Microsoft quietly fixes Windows Phone Store issue for app re-purchases

On November 16th we reported on an anomaly in the Windows Phone Store that was telling users they had to re-purchase apps they had already bought. The issue came into play for mainly people migrating to a new handset but not everyone. The issue was baffling and frustrating if you were setting up a new device because it meant you could not download any apps that you previously purchased (unless you wanted a double charge).

We had contacted Microsoft on the problem but we simply told “We are actively investigating this issue and will provide additional information as it becomes available." That was only after Windows Phone Support was unable to help others or us with our predicament.

Suddenly tonight the problem was resolved as we have been finally able to re-download many all of our apps again without repayment. We can confirm that this was literally just fixed within the last few hours as earlier this afternoon we still had the hindrance. Reader of the site Mark Tepper tipped us that it had started to work again and we were able to confirm.

So what was the issue?

Although Microsoft would not share details with us, one of their tech support agents was a little more revealing with a frustrated customer (Mike B.). We cannot confirm if this information is accurate but it certainly makes sense:

“Ultimately with the migration to Windows Phone 8 for some customers (or even the update to 7.8 that's coming soon for Windows 7 users), some application updates or purchases with the history have exploited a bug in the system. Ultimately causing the devices to crash repeatedly and become unusable.Temporarily, the purchase history is removed until they resolve that issue, then it will be reinstated in full to where you'll have your entire history. We appreciate your patience as it has been nearly a week and a half since the beginning of this outbreak so to speak, but they are working on a fix to get it resolved and reinstated as soon as possible.We'd prefer a minor outage as oppose to a complete crash to the device based on the sources I've read. So rest assured, anything that is compatible/updated with WP8 will be reinstated based on the current statement from the dev team.”

Whether or not that is completely accurate we cannot verify, Seeing as it was from Windows Phone Support staff whom had to have been briefed on the issue (as they were being inundated with complaints) we are leaning on its legitimacy.

Either way, the problem seems to have been resolved and we can finally enjoy our full catalog of Windows Phone applications—which for us, spans nearly 2K apps.

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.

  • Aboslutely right! Thanks guys! GMpasPro that I got for free can be installed on again.
  • Same!
  • But i think its still not fixed to the end. before this fix i could see my purchase history back to 22.09.2012. Now i see only to 10.06.2012 which is three month more but still lacking of the best apps :( i hope this fill soon be all visible
    Edit: the full list is not there but it recognizes all the paid apps if you search for them. now i'm happy again :)
    oh and thank you! and i have a little question, what is that for a paypal icon on the purchase? can apps be paid via paypal in WP8? i wish i could do this in wp7.8
  • Yes, you can pay for apps using PayPal in WP8. Part of the Wallet feature.
  • I want that too :) do you think microsoft could make this for wp7/7.8 without the wallet? So instead of giving my credit card i give just my paypal adress...
  • Fixed for me. I was able to reinstall wpcentral and gmaps pro.
  • During the problem, it appeared as though the apps I paid money for were still there (mostly Xbox titles), and the paid apps/games I got free through a temporary giveaway (via AppDeals or elsewhere) were the ones that were missing. But... it seems like everything is back to normal now.
  • Same here.
  • Well, didn't know that and just purchased the apps.
    So, what does Microsoft do for people like me?
  • You re-bought the same apps you purchased before?
  • Yes, that would be exactly what I just wrote.
  • Contact Windows Phone support. They refunded my money
  • Had the same problem yesterday too because I was forced to reset my phone then when I was ready to reinstall apps I was been ask to repurchase apps so I sent MS an email I did get an auto reply but nothing since, and I tried again few hrs ago and it was working.
  • See what happen.. If they wanted to.. They can always fix it
  • Do I get a refund if I purchased twice?
  • You can ask to the Xbox technical support for a refund, they will do it. You got the same bug I got months ago and I did purchased twice few apps ... the gived me back my money :) ... you just have to call them!
  • I'm glad they fixed this and hope it doesn't happen again.
  • Damn! How did I miss this issue? I just repurchased this app
  • I had this issue but I noticed that the only purchased apps I wasn't allowed to re-download for free were paid apps which I had gotten for free. For example I got ilomilo for free when I bought my Focus, Calorie Tracker when it was a free app for a day, etc. Any apps that I had actually paid for I was able to download again without issue. Having just read this headline however I can confirm that those apps I wasn't able to download before are now good to go. Thanks for the heads up!
  • Yay they quoted the email I sent in! I feel special :) #dork
  • This still didn't fix my issue.  I only have history back to 8/11 and I have made purchases back to 11/10.  :(
  • Hallelujah!  My app purchases are back!  Thanks WPCentral!
  • finally! i got the wpcentral app back that i got for free last year
  • So, judging by the picture above, you can buy apps with paypal in WP8?
  • Yes, this was answered above
  • Yaaay....but I think not all has been fixed. Still.can't see apps before 29th March, 2012. All apps from 2011 are missing. Glad I got my WPCentral app back. Micrsoft should fix all for us.
  • I did also had this issue. Yesterday I did talk to one of the support team, he specifically told me that: ''Microsoft is now merging and for this the problem of purchases will be resolved''
  • Fixed for me :-)
  • People are still reporting this as a problem to me, so I don't think it's entirely fixed.
  • All is great now thanks Ms job well done.
  • Finally! I have my WPCentral app back. :-)
  • LOL. I got the WPCentral app for free the first go around. It wanted to update it and it kept failing. I ended up deleting it and trying to reinstall from the store. It made me pay which I really didn't object to because the app is worth the $1.
  • Actually I never had this problem before, but since today morning I can't download apps any more. It says that the Microsoft-account service is not available...
  • Now my phone is acting
  • It did not fixed completely , I am still missing apps like gmaps PRO , I cannot even search gmaps pro on store , Can any one able to search for gmaps PRO on store , or even VIBER .. i cannot see them on the store ...??