Degree of Difficulty
Like iOS and Android, Windows Phone gives you the ability to easily install applications from the device itself, not requiring that you connect it to your PC or Mac. So in that sense, no big deal right? It is known Khaleesi. But there is one trick that Windows Phone has that sets it apart. You can install apps even when your Windows Phone is in another room or maybe even sitting at home while you are in the office. And these installs are done without any intervention by you. It is just another way that Microsoft has made Windows Phone easy but you have to make sure your Windows Phone is set up to handle these remote installs. I’ll show you in this how to what you need to adjust to make it happen.
First, you will need to navigate on your Windows Phone to Settings>Find My Phone. There you will see two checkboxes and the
first one is the one that we are interested in for this How To. It is the “Always use push notifications (not SMS) to send commands and apps to my phone”. This is the key: If you don’t enable this then what I’m about to show you won’t work properly. Well, actually it won’t work at all! Put a check mark in the box (you can also check the “Save my phone’s location…” box to so your Windows Phone will send its location information more frequently) and press the Windows Key on your phone.
Now go to your browser on your PC or Mac and navigate to WindowsPhone.com. Once there, sign in with your Microsoft account and using the pull-down menu go to Purchase History. Here you will see all of the apps that you have ever purchased for your Windows Phone – past and present. As you scroll down the list, on the right you will see a reinstall option. Click that and the site will seek out your Windows Phone. If it finds it and you have enabled the push notifications under
Find My Phone, the app will be pushed down to your device and the installation process will begin.
The wonderful thing about this feature is that you don’t physically have to touch your Windows Phone. Apps that you push to your phone will be automatically installed and stored in the location you have set using Storage Sense.
If you live in the United States, you can also push new applications that you haven’t installed before to your phone. Just go to the Windows Phone Store, search for an app and below the icon you will see an Install button. Press it and like magic the app is on your device. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for all regions. Here in the UK for example, I can’t do the installation of new apps from my PC or Mac and have to do it from the phone itself.
This ability to remotely install apps is unique to Windows Phone and certainly another way that Microsoft makes it easy to get the apps you want and need on your phone.
For more Windows Phone How To’s, be sure to check out the How To’s page