I know we can download and manually install apps from the Store via SD card.

But I want to know if a can install this app manually downloaded from Store in devices with no SD card slot.

Before anyone asks, sometimes I want to install apps in my daughter's phone but we don't have WiFi available. Download many games would be cost impeditive via 3G so I can previously download them in WiFi.

  • When the phone is connected to a PC via USB cable, have you tried dropping a .XAP into the Phone > Documents folder, then seeing if an 'install' option appears in the Store app? Dec 23, 2013 at 14:58
  • Sorry for the delay @NeilTurner. Just tested and it didn't work. Dec 26, 2013 at 14:12
  • Do you have a develop account? maybe you could side-load the apps that way? Dec 26, 2013 at 15:29
  • It's not the case. ;) Dec 26, 2013 at 15:34
  • I have a Lumia 920, and the latest Nokia video apps require manual loading. However, the 920 doesn't have an SD-Card, so I cannot load the app at all. I have tried a variety of mechanisms, such as email the .xap file to myself, storing it on skydrive, nothing seems to work. Dec 28, 2013 at 2:33

3 Answers 3


Yeh, It is possible with the new Windows Phone 8.1 update. For that, copy the .xap files using Bluetooth or USB to your phone from the PC. Then open Store on the Phone, tap the app bar at the bottom (...), select the "install local apps" option and install the apps shown in the list that you actually stored somewhere on the phone. This is working on my Nokia Lumia 630.

PS: If you can't see that option try for an update of the Store app from "settings" option.

Edit: You need an active internet connection to do this. Store will check whether new update is available for the selected apps. Also if the app is removed from the store you cannot install it using this method.

  • 1
    Can you post a screenshot or something? I'm on WP 8.1 with the latest updates, and can't see any "install local apps" option in the Store app.
    – Indrek
    Aug 30, 2014 at 15:22
  • 1
    Hey @Indrek try to add some Windows app files (.xap file) some where to your phone. Download a file say you need an XYZ app. Download the xap file of XYZ from windowsphone.com (you can find the file at the left bottom corner) and after download copy the .xap file to your phone using Bluetooth and Data Cable. The main thing is you need an xap file somewhere in your phone to show up the 'install local app' option.
    – Dan
    Aug 30, 2014 at 16:17
  • 1
    Well I'll be damned, you're right. The option does show up as soon as there's a .xap file somewhere on the phone. Nice find!
    – Indrek
    Aug 30, 2014 at 17:32
  • Just put a *.xap file to Download folder via cable and the option pop below "my apps". Sep 1, 2014 at 12:18
  • Just a small developers notice. You can use this method to install apps from Windows Marketplace only, i.e. only those, that were already published there. There is absolutely no way, this method will work for any kind of your own application, like test, debug, internal etc. build to .xap file. Rule of thumb is: if it isn't in Windows Marketplace, you won't install it like that.
    – trejder
    Nov 19, 2015 at 15:22

It's only possible to install apps on a Windows Phone via...

  1. The Store app on the phone
  2. Install apps from the SD card (not an option on the Lumia 920, for example)
  3. Deploying apps with the Application Deployment tool (Only works with XAPs build with Visual Studio, not with XAPs from the Windows Phone Store)

And thanks to a comment from Max Vernon, we know that the following methods do NOT work...

  1. Trying to install the XAP via the Email app
  2. Launching the XAP from a 3rd party app such as SkyDrive
  3. Installing a XAP file via a website link (Even the Microsoft Store XAP link)
  • Just tried another thing that didn't work. Download the app by its link to manually download and install. It downloaded and IE even asked to open it. But unfortunately it said I "can't install this company app." Feb 6, 2014 at 11:05
  • @VitorCanova Thanks, I've added it to the list. Feb 8, 2014 at 16:14
  • Try to download any xap from the store and deploy via Application Deployment tool.
    – crea7or
    Feb 9, 2014 at 15:36
  • Yes, but xaps from the store are encrypted and Application Deployment tool can't install them.
    – crea7or
    Feb 9, 2014 at 17:37
  • @crea7or Sorry, I understand now. Answer updated. Feb 9, 2014 at 18:09

Pretty sure you can sign up for Windows Phone App Studio (http://apps.windowsstore.com/) for free and that gives you certain developer privileges. If App Studio allows you to developer unlock your phone you might be able to use the Application Deployment Tool as mentioned by Neil Turner.

You'll need Windows 8 to install the Windows Phone SDK.

  • 1
    Thank's for you answer. Unfortunately I'm looking for a more simple solution for not so tech users. Atually When you use App Studio you don't have your phone develop unlocked. It's more like and Company App hack by Microsoft as far as I know. Jan 2, 2014 at 12:21
  • Ah cool. It seems a little crazy to me that MS gave us no way to deploy without an SD card. Most / all high end windows phones have no expandable storage. Just another one of those baffling decisions. Jan 2, 2014 at 16:16
  • Actually App Studio apps are downloaded directly from the site to the phone. You just need to install a certificate (from the browser too) and you are good to go. ;) Jan 3, 2014 at 9:26

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