If Windows 8 changed a lot of things for longtime Microsoft users than Windows 8.1 made those changes easier to swallow.
The free update from Microsoft added new customization options for the Start Screen and options to kill off the Charms Bar so that they didn’t intrude on the Desktop at all. It’s not hard to imagine that the biggest change of all were Windows Store apps and how they’re updated.
Debuting with Windows 8, Windows Store apps were a way for users to easily download safe solutions for all of their problems. App and games are available in the Windows Store and users can rest assured that each has been checked to ensure that it doesn’t harm user’s devices in any way. Because Microsoft ties Windows app purchases to user’s accounts, apps they buy through the Windows Store are available on any device they log into with their Microsoft Account. Many apps even sync information between multiple devices.
In improving the app experience in Windows 8.1 Microsoft rectified one of its biggest Windows Store app mistakes. With Windows 8, apps needed to be updated manually. Every time users needed to update their app Microsoft would surface an app update on its Windows Store live tile but leave users to do the heavy lifting on their own. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft made these app upgrades into something that happens in the background – usually without users noticing until they open the app that’s been updated.
For those who don’t want app updates to just randomly happen, this could be a bad thing and so Microsoft also allows users to manually update their apps. Here’s how to update apps downloaded from the Windows Store in Windows 8.1.
Of course, before we begin you’ll need Windows 8.1. Microsoft began updated Windows 8 users to Windows 8.1 around year ago. It’s free and doesn’t require users to pay Microsoft anything extra. If you’re holding out on upgrading to Windows 8.1, don’t. GottaBeMobile recently talked at detail about why avoiding the free Windows 8.1 update because of app compatibility and performance is a very bad idea borne out of past Windows update issues. Go into the Store app to update to Windows 8.1 if you haven’t already done so.
Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button near your tablet or convertible’s display.
Now look for the Windows Store app on your list of pinned apps in the Start Screen. It looks like a shopping bag. If you’ve changed your Start Screen layout you’ll need to open the Windows Store from the list of all the apps installed on your device. Touch users should place their finger anywhere on the Start Screen and swipe up. Mouse and keyboard users should click on the downward arrow in the bottom-left corner of their screen.
Now look for Store in the list of installed apps. By default, apps are sorted into alphabetical order.
Welcome to the Windows Store. Don’t tap or click on anything just yet. Mouse and keyboard users should take their pointer and put it into the top-right or bottom-right corner of their screen to open the Charms Bar. Touch users should place their finger on the right edge of their screen and slide it slowly to the left to reveal the Charms Bar.
No matter which you have tap or click on the Settings Charm.
Tap or click on App Updates.
Now tap or click on Check for Updates. It’s the fist button you see. Before you leave this screen you can also choose to turn off automatic updates if you were looking for a way to do so.
That’s how you manually update apps downloaded from the Windows Store. To be clear, Windows 8.1 updates Windows Store apps by default. You can turn this off as shown in the here, but there’s not really a reason to unless you want to monitor changes in your apps or are afraid about features breaking in future updates. Just because you can turn off automatic app updates doesn’t necessarily mean you should .
If you do turn off automatic app updates be sure to pin the pin the Windows Store Live Tile to your Start Screen so that you always know when you have updates pending. Then you can scroll through the list of pending updates and decide which ones you want to proceed with.
Windows 8.1 also added settings syncing. As such, you might think that by turning off automatic app updates on your tablet you’re disabling them on your other devices running Windows 8.1. At least, for now that doesn’t seem to be the case. If you want to disable App Updates on all of your devices you’ll have to change the settings each by hand on each device.