Universal Windows Apps can now be larger than 150 GB in the Store

Earlier this morning, Microsoft demonstrated how current Win32 apps (aka 'Classic Windows apps') can be ported as Universal Windows Apps that can run on various devices. Even better, these apps can be bought and downloaded through the store, and they avoid all the pitfalls of traditional Win32 apps, including bloated registries and poor uninstall abilities.

Microsoft is also now going to let those apps (and games) be larger than 150 GB in the universal Windows Store as AppX files.

This move is important because although current Modern apps may only be a few megabytes, big title games can easily be massive installations. The benefit here is that developers who are bringing over games from Win32 apps will not have any practical limits in terms of size. For reference, we are told that the Adobe Photoshop Elements Universal Windows App demoed on stage was just over 2 GB, which is rather large for an app in the Windows Store.

Of course, having file sizes that large will result in massive download times and it is not clear just how many games or apps would leverage that much for their AppX file size. However, this should facilitate developers in bringing more gaming titles to the Windows Store, and that is something we can get behind.

Adobe is expected to release AppX recompiled versions of its Win32 Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements apps later this year to the Windows Store.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • As expected!
  • I already knew about the 150GB limit size earlier this week when I was researching on the APPX format via an MSDN.
  • What about new mobile devices?
  • There's no such thing. Next.
  • Can't understand... anyway....
  • Let me repeat what everyone should know by now - ANY NEW devices less than 8 inches (ARM or Intel) WILL NOT have a desktop AND WILL NOT run Win32 apps.
  • but can run UNIVERSAL APP which can be ported from Win32 app You should know!
  • and can use Continuum to have "Desktop" < (Snapdragon 805 or higher and enabled)
  • @LyLgoes Move on man..
  • Safe to say we can at least expect them when Windows 10 officially gets released.
  • Awsome
  • Hands down Microsoft, you've been working
  • I starting to think that each an every device running windows must at least 1TB on internal storage.
  • You think that because you can download big apps?
  • No, just stop right there. I only need a multi TB device. That is my desktop gaming machine. Everything else I use doesn't need more than 256GB.
  • Just because they can be 150gb doesn't mean any of them ever will (they won't, the app would be useless). There aren't even games that big.
  • Can someone name a program that uses 150 GB of space?
  • No but GTA is currently 60gb so that will only increase in the future
  • Maybe some games? Idk for sure though. Wolfenstein the new order was like 50ish and that took me several days to download on DSL (dont worry I already pity myself). I can't imagine something over 150, but you never know. It's probably coming.
  • @enzom09 - I guess you could say we're there already. I have a music suite on my computer which, if you include all the effects and the audio libraries, is over 440GB.
  • Not yet, but they're just being sensible about the future. I spent about 20 minutes yesterday trying to copy a 5.2GB file onto a friend's empty 64GB memory stick, and it took me all that time to realise that the reason it was saying "the file is too big for the destination" was because it had been formatted in FAT32. Once upon a time, the idea of a +5GB file was a crazy idea. Next winter, the typical 2015 AAA game will be 50GB or more.
  • Something like an Assassin's Creed Unity or a Forza are already past 40 gigs and Unity takes more than 50 just after the first installation. So next winter we are probably touching some 80 I guess 
  • Maybe Final Fantasy in 4K
  • This is interesting.
    Microsoft is on a roll to push the possibilities beyond the limits! Portability of Win32 apps is already such a bold move and now... :P
    P.S: It's surprising how so many stuff were kept secret by Microsoft until today. They sure are good at keeping things hidden, lol.
  • This will have to go up again in 5 years or so :D
  • Much less than that.
  • I wonder if it would be possible to put a full console game on the windows store.    Lets say for example smite, i know they dont want to do cross platform for this game, but they could possibly develop a game like this through the windows store and play on pc/xbox?   Quite possibly the rumored Joe Montana 16 football game?? :)
  • Which could put a damper on steam in the future if done correctly.
  • I couldnt see a way they could screw this up, but you never know.  My expectation is this is the way fable legends will be distributed which is an xbox/pc cross platform game.  Games like smite or hearthstone, i could see these games being distributed this way as well.  Hearthstone would be a perfect universal app. 
  • One thing is for sure, this will be interesting.
  • it will only scratch steam, but it will completely kill xbox. and i want that to happen. :P
  • Well I have a 360. Not fond of the Xbox one yet. My game time has been on PC for a while now.
  • I have almost not played anything on my PC since I got my One! The only times I played on PC was with my One controller, that too for getting into the habit of using the controller 
  • No it won't. Most people don't have a gaming pc.
  • I don't understand what you mean. They're are plenty of "full console games" on the PC that run in better graphics than the console versions. Consoles are limited, pcs aren't.
  • big question, most top machines have an ssd on board.. so, can we choose the installation path on windows 10, or it will be like windows 8.1 that we have to install metro apps on the SO drive?
  • There will be a feature (in the near future) where you can choose where to install apps. It was in some insider previews but it was removes because it was incomplete
  • Finally! Now I can wrap the entire Internet in a package and sell it via the Windows Store.
  • Haha with just that XD
  • It will take ages to download , unless you live in ultra high speed internet area.
  • Hmm I feel privileged now haha.
  • lol. no issue at home but work.. last time I downloaded an ISO from microsoft it took over 3hrs.  
  • If you were in India , your 3 hrs was extended to 30 hrs.!
  • Some of this files come super composed and only expand to that space.
  • Explain how ?
  • You can see how an os can expand from 4gb to 10gb. E.g windows 7
  • Well, I can certainly say none of the phones would be able to download it anytime soon.
  • Maybe well see 64/128 gb phones?
  • So wrong place I know, but adobe PhotoShop and premier and Sony Vegas. I want Microsoft to make a great video editing program that's in line with those two and final cut pro for the our platform of windows.
  • I want them to gift me a pony. See? I can write down ridiculous propositions too!!
  • Mines not really that crazy though. Although I'd take a appaloosa.
  • I want BOTH the pony and the software
    and both FREE
    and more humor / less hate in this Forum...naah - can't ask TOO much !!!!
  • One step closer to have more protection against viruses.
  • Winding up to punch steam square in the teeth... And maybe trump apple by way of more portable audio workstation libraries (with ownership confirmed via login credentials)
  • Mind blowing Confrence!!! thank you daniel
  • Can Win32 Universal apps run universally aka on Phones? 
  • You said it's Universal...
  • Microsoft needs a patch mechanism for store apps. Imagine an app from Adobe that weighs 2GB. Now imagine at least one security update a month, another 2GB to download. You say Windows is secure and the store is secure, but it's Adobe. They will find a way to need monthly security fixes.
  • windows store already has the option to download the update part of the app.....
  • Adobe devs A: Hear that ? The size limit is 150 GB now Adobe devs B: Challenge accepted. Lets make the next Photoshop 300 GB Adobe devs C: Don't forget the 200 GB monthly patch. lolz
  • 200 GB patch that takes a month to download. Endless cycle of patches...
  • Very nice.i like what Microsoft bring today more and more.
  • 150 gb... that should be plenty lol
  • I hope "download and install manually" will be there.
  • so now I can expect anything and everything to be available from a decent, consistent windows store where everything just works, and is a few clicks away from experiencing? sounds more than good, buying/downloading/installing GTA V with a single button, steam, origin, uplay and all that shit can go fuckthemselves now
  • I need nasa's wifi connection to download app n game :P
  • Does this mean I can get something like 3Ds Max on my Phone if it's powerful enough? Does turning a win32 program into an app make it universal?
  • One flaw I've found with the AppX model is that it doesn't support incremetal update for apps. Each time I update an app, say whatsapp, it downloads the full size of the app from the store. [Edit: Unlike Android apk] That has discouraged me from updating my Age of Empires game. Imagine having a 150GB app, and the develper decides to release updates frequently. Another flaw is that you can't update apps by sideloading (from SD card), you have to uninstall the incumbent in order for sideloading to work.
  • Actually that's not correct. We already support incremental updates at a 64k chunk level. This means that you only download the changes to the app. The app will still be advertized as n megabytes but if the difference between v1.0 and v1.1 is only 100k then that's all we will download. We like to think that we are ahead of apk after all we have an x in our extension and we all know x is better than K ;) we also support single instancing so if 2 apps use the unity engine and they both are using v1.0 then we wont download it twice.Side loading is primarily an​ enterprise app distribution or developer option so the update workflow is a little more complex. The vast majority of users use the store so we optimize for that ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Thank you Andrew, one more question. I noticed during app apdates that it says downloading xMB, where x is the advertized size of the app. It has been happening with all my apps which led me to think I'm downloading full size again. Could this be an inaccurate reporting of download size? Thanks
  • Oh thank god it's passed 150 GB I wanted to create the world's first offline porn application but as you can imagine it requires a whole lot of space for it to work :P
  • Facilitates developers to bring their titles over - sure. Inspires - I sincerely doubt it :(