices?

  • Sogeman
    51 Posts

    @NickMon68 when it says it downloads, it downloads. It will tell you if it can't send you the app. It just starts downloading.

  • OK this is great but when installing from the new My Phone web site - how do i know the phone has received it and working on a download ...?

    Would be nice if the phone got a message saying "Application xxxx is now downloading, please check back soon.."

  • Sven
    54 Posts

    For those that wonder about iOS, I can tell you that I can, when in the Market/App store, at least filter my purchased apps by those installed on this device, and those not installed on this device. By this device, I mean the device I am currently using. That's a usefull feature for a product with an ecosystem, since I may have different needs on my Touch, iPad and iPhone. Would be nice if Zune just told me what was actually installed on the device, not everything I've ever bought/tried.

    For new devices, connecting to Zune on the desktop will in fact re-install everything you ever bought/tried, from the desktop marketplace. It does not re-install anything you bought/downloaded from the phone, though those are listed in purchases. At the very least, connecting a new device should install everything that is/was on the current device(s). Not stuff that has been removed. It's like creating your own bloatware installation.

  • Sogeman
    51 Posts

    You should mention that you have to have both boxes ticked in Find my Phone in the phone settings for it to actually send the stuff over. Otherwise it's just SMS or email.

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    For those that like the export App list to Excel idea - you can vote for it here:  windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2282498-export-purchased-app-list-to-csv-file

    Only needs another 2935 votes to take 1st place ;)

  • @brianm76: It's a great suggestion. windowsphone.uservoice.com

  • So, why can't the Zune client do this? If I select an app I've already purchased and downloaded (including free/trials), it just tells me I've already purchased it, without even bothering to check if it's still installed on the phone connected to it or giving an option to reinstall.

  • Yes!..   I Third Strider_Auz's and ScubaDog2011's idea to add an EXPORT installed App list to the My Phone / Account page.

  • a688
    27 Posts

    @ ScubaDog2011

    Should MS aim to be "maybe as good" as their competitors or should they aim for being "better than" their competitors?

  • abm
    268 Posts

    See what I have learned from my sweet HTC surround today. When I tried to open XPS document from my skydrive, it threw this error: "Cannot download file Windows Phone doesn't support this file type."

    I opened my laptop, saved file as PDF and uploaded to SkyDrive. Now, I can read it coz I have Adobe Reader app. Lucky me!

    But wait a minute... XPS!! isn't it Microsoft's "own" extension? Since when Microsoft is going to abandon this product while we have native support in Windows7 and no support in WP7 and BING?? Yes Bing! try filetype:xps on bing and google and see which search engine return results and which don't(zero)! This is a CHAOS and THIS IS BAD MICROSOFT VERY SAD!!!

  • @briannm76, and how does the reinstall process work on iOS or Android?

  • I second @Strider_Auz's idea.  I would love to be able to export my installed app list.  I don't necessarily keep every app I've ever installed...some just don't turn out to do what I hoped they do, so I uninstall them.  Having an exported list would allow me to pull it up, say, in Excel on my phone.  I'd be able to annotate which ones I deleted either for good or until the app improved, etc.

    And, @Zartan, isn't it funny how the Metro meme has begun to infect us?  I've been playing with the Windows Developer Preview and, I have to say, I HATE anytime I have to jump to the old Desktop app instead of staying in the Metro screen.  The Desktop is lifeless.  In a word, DEAD.  People need to give up the old desktop and start moving their programs to the Metro app concept ASAP.

  • Andy
    1 Posts

    Anyone who used the Marketplace with Windows Mobile 6.5 can tell you that this is lacking one major option.

    The ability to reinstall all apps at one time would be a major step back, in a good way. Why does this option no longer exist?

  • In my experience Zune has re-installed apps automatically after a hard reset.. it just needed some patience. Admittedly it didn't do a complete job- but still.. I'd like to be able to remove apps from this list ? it's a bit daft how it keeps the trial & purchase (yes will also post on the suggestions site!)

  • brianm76
    61 Posts

    Fail. Had to reset my phone because your support is so lazy and incompetent that they could not figure out how to fix my email not being pushed to my phone unless it was synced manually. Their solution, sorry, you will have to reset your phone. Great, then spent the next 3 hours reinstalling apps that if this process was properly thought through and designed, should have taken only a few minutes.  And you are some how proud of this reinstall one at a time crap???  Do me a favor and come back to reality.  When you have a way for me to install all apps or selected apps at one time, then you can color me impressed.  Also, why must I go through every page of apps after each time I reinstall one?  Put people first???  Try harder.

  • Reckon you should be able to do this from the Zune software as well, as youre more likely to spend time with it than the windows phone website

  • Quick question: I have two Windows Phones where I install apps from both Zune and over the air. Is there a smart way to keep both phones on parity in terms of app portfolio (at least having the choice to download the app on both devices)?

  • Zartan
    22 Posts

    The marketplace website feels a little lifeless and too empty. How about some dynamic moving tiles reminiscent of the Metro interface on Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and Windows 8?

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Hey Michael, good to hear from you again!

    I raised this on the feedback site (created an item + voted for it) - Could the WebMarketplace team please add an EXPORT installed App list (trial+paid/full) to CSV or excel.  This would help offline manegement of your installed Applist - and help make Applists for Bloggers and fans to publish on thw web more easilly, rate, keep records etc.