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[Tutorial] How do I install apps from an SD card on WP8 devices?

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May 12, 2013
It's easy to download apps and games from the Windows Phone Store and install them on your phone, but you can also transfer, or sideload, them from an SD card to your phone (if your phone supports an SD card).

To sideload an app or game, you'll need to have an SD card that contains one or more Windows Phone app files, also known as .XAP files. You can download .XAP files to your PC, then move the files to the phone's SD card

To download .XAP files from the Windows Phone Store on the web

1. Open a web browser and go to You do not have permission to view the full content of this post. Log in or register now..

2. Click Apps + Games, then click the app you want to download.

3. Scroll down on the web page, then click Download and install manually (below the app requirements and supported languages).

4. When prompted, save the .XAP file to a location on your computer, SD card or storage device.


If you download the .XAP file to a location other than an SD card supported by your phone, you'll need to move or copy the file to an SD card to install it on your phone.

For information about moving or copying files using Windows Explorer (called File Explorer in some versions of Windows), go to the Windows website and search in the How-to section.

To install apps and games from your phone's SD card

1. Insert an SD card that contains one or more .XAP files into your phone.
2. On Start
tap Store
then tap SD card.

If you've just inserted the SD card or added the .XAP files, you might need to wait a few minutes before you can access your SD card from the Store
3. Select the apps you want, then tap Install.

- Apps that can be installed are listed under Compatible apps.
- You'll need to have the latest version of the .XAP file from the Store on your SD card before you can install it. If you don't have the latest version, it'll be listed under Incompatible apps

4. Installed apps appear in the App list and games appear in the Games Hub. Depending on the specific app or game, you'll be able to use them as follows:

Free apps and games can be used immediately.
- Paid apps and games that have a trial will be available as a trial version that you can purchase later.
- Paid apps and games without a trial must be purchased before you can use them.
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