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Are there Limits on Installing Windows Phone Apps?

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 3/24/2011

An online rumour suggests that Microsoft are limiting app installation to five attempts per device - thankfully this is rubbish, as you will soon learn...

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    Installing Apps on Windows Phone

    Explaining and Debunking the Windows Phone App Limit When you’re installing an app on a Windows Phone, you probably use either the Marketplace or the Zune client on your PC to find and download the software.

    In most cases this need only be done once – but in the event of you having to reset your phone for any reason, you will probably have to download and install the app again.

    For some reason there is a rumour circulating on the web that Microsoft are limiting Marketplace app installs to five per device for the same app. Clearly this would result in problems well before the natural lifespan of a phone expired, and has led to a few complaints and worried posts.

    Luckily, it is absolutely false!

    Image credit: Windows Phone Newsroom,

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    Implications of a True Rumour

    But what if the rumour was true? What would this mean for Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft?

    Well in many ways it would be a bit of a public relations disaster – something that Microsoft are keen to avoid with what is seen by many as their last throw of the dice in the mobile phone arena.

    If true, users would be limited to five installs of a title on their Windows Phone before they would have to then purchase the app again. Clearly this would be seen as unacceptable to owners, and if any of the over-reactions found on certain Windows Phone online communities are anything to go by there would be a lot of used devices heading for eBay!

    Thankfully, however, the rumour is false – there is no “five installs” limit for Windows Phone 7 apps.

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    Source of the Rumour

    So where did the rumour come from?

    Most people attribute it to the French version of the official Microsoft Windows Phone support website, and it seems that an instance of poor translation was all it took to set the cat among the pigeons.

    With any sort of rumour it is important to get the full facts, but many people were wrong-sided by the official nature of the source.

    Luckily Microsoft have moved in recent weeks to put an end to this, pointing out that the translation – since resolved – was in fact incorrectly worded!

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    The Truth about the Windows Phone App Limit

    In actual fact, there is a limit – but it is not one that most Windows Phone users would be able to breach, and even if they did it would be easy to get around.

    The limit isn’t on installing apps, but installing apps on to multiple handsets. Windows Phone users are in fact able to install the same app as many times as they like on up to five Windows Phone 7 devices. Five devices is the maximum that can be added to a Windows Live account, and it is unlikely that anyone other than a developer would need this level of multi-device flexibility!

    So there you have it – the Windows Phone app limit is nothing more than a dodgy bit of translation. You will have a tough job breaking the limit, so relax and head back to playing Rocket Riot!

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    Source: Windows Phone Central,