Windows 10 store apps will be limited to 10 device installs on the same Microsoft account;

Windows 10 apps from the universal Windows Store can be downloaded and installed on up to 10 devices per Microsoft account. That's the word from Microsoft's own store documentation, and it's a big decrease from the 81 device limit that is currently available for Windows 8 and 8.1 apps.

Windows app limit

The app install limit was spotted by Jesper Nielsem on his Twitter account this weekend. While most users will likely never reach that 10 device ceiling, it could cause problems with a few users who install the same app on their desktop PC, their Windows 10 tablets, their Windows 10 Mobile smartphone and even their Xbox One when it gets its Windows 10 upgrade later this year.

It's possible that Microsoft could change the app device limit once Windows 10 is officially launched on July 29. We have contacted Microsoft to see if they can reveal more information on this limitation.

Source: Jesper Nielsem (Twitter) Via: Neowin

209 Comments
  • 10 is a good number. 
  • Unlimited would be better. Can't believe they're doing this rubbish again. It was bad enough that Xbox Video limits you to 5 devices you can download films to. Microsoft's ecosystem is becoming a very bad choice for anyone expecting to stay for the long term.
  • I know they make it so hard to manage your old devices versus your new ones. And its not like you can uninstall those apps from those old devices leaving you stuck with this limit. I mean how horrible of a decision is this. /s
  • Yeah, it's not like you can sign into your account and get rid of your old devices, and it's not like Microsoft will deactivate devices that haven't been used in months so that way you never even have to manage them./s
  • They will simply need to provide a means of unregistering the product from an old device, similar to what Apple does now with their IOS store apps.   It's not a big deal and only seems reasonable.  Why should you be able to buy it once and use it on all devices for you and your family?   Personally, as a software developer and seller of software, I feel we need to have the option of selling "per seat" licenses that are discounted (but not free).  In other words, first seat (device) is full price, then 2-5 a different price, 6-20, a different (lower) price, etc.   But free is BS
  • I am not a developer but I agree. Why would you need to install one app on 81 devices? Nobody uses has this many devices "legally". If people wants more apps + quality apps then make it worth the developers efforts!  
  • Exactly Sanien.  Anyone who is complaining is simply doing so because they use this liberal distribution limit so that they can share the software with others at no cost.   What makes it worse is that most people really don't do that.  So, 20% of the users increase costs for the other 80% who really just buy it once for themselves.   So metering the usage and forcing us to pay for what we use is really a fairer approach and helps reduce costs.  If you're one ofh the 80% you should not be concerned .
  • Well make it 20 or something.   I have 2 phones, 4 tablets, 3 laptops and a desktop.  If the new phones are good,  and I want one,  I am still keeping my old phones to use as well.   So why should I have to ditch something to another account.   MS is starting to sway the way of apple and their LOCK DOWN style of user domination.
  • Maybe in the future but for now i don't see that happening. It is more of a software pricing you are referring to. All apps are only linked with one account with the convenience of the user to use it on the device his using. Unless if one has no problem sharing his email with and personalization of his or someone else taste then you should charge per seat.
    One thing you should think about, have you ever submitted a refund because someone is not satisfied with the way you maintain your apps?
    We win some we lose some
  • Sure Bjoli.  I certainly hear you.  I was just pushing back on the notion of how "outrageous" it was that MSFT was going to not allow a customer to buy a third party app on the store and install it 83 times anymore.   People are always looking to hustle for something free.  We all do it.  But the other point I was making is that this, in the end, costs the majority of the customers more because that "shrinkage" needs to be recovered and built into the sales price for EVERYONE.   That goes for anything, not just apps on a store.   You want Best Buy, etc., to have those anoying electronic buzers at the door or the clothing store to have those antitheft clips on everything.  Because, ultimately that helps reduce their costs and they can pass it onto you with reduced pricing.
  • Actually you can you just go to http://account.microsoft.com/devices and delete the old ones.
  • I think you can remove your device from the microsoft account.
  • You can, it's really easy!
  • Actually, that's exactly what it's like now, for my Microsoft account anyway. I've got two devices registered in the account. Attempts to remove the devices fail; even though the account system tells me the devices have been removed, they are still there, taking up space in my 10-device limitation allotment.
  • Dude, are you even listening to yourself? Unlimited installs??? Yeah, because that's the kind of thing developers want people to be able to do. Even if you had a phone, tablet, 2in1, desktop, Hololens, and an Xbox, you'd still have another 4 installs (and that's even if xbox, hololens, and phone will even count toward this number).
  • Assuming that you're able to remove your old licenses, that is. Microsoft haven't been very consistent in allowing this with their most modern services, especially when third party content is involved.
  • what? they have always been consistent about being able to remove old devices...
  • @jas @ Rob You are both totally correct. Over the years I have added and deleted devices as required with ease. What could be easier! And I find it fair to have some limit and 10 devices will not be used by most people anyway.
  • Keep in mind families of 5 people could easily hit the 10 device instal limit.  5 phones + 5 tablets + a family computer = 10 isn't enough.  Granted not every family is fortunate to be able to have all of that, but there are people that regularly use more than 1 smartphone.  I hope that MS has a channel you can go through to enable more instals of an app on devices if needed.
  • Why would an entire family of five use only 1 MS Account?
  • Because that would be the account that the paid app is tied to. A family of five isn't going to buy the same app five times over for five different accounts, just like they didn't buy five copies of the Matrix in DVD back in 1999.
  • So? Say back in 1999, the oldest brother of our fictional family, "Dan", bought The Matrix on DVD. It's his DVD, but if the family wants to watch it, he puts it in the DVD Player and they can all watch it. So in 2015, he gets his Surface or Windows Phone, opens the "Groove Video" or whatever app, finds Matrix and streams it to the family TV. Easy. it's the exact same thing, one person OWNS it but everyone can ENJOY it.  
  • Except Microsoft is hard-bundling the store account to your MS account so you can log have one account for purchases.
  • They probably should though. It's stealing otherwise.
  • A family of five that has bought more than 10 active windows devices should have a few bucks left to buy an app a second time, if that app is so important that it needs to be installed on all these devices. It is not really fair for the dev to pay for an app once and then use it on 20 devices. If you buy "normal" software, you usually only get a license for one person. So while you can probably install it on more than one devices, you are usually not allowed to use it on more than one device at the same time. Giving you the official permission to use an app on 10 devices is quite generous already.
  • Because they don't want to pay multiple times for the same games? Pretty common.
  • You are assuming that all of your family's devices are logged in to the same MS account. Sorry but 10 installs per MS account is very generous.
  • Windows 8.1 apps can be installed on over 80 devices. That was more than you ever need. But 10 is not enough. I already own more than 10 devices.
  • Yeah, because after they bought more than 10 gadgets they are kindda short with money. 
  • You can get a Windows phone for less than $100, and there are cheap tablets too.  Not everyone needs or wants a higher end device.  Yes it is unlikely that everyone will be on one account, but I know 3 people who are currently using the same account.  I also know many families that share iTunes accounts.
  • iTunes is set up so you can share purchases, music, apps, etc. Family ahare allows one account to authorize other accounts.  Would be nice if MS did something like that.   The ten limit is going to affect me, given that desktops and phons are essentially the same now with universal apps.  I will have 2 desktops, 2 laptops, 3 tablets, and 3 phones running Win 10. That doesn't count Win 10 installations on Macs or XBox(s). Yea  i'm not the norm, but if you consider that an app can be installed on a wide variet of devices, the Win 10 everywhere vision, you can burn through 10 quickly.  Consider that we used to only be allowed to install sofware that cost a hundred dollars or more on one, maybe two, PCs, 10 seems quite generous. Wouldn't upset me to pay more for mnore seats, but that option isn't really offered. Installs are tied to an account, and you can't pay twce to get more installs on that account. Can't with apps can't with music, can't with Office 365.    This needs to be addressed.
  • I realize that having the digital installs has made people antsy about buying more than one copy of an app, but a 10 device limit is pretty reasonable. The only way I see it being lifted is if they implement a family sharing feature for apps like Apple. It is 10 devices for a single user, not 10 different users.
  • They tried to implement a sharing plan with the Xbox One, and people threw a major fit storm over it.
  • They do have sharing, but only on one console. I have my One set up as my home console, and everyone who logs into it has a gold account while using it, and access to all the games and apps I've purchased.
  • If a family of 5 has 5 mobile phones and 5 tablets then they should purchase more than 1 copy.
  • Genius, you are. Surely all the 5 people will have the same MS account, won't they? Every one of them will get 10 devices, making the family eligible for 50 devices, theoretically. But the 50 devices will not be counted as 50 devices, they'll be counted as 10 devices for each member.
  • Why should the whole family share the same account? Should my children be able to read my emails and mess with my settings and my calendar? Surely not. I will always have my own account.
  • What about a house like mine that has 4 Windows Phones, 2 Windows tablets, A PC, a Netbook, 3 Xbox 360s and 2 Xbox ones? I converted my whole family to the MS ecosystem (which wasn't easy btw)
  • Name ONE paid app that NEEDS to be installed on each of those devices... Just one
  • Plex
  • Plex is a free download on Xbox One...
  • Are they all on same windows account, I bet it isn't so won't matter
  • Then you are covered for you have 10 devices that can use Universal Apps. Xbox 360 does not use Universal Apps, and if it did I would tell you to buy another license for you can definitely afford it.
  • Keith White Jr Wrote "What about a house like mine that has 4 Windows Phones, 2 Windows tablets, A PC, a Netbook, 3 Xbox 360s and 2 Xbox ones? I converted my whole family to the MS ecosystem (which wasn't easy btw)". I suppose you could mean me, 3 Xbox Ones, one 360, 3 WP's (Plus a couple of old ones) two desktops, 3 laptops, 4 tablets. but we do have 3 accounts.
  • Tell your family to stop being cheapskates. And also to stop sharing the Same damn MS account
  • FFS. Just create another damn account.
  • 10 is logical name for an OS never to to be replaced
  • The problem I have with it is that, aside from phones, Windows devices are set up for multiple users and a Microsoft account was supposed to make it easy to move from one computer to another and sync everything across. I have more than ten devices that I log into in my household, and my wife is probably pretty close with her account. With Windows 10, I will have to be aware of what apps I am using on which device, so instead of a seamless experience moving from one device to another, it will be a management nightmare.
  • Here's hoping they do a family sharing plan. That is how they will keep and get market share.
  • I think that's fair...right ?
  • Nope. All the more reason why I dislike using the app store, I'd much rather use desktop programs or web based.
  • A large percentage of desktop programs give you a product key to use on 1 PC. I really don't understand your argument.
  • And it usually just involves a call to the developer/publisher to then allow a future install, at least in my cases when I have upgraded machines and the like.
  • So you'd have to call this company 9 times then to get 10 installs? That seems like a lot harder than spending 30 seconds going into your Microsoft account and deleting your old devices. That's even if you have to do that at all considering Microsoft deactivates devices that haven't been used in an extended period of time. I can't imagine any scenario (except maybe DRM free software, which is becoming less and less common) where desktop programs are easier to manage than Windows Store apps.
  • If it works that way, it's fine, regarding deleting of old devices.
  • It does, I've had to do it before when troubleshooting a device. You just go to http://account.microsoft.com and delete them. If you haven't used a device for an extended period of time, it's deactivated automatically (my old Dell laptop isn't there, for example, and I never deleted it)
  • In fairness: I'm not sure how many developers are enthusiastic about them being forced to give away 81 licenses per transaction. It's still disappointing, but 10 seems pretty fair. Just so long as it's per device class, and not total like the article suggests.
  • I can understand why they've done it, there are certainly people who are going to abuse the service (namely businesses I imagine) that being said if developers have an issue with people installing on multiple devices they could just not use the windows store and provide their own avenue to purchase/download (which I imagine plenty of high end software will still take this route).
  • It's probably 10 total devices.  A family of 5 could eaisly out grow that limit.
  • But a family of 5 will most likely not use one account
  • And get malware? My favorite!
  • Why didn't they just say 10x10 devices. That way they don't lose the 10 but still keep the large number of installs.
  • I imagine because businesses are going to be taking Windows 10 a lot more seriously than Windows 8, and I can imagine a scenario where a SMB could just use one account on all of their machines to buy an app. So, likely, this was done due to pressure from developers.
  • Yep, this is the line in the sand between individual and cororpate users. Should be enough. (Unless you've got like 8 kids. But then you have bigger headaches.)
  • Maybe 15 or 20 would have been better...
  • And I thought that the limit was only for Free Trials of the apps. This is a little disappointing.
  • Very fair
  • What's this?? They like to take everything in 10s now. Maybe Windows 20 will be limited to 20 devices..... Hehe
  • Was that a joke
  • I had the same thought, 11 devices for Windows 11 lol
  • 10.1 devices for Windows 10.1?
  • 10 is good enough. Imagine that a user can have all these items: Tablet, Notebook, PC, XBOX, Windows Phone and Hololens. So, 10 is fine :)
  • And when you upgrade your phone, and your tablet, and notebook? Suddenly you've used up 9 out of a possible 10 installs (using your example), likely within a couple of years.
  • This. And unless you can manage your devices - something you can do with Office but cant do with Xbox Video - that's the end of the line.
  • The number of devices you can install an app on is tied to the Microsoft Account, not the app, or XBox Video. You can manage/remove devices in your Microsoft Account already. There is no problem here with managing devices for app installs. Really, we need to stop with all the doom, gloom, and misinformation. If a specific app has it's own limitations, take it up with that particular developer.
  • I think he's talking about downloading xbox videos.
  • It applies to video and music too. Just delete any old devices and install/play on new devices that use your MS account.
  • I'm sure there will be a function to delete an old device. Spotify does this, MSFT does this with O365 subs, this is pretty standard and makes sense IMO. Like someone else said, this could easily have been per the suggestion/pressure of developers. I can see a > 10 count easily being abused, I can't really see anyone having more than 10 devices.
  • You can de-authenticate old devices via the Store app, so old devices aren't an issue. Only an issue for those with more than ten Windows 10 devices (I.E: Much of the WC staff).
  • "Mommy can you install <insert favorite game> on my phone?" - "No, we only have one licence left. Your brother will get it!"
  • You go to http://accounts.microsoft.com and remove the devices you're not using. Then you find something new to complain about.
  • Then you remove the old device from your MS account u numpty. Jesus Christ get over it!
  • For 1 or 2 users 10 device installs would be fine, but a family of 5 could easily hit the limit.
  • And? Should a developer really support an entire family with one purchase?
  • No but that hasn't stopped it from being an option on iOS. Family plans are nothing new, but devs should begiven some more money in those situations.  For me 10 installs will be more than enough, but I could use 5 of the installs between my 2006 laptop runing the preview builds, Surface 3, Lumia 930, 2011 desktop, and Lumia 920 running the preview build.  Include 4 additional devices for the rest of my family, and we're close to that limit.  Thankfully I'm on my own account and, I have turned off settings sync on the preview build devices, so only 3 of the devices will be used regularly.
  • Before iOS turned on Family Sharing, you were only supposed to install on devices you owned and used. If you read the T&C, you'd know that. Of course, you probably didn't pay attention to it.
  • Yes, before they turned it on you were only suposed to use an app/music on devices you owned.  As an ex-iPhone 3G/4 user I understand that.  However, we're now living in a world where it is turned for some platforms at this moment.  As with any system or regulation there will be work arounds for the install limit. Your tone seems a bit aggressive, and I'm just trying to have a conversation.  Should an app developer suffer because of a family share plan, no. However, those plans do exist, and companies have to make sure the devs are properly paid for the use of their apps regardless of the platform the app is on.
  • No, my tone is dismissive. Aggressive and dismissive are two separate things. If you're going to read negativity into my posts, at least read the right negativity.
  • Oh the beauty of text on a screen.  It can be read in a different way than what the author intended. Oh well, enjoy yourself.  I'm done spending time on this conversation.
  • Tablet, Notebook, PC, XBOX, Windows Phone, 2 x Intel NUC and most likely Hololens.. That is pretty close :)