With Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to unify the app experience across devices using UWP or Universal Windows Platform. In fact, more and more developers are converting their win32 apps to UWP apps. All the UWP apps use the .appx file format rather than the regular .exe format. Moreover, since most of the UWP apps are available through the Windows Store, you can easily install any app you like with just a click or two. The good thing is Windows will look after the installation and uninstallation procedure, and you don’t have to worry about leftover files and registry keys like with the regular programs.
As good as it is, just like with Google Play Store for Android, the Windows Store won’t allow you to download the .appx file packages. However, following the below steps you can download the .appx packages from the Windows Store.
Download .appx Files from the Windows Store
To download appx packages from the Windows Store, we are going to use a free software called Fiddler. Fiddler is free web debugging proxy software that can log all the HTTP and HTTPS traffic between your computer and the Internet. Since it can log the HTTP(S) traffic, we are going to grab the direct download link from the Windows Store and use it to download the target app’s appx file package.
To start, download Fiddler from its official site and install it like any other Windows Software.
By default, Windows won’t allow apps to send network traffic to the local computer, so we first need to remove this restriction. To do that, open Fiddler by searching for it in the Start menu.
Once opened, click on the “WinConfig” button appearing on the top navigation bar.
The above action will open the “AppContainer Loopback Exemption Utility” window. Here, click on the button “Exempt All,” and then click on the “Save Changes” button. Once you are done, close this window.
On the main window, click on the “Remove” icon and select the option “Remove all” from the drop-down menu. This action will clear the capture screen.
Now open the Windows Store, find the app you want to download and click on the “Install” button. In my case, I’m trying to download the CrystalDiskMark 5 app. This is a win32 application converted to a UWP app.
Once Windows acquires the license and starts the download process, this is how it looks in the Windows Store. Once you see this, proceed to the next step.
Since Fiddler is running in the background, all the traffic is being monitored by it. From the monitoring results we can find and copy the URL to download the appx package. To do that, click on the “Find” button appearing in the top navigation bar.
In the Find window type “appx” in the empty field, and press the Enter button.
The above action will highlight all the URLs that are responsible for downloading the appx package. From the highlighted URLs, find and right-click on the first URL and select the option “Copy > Just URL.” While doing this, make sure that highlighted URL has the status code 200.
Once the URL has been copied, simply paste it into your favorite browser’s address bar, and press the Enter button. The appx package should be downloaded automatically. Depending on the download size, it may take some time, but you should have the file in your Downloads folder as soon as the download is complete.
After downloading, you can store it for offline usage and install it as needed.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to download appx files from the Windows Store in Windows 10.
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