Do you miss the Windows Phone Marketplace from Zune Desktop? Hack it back.

Although we're of the camp that doesn't mind that the Windows Phone Marketplace for apps has been retired from Zune Desktop, we imagine some of you think otherwise.

Luckily, Windows Phone guru Den Delimarsky has you covered. He figured out exactly what the change was that Microsoft pushed on to us all yesterday. More importantly, he also figured out to block that change so you can get back the Marketplace for those apps.

Unfortunately the change is a little tricky. Evidently the "update" comes from a simple modification in the configuration.xml that is sent from Microsoft every time you launch Zune Desktop. All you need to do is switch a "disabled" setting to "enabled" but the tough part is you have to intercept that .xml file.

That's where you'll need a mini-server (or something analogous). Basically you redirect your Zune Desktop to a local server where you can have it fetch your modified .xml file and boom, you're in business. Now of course, this is only works so long as you stay with version 4.8. If you update the Desktop client (and Microsoft is sure to push one eventually) you can probably kiss this trick goodbye.

Anyway, cool stuff just remember, you're using this at your own risk (sorry Microsoft if you get mad!). Go read the whole thing at Den's site for all the details.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Nope don't miss it one bit
  • So what's the reason for retiring the Zune market place?
  • Mainly anti-piracy. The Zune app marketplace proved to be huge piracy vector, allowing nefarious folk to get direct links to marketplace .xap files which could then be sideloaded (and they would run perfectly on non-jailbroken devices, because they were Microsoft-signed.)
    Anti-piracy is also the reason why you have to have Mango to download anything from the marketplace going forward: from now on, .xaps downloaded from the marketplace will be encrypted, and only Mango has the keys to decrypt them.
  • Exacly what I though when I heard that Zune and pre-Mango downloads were disabled. 
    The anti-piracy scheme was described a few months ago and the details were even posted on this site. Doesn't take much to conect the dots, provided you are uncofortable with popular myths like 'they try to kill zune' and 'ancient aliens'.
    Soon the .xaps will start coming out encrypted only to phones, so the days of the hack are numbered. I can only quess that a zune update is coming that function similary to the web app store.
  • The reason is,is because they are in works of another music service, code named Woodstock. They wanna get every last nail in the coffin before they do, complete bury the Zune brand.
  • The funny part though is they keep denying it  even though it's now quite obvious.
  • I think you can't use the Zune software if there's an update available and it knows it
  • Actually they only retired WP7 apps from the Marketplace, not the entire thing. You can still buy songs and get apps for your Zune HD(all 100 of you).
  • Nope,never used it
  • I miss it and I'll explain why: Apps installed via the Zune PC client automatically got re-installed whenever you did a hard reset or simply upgraded phones, rather than manually searching and installing apps one by one. It was probably one of the best kept secrets that hardly anyone knew.
  • Awesome sauce! Until MSFT fully kills Zune I would like the desktop client to still cater to all my needs for my wp which includes the marketplace,I am content enabling this hack to keep the marketplace, not all change is good
  • Even in spite of this hack, this change isn't going to work forever. Eventually, they will completely turn off the functionality. Only one commenter posted a valid reason to use the desktop software (auto-reinstall), and even that is a small inconvenience (how often are most people really hard resetting their phones).
  • As long as they don't break my phone and pass... There known to launch these this in the US only. The app previews for music on W8 don't work for me.
  • Marks..
  • The marketplace navigation was really horrible and unintuitive. Both the Zune software and the WP7 marketplace app do a hopeless job with navigation. I hate that when I select say 'free' in the games category, scroll a few pages, view an item, then go back it takes me to the top of the 'xbox live' list and I have to select 'free' and scroll back to where I was. It gets infuriating after a short while. (Note: sometimes it will remember your position, but inevitably you will be turfed back to the start)
  • Why would you even waste your time to do this?!
  • Not in the slightest
  • There is easiest way to restore Markeplace in Zune.
    1. Open registry editor, go to HCU\Software\Microsoft\Zune
    2. Create a key with the name "FeaturesOverride"
    3. Inside this key create a DWORD value with the name "Apps"
    3. Set "1" to created value.
    4. Close registry editor, start Zune and if it works, say thanks to Russian Nokia Lumia 800 users from allnokia dot ru.
    On my Zune it works.
  • Hi,
    I did follow your step & created file but still not working .. I am getting Zune Hd only !!!
    Please help .
  • Ok ..ok .. I got it ... That's working fine .. But now , I more problem .. When ever I am trying to download free apps from the market ,asking me username password for my Live Id !!!  ( I can't change my E-mail Id option ) .
    Telling me error (  )
    I did change my regional & language option in my laptop ... & I did change my laptop time zone but still not allowing me to logging ..  ..... Please advise :)