Chapter 10:
Applications and the Windows Store

Using the Family Safety Feature with the Windows Store

The Family Safety feature is integrated with the Windows Store and allows you a lot of control. However, this is a multi-step process and it will require a Microsoft account for your child on your PC that is set as a child user account. This will allow you to fully monitor their activity, block unwanted content and applications as well as easily install purchased apps on their account without putting your payment details at risk.

If you haven’t done this already, we suggest you read the following guides:

Remember that you will have to set up a child account with a Microsoft account (not a local account) in order to fully use Family Safety features in the Windows Store.

Installing Purchased Applications on Your Child’s Account

In order to buy applications for your child via the Windows Store without compromising your payment details, you can temporarily log in to their account and buy the application with your Microsoft account. The steps are very simple:

Using the child’s Microsoft account, log in on the PC.

On the Start screen, click or tap on the Store tile to open the Windows Store.

Click or tap on Account and then click or tap on the small round picture in the right upper corner that signifies the user that's logged in. Choose your account and click or tap on Sign out to sign out of your child’s PC account. After this click or tap the same icon, but this time choose to login with a Microsoft account and use your information.

Find the application you wish to purchase and click or tap on the Buy button.

Complete your purchase, then click or tap on Install to install the application to your child’s user account.

After this, just Sign out from the Windows Store.

This way, your child will have access to the application that you’ve purchased, but they will be unable to use your Microsoft account in the future to purchase other apps from the Windows Store.

There is another way if you don't require so much control or if you can't access their device.

Visit the new Purchase & spending page on the Microsoft Family Settings website to see what your kids are buying in Windows and Xbox stores. You'll also see how much money is in their Microsoft account, plus any credit cards or other payment options. You can remove payment options from their account, but not from your account:

Ask your child to sign in to

Go to Payment & billing, then select Payment options.

Select the payment option to remove, and then select Remove.

To give them a set amount of money, try giving them a digital Gift Card.

You can also put a set amount of money in their Microsoft account:

Sign in at

Select the child you want to give money to.

Select Purchase & spending. You'll see how much money is in your child’s Microsoft account.

Select Add money to their account and follow the instructions on the screen.

When you come back to Purchase & spending, you’ll see the new amount added to their Microsoft account.

Age Ratings for Games and How to Limit Access

The Windows Store has its own age rating board, but certain applications (mainly video games) will also include ratings from third-party committees such as ESRB or PEGI ratings. The rating of the game is always clearly displayed on the app’s overview page in the store.

The basic Windows Store rating system uses the following categories:

Suitable for young children (3+) is used for applications and games that are suitable for all ages. They may include minimal comic violence, but nothing can be associated with real life characters or situations. There are also no interactions that are not suited for young children, such as integration with social media. On the screenshot below you can see the location of this information on the app’s description page.

Suitable for ages 7 and older (7+) is a rating with similar criteria as 3+ apps, but these apps may contain content that might frighten a younger audience. Sometimes partial nudity can be included, but in a non-sexual intent.

Suitable for ages 12 and older (12+) is used for apps and games that might contain slightly graphic violence towards non-realistic character or animals. Profanity of a nonsexual nature can sometimes be included. These applications are allowed integration with social media networks and they can solicit sharing of personal information.

Suitable for ages 16 and older (16+) is a rating that indicates that an app is suited to a more matured audience. These apps (typically games) can include depictions of realistic violence with minimal blood. They are also allowed to include sexual scenes and the use of drugs or tobacco.

Suitable for adults (18) is a rating that indicates that a game may contain intense violence with blood and gore and many of the 16+ restrictions do not apply.

Adult Content is the final rating given out by the Windows Store rating board and it is only applicable to video games that have proof that they’ve been rated by a reputable third-party rating board.

By using Family Safety features, you can restrict access to all games that exceed a certain rating as well as block individual games that you do not want your child to play. Here’s how:

Assuming that you have the child’s account set up as explained in our guide, head over to the Microsoft Family Safety website and log in with your Microsoft account.

Click or tap on Apps, games & media.

Check that Block inappropriate apps and games is turned On and then use the rating slider to choose a rating level.

After the settings are applied, your child will no longer be able to access games that exceed the rating.

From this website, you can also block individual games. Here’s how:

Click or tap on Recent activity on Microsoft Family Safety website and then look under Apps & games.

Make sure that Block inappropriate apps and games is turned On and then select an app or game and Block it (as appropriate).

You can also use this interface to unblock previously blocked games.

After the settings are applied, your child will no longer be able to access games that have been blocked through the Family Safety feature.

Installing Windows Store Apps on Multiple PCs

Installing software across several devices has always been a tedious job. However, Microsoft has made the process for Windows Store application a lot easier. Thanks to the Store’s integration with your Microsoft account, you are able to install your apps across multiple PCs. As such, if you’ve purchased apps from the Windows Store, you do not need to purchase them multiple times on your other devices. In this guide we’ll show you exactly how the whole process works.

Installing Apps on Your Other PC

This method requires that you have a Microsoft account and that you can use it to access other PCs. A Microsoft account is also required in order to use the Windows Store and purchase apps, so you probably have one already. However, if you are unsure about how to add an account to another PC, then consult our guide on user account management in Windows 10.

If all of this is set up, then follow these steps to install apps on your other PC:

Use your Microsoft account to sign in on the PC where you want to install the apps.

Click or tap Start, click or tap on the Store tile to open the Windows Store or Search for Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account, choose My library and then proceed to click or tap on My apps.

Here you will see a list of all the apps that are associated with the account. Tap or click on the Install icon next to the app or just click or tap the app and press Install.

Removing PCs from Your Account

However, there is a fair-usage limit on how many times you can install applications on other PCs. If you install apps on the maximum number of PCs allowed, then your best option is to remove some the PCs that you don’t use anymore.

Here’s how you can remove PCs from your Windows Store account and free up your app installation allowance:

Click or tap Start, click or tap on the Store tile to open the Windows Store or Search for Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account, choose Settings, scroll to Account and then proceed to click or tap on Manage your devices.

This will open the Microsoft account website. Once there, you can click or tap on Remove next to the name of the PC that you wish to remove from your account.

After the PC has been removed from the account, all previously installed Windows Store applications will no longer be usable.

You can also log in to specific PCs to remove individual applications instead of removing the entire PC account.

Troubleshooting the Windows Store and Windows Store Applications

The Windows Store and the apps that you download from this service are, just like any other software, not immune to errors. However, we’ve documented just about every problem that you could possibly face within this Windows Store troubleshooting guide. However, before you begin troubleshooting anything we always recommend that you check out our guide to using the Windows Update tool so that you can install any missing updates. This usually solves a lot of problems along with improving the performance and safety of your PC.

Problems Signing in to the Windows Store

In order to sign in to the Windows Store and download applications, you need to have a Microsoft account. If you don’t know how this works, feel free to read our guide on user management in Windows 10 and follow the guide to create your Microsoft account. Assuming that you do have one already and are having trouble signing in, then the solutions below will help you resolve the problem:

Is it possible that you’re entering a wrong password? Or maybe you (or someone else with access) have changed the password associated with your account?

If you suspect that this might be the issue, then you can reset your password:

Go to the reset password webpage.

Here you will see three options:

Choose the one that best applies to you and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you can use your Microsoft account to access other services and accounts, then there might be a problem, the application cache. Try the following:

Close the Windows Store for now.

Open Search.

In the search field, enter “run” and start the Run application from the list of results.

Enter wsreset.exe into the Run application and then click or tap on OK.

This will reset the application cache and re-open the Windows Store. Now you can try logging in again.

Problems Finding and Installing Apps in the Windows Store

In case you cannot find the desired app in the Windows Store (but you’re sure that the application exists), then there might be something that’s restricting your access.

Here’s a list of possible problems:

The application isn’t available in your country or region. This is not a problem that you can directly influence as it is up the app’s publisher to choose the app’s availability. If you can see the application on the store via the web, but cannot access it via the Windows Store, then this is likely the issue.

There’s a problem with the Windows Store cache. If the app just became available, or there was a major update then the Store might be displaying cached results. Follow the steps in the previous section to open the Run application and start wsreset.exe which will clear the cache.

You recently updated your PC. If you’ve just finished installing an important update, you should restart your PC and check again.

You are logged in on a restricted child account. If you are logged in to a child user account, you may have restrictions that prevent certain applications from being displayed.

The application was removed from the Windows Store. If the application has been removed by either Microsoft or the publisher, then you will no longer be able to install it.

Your PC is not compatible with the app. If your PC does not meet the minimum system requirements, then you cannot install the application from the Windows Store.

Troubleshooting Windows Store Applications

If you are having trouble with an application from the Windows Store you might find it difficult to find a solution. Microsoft is not responsible for providing support for third-party applications and smaller publishers usually take a long time to respond to support questions.

However, there are certain steps that you can take on your own in order to troubleshoot an application:

Temporarily disable the Windows Firewall or your anti-virus. If the application relies on access to the Internet or your local network, then it might be blocked by the Windows Firewall. See our guide to using the Windows Firewall for more help. You should also check if your anti-virus or anti-malware software is blocking the application.

Check for latest Windows updates. Always make sure that you have the latest Windows updates installed as they can solve a lot of problems.

Check for the latest app updates. Aside from checking your system for the latest updates, you should also check if the application’s publisher has released a new update via the Windows Store.

Consult your system administrator. If you are using a PC that is connected to a company network, then it is possible that recent changes to the network’s configuration have caused problems with the app. Ask the system administrator for assistance if that is the case.

Search for the problem online. There are a lot of forums on the web dedicated to providing support for user-submitted questions. Try searching for your problem or opening a new topic on a relevant site. If the publisher has listed their contact details for support-related questions, do not hesitate to contact them.

Run the troubleshooter for Windows apps. Download the troubleshooter from Microsoft's website and run it. It will find any problems with applications and repair them automatically.

Reinstall the application. This is usually seen as a last resort option. Here’s how you can do this:

Go to Start, swipe down on or right-click the app you want to uninstall.

Now click or tap on Uninstall.

Open the Windows Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account in the right upper corner, choose My library and then proceed to click or tap on My apps.

Here you will see a list of all your apps and you can download and install the app you just uninstalled.

Configuring Payment Methods and Billing for the Windows Store

Before you can purchase applications from the Windows Store, you need to add a payment method that will be associated with your account. You can later edit your payment method(s) and use the Windows Store to view your billing history and purchases. The process is very simple and intuitive and in this guide, we’ll lead you step-by-step.

Adding and Editing Payment Methods

In order to make things as intuitive as possible, Microsoft has made it possible to use the same interface for adding and editing payment methods. Here’s how you can add or edit a payment method on the Windows Store:

Open the Windows Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account in the right upper corner, choose Payment options. You will be prompted to login to Microsoft's website.

Here you will see the Add a payment option and all of your payment options will be listed.

Click or tap Edit info on the one that you need and edit any necessary information.

Click or tap on Next once you are complete.

The changes will be reflected immediately once you’ve updated these details.

Now that you’ve set up your payment details you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when purchasing applications in the Windows Store:

If you decide to add a credit card as a payment method, you should be aware that Microsoft will check if the card is authentic by making a small charge (usually $0.99) to your account. Nowadays this is a standard practice and is used by a lot of companies (PayPal for example).

If you live outside the USA it is possible that the credit card company might add additional charges to your purchase. This is a small fee that is known as the International Transaction Fee (ITF). Your bank could also enforce a currency conversation charge. Microsoft has no control over these fees and they do not stand to profit from them.

In order to remove a payment method from the Windows Store, perform the following steps:

Open the Windows Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account in the right upper corner, choose Payment options. You will be prompted to login to Microsoft's website.

Click or tap on payment options.

Choose the payment method that you wish to remove and click or tap on remove.

Once again click or tap on the Yes, remove button to authorize the change.

Viewing Billing History on the Windows Store

If you need to view your billing history, you can do so at any time via your Windows Store account. Here’s how:

Open the Windows Store.

Click or tap on the round image of your account in the right upper corner, choose Purchased. You will be prompted to login to Microsoft's website.

Now choose from the available on-screen options to view your billing history.

Please note that you cannot view your billing history if you haven’t added a payment method that is associated with your account.

To print out a listing of all your purchases do the following:

Follow the previous steps to access Microsoft's transaction website and then click or tap on show print view.

Now click or tap on Print to print out your billing history.

If you have any problems with the printing process, then consult our guide to troubleshooting printer errors for further help.

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