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Microsoft Store updated to stop showing incompatible apps and games on ARM devices

Surface Pro X open on table
Surface Pro X open on table (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • An update to the Microsoft Store stops incompatible apps and games from appearing in the store on ARM devices.
  • Many apps need to be recompiled or updated to work on Windows 10 on ARM.
  • Some incompatible games still manage to appear.

Just because an app or game is in the Microsoft Store doesn't mean that it can run on Windows 10 on ARM. Many developers need to recompile or update their apps to work on ARM devices like the Surface Pro X. An update to the Microsoft Store rolled out this week that greatly reduces the number of incompatible apps that appear in the Microsoft Store on devices running Windows 10 on ARM. The update brings the Microsoft Store to version 11911.1001.8.0.

Before the update, apps such as Affinity Photo and games like Broforce would appear in searches and within the Microsoft Store even though they can't be installed on Windows 10 on ARM devices. Several apps and games have not been recompiled for ARM64 and are uninstallable on Windows 10 on ARM devices. Now, the store won't show incompatible apps and games. The update hides incompatible apps and games from both searches and from when people browse the Microsoft Store.

Some titles managed to slip through the update process and continue to show up on devices running Windows 10 on ARM. For example, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas still shows up as being able to be purchased. There don't seem to be any incompatible apps that still appear.

There's a chance that the reason some incompatible games still show up is that they are Game Pass featured, such as Guacamelle! 2, which will show in a search (but not while browsing). But that's likely because you can remote install games to other systems in the Microsoft Store.

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Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • Nice, this make it clearer for users.
  • This should be extended to ALL apps that are incompatible with registered devices, so for example a Phone-only app won't show in a search on the desktop
  • Welcome news. Sad that it took critical Surface Pro X reviews (and Microsoft Surface owners feeling the pain) to motivate Microsoft to do this. This has been an issue for owners of Windows on ARM devices all along. Microsoft seems to have completely forgotten how to launch new platforms and initiatives. (Hint: get all your ducks in a row first.)
  • Just like the patches they released for the Surface Pro X, they should have done this before the whole bad reviews brouhaha.
  • The reason for the ARM64 Windows build difficulty is WoA is a Qualcomm initiative, not a Microsoft one. I'm fairly sure the Surface Pro X is part of Microsoft's contractual obligations in that deal with Qualcomm, as opposed to an organically developed and supported product.
  • I don't see why Microsoft themselves wouldn't want to expand Windows to other chipsets/platforms and lessen their dependency on Intel/AMD.
  • > I don't see why Microsoft themselves wouldn't want to expand Windows to other chipsets/platforms Because they have done that before and the people, who remember the pain of doing it, are still around? Like WIndows on MIPS, Windows on Power, Windows on Alpha... the latter being quite successful in its day and (arguably) better than Windows on Intel.
  • One answer might be that new Intel chips and Project Athena are delivering results. If a Surface Pro 7 can do 10 hours of real world usage on a single charge (which I don't doubt since my SP5 can easily do 8+) and if you don't need LTE, why bother with all the limitations of WoA?
  • > and if you don't need LTE I am not sure why WoA and LTE seem to be joined at the hip -- my (non-pro) Surface 3 does LTE just fine, despite being Atom based and growing long in the tooth.
  • >The reason for the ARM64 Windows build difficulty is WoA is a Qualcomm initiative, not a Microsoft one. Lol. I'm sure it's news to Microsoft that Qualcomm did all the work to build and port Windows 10 to Snapdragon, or that the Surface team created their most impressive hardware design to date in order to satisfy some contractual obligation. Sure, Qualcomm has skin in the game too. But you are making things up. Don't do that.
  • This is great news, but at the same time, some of these apps and their processor requirements make no sense. I guess I just don't understand programming enough, but I thought this was solved with the emulator.
  • >For example, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas still shows up as being able to be purchased. Hi Sean. I don't see any reason that GTA: San Andreas would not work? It is 32-bit, and supports DX9. Is there some reason you could not get this to work in your testing? Since the findings in your article seem to have been received as gospel by other news sites, it would help to know how you verified this incompatibility.