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How to download Windows Phone apps using this QR generator for Google Chrome

Earlier this year, I wrote a tip for those using Google Chrome as their primary web browser. Although Microsoft's Edge is getting extension support later this year, including the porting of Chrome extensions, Chrome has them right now.

The extension that I am talking about simply auto-generates a localized QR code in the Windows Phone Store. However, Microsoft recently unified the Store and as a result, the extension broke. Today, however, it is updated and works flawlessly.

Why use it?

We get a lot of "why do you need this" questions about this tool, so I'll explain why it is nice to have:

  1. Sometimes apps are not yet searchable in the Store if they are very new; this lets you quickly download an app from your desktop
  2. Options are useful for users as everyone has their circumstances
  3. It saves you time. Instead of reading about an app and then having to search the Store, you can go right to it by scanning

You may have your reasons. However, I know many of us here on staff use this because we often find apps very early on.

How 'Windows Phone Store QR' works

In Chrome just browse to the Google Chrome Store using the link below.

Download Windows Phone Store QR from the Chrome Web Store – Free

  1. Choose Add to Chrome
  2. Navigate to the Microsoft Store http://(www.microsoft.com (opens in new tab) and you should see a QR generated under the app name.

You can then use the built-in QR reader

  1. Open up Lumia Camera
  2. Tap the cog at the bottom right (Settings)
  3. Lenses
  4. Bing Vision

Alternatively, you could use one of the dozens of QR code readers on the Store. You can read our 'best of' QR code readers below for some ideas or share yours in comments!

Top ways to snap that QR code on Windows Phone

In case you are wondering why this extension has not gone to Opera or Firefox, the developer, George Schizas, chimed in on the matter on a Reddit thread:

"Before asking for a Firefox extension (or a Safari extension, or an Opera extension), know that I had made a Firefox extension, but Mozilla rejected it, after pondering about it for a very long time, so I'm not eager to repeat that experience."

Let us know if you'll use this trick in comments. Even better is knowing that this could be ported to Microsoft Edge in just a few months!

Via: Reddit

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

29 Comments
  • Quite great. Needed this.
  • Mandatory "Just updated." comment.
  • Google chrome? What is this, 2014? No this is the future #edge
  • Eh, once Edge gets extensions, maybe :)
  • Couldn't you at least used Firefox?
  • I thought you could pin Bing Vision before. Apparently, not. That's bunk.
  • Actually you can pin an app that open the lens interface. Bing Vision will be one tap away.
  • Yes there is a app to pin the lens for direct access, I use it alot.
  • I use a bookmarklet in IE/Edge for the same thing.
  • Hi, why this feature required, when we can directly download apps from store?
  • Um, I did write a section called 'Why use it?', right?
  • There is option with Edge too. Go to Store install Barcode generator (the one with green). Once installed navigate to app url (or any url you want to share) use the share button in Edge( Ctrl+H) and pick Barcode generator from the list. Scan it with your phone.
  • Nice tip, thanks. I'll do that one tomorrow or tonight if I get a chance.
  • Here is the link for the app https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
    Btw Share from Edge by default is sharing http: Link so basically any app installed that accept such content can receive it.
  • Thanks. Article is now on the front-page ;)
  • For those using Fx I highly recommend QrCodeR https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/qrcoder/   It is not site specific, it will convert any url to a QR code and on top of that any text you select in a webpage can be converted to QR as well. Tremendously handy.
  • Very Very Very Very Handy Tool ! Used to paste store links to QR code generating website ...
  • Sigh... No one uses Microsoft Tags even though they're miles better because Microsoft locked it down too much. An amazing technology put to waste :(
  • And so it's gone in 5 days.. :-/
    This August 19, 2013 notice is to inform our Microsoft Tag customers that the Microsoft Tag service will terminate in two years, on August 19th, 2015
  • Too bad bing vision is missing from the Windows 10 Mobile preview.
  • Did anyone running the preview add it to the feedback list for voting? If not please do and vote it back in. I have to use it at work in the lab.
  • My Lumia camera (and phone) don't have Bing Vision installed. And its nowhere to be found in the store. Any good, free and fast alternatives?
  • No.
  • You can try my app QR Scanner+ to get the app info direcly in the scan result and open that app direclty in the Windows Phone Store app without the detour through the browser. Looks like this: http://fs1.directupload.net/images/150814/guuz35c3.jpg Note: QR Scanner+ also has QR Scanner RS (available as separate free app) included. ;-) Enjoy!  
  • Try free Barcode Lens app http://goo.gl/VmKrOI to scan codes! Very usefull and easy to use app.
  • Chrome ... Yeeesh... I just got the chills.
  • How to download WP apps from new unified store?
  • use phone store... if you need download XAP file, use Nicaragua region, for example https://www.windowsphone.com/es-ni/store
  • Why did Mozilla reject it?