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Install Apps both from SD Card and Phone Storage in Windows Phone 8.1

Installing apps from SD card was introduced in Windows Phone 8. This was to make it easier for users who did not have access to WIFI all the time and downloading big apps which sized more than 20 or 40 MB is not possible.

While it worked, it had its own problem. The option “SD Card” as per users complaints, many a times, did not show up in the store. We talked about this here.

This has just got easier and better in Windows Phone 8.1 and all those out with SD card would be impressed.

My Local Apps option in Windows Phone 8.1 Store

You can Install Apps from Phone Storage  & SD Card Both:

In Windows Phone 8, the app installation was restricted to SD card. Windows Phone help clearly states that

“If you download the .XAP file to a location other than an SD card supported by your phone, you’ll need to move or copy the file to an SD card to install it on your phone”

Note: An exception was there for companies and they could do it by installing their certificates.

Starting with Windows Phone 8.1, now it is possible to install XAP file placed anywhere. You can have it on your SD card or on  phone storage, it doesn’t matter any more. It’s a good move because if you are running low on SD, you can always use phone storage for this.  And all the Lumia users not having an SD card, time to smile!!

Video Demo:

Watch on YouTube

Below are the steps:

  • Download the app from Windows Phone store. That would be a XAP file and the option is available on every app page, bottom right.
  • Connect your phone to your PC using the data cable.
  • Copy the app to SD card or Phone storage.
  • Unplug and open the Windows Phone Store.
  • Now tap on the menu bar and a new option will be available, Install Local Apps.
  • Tap on this and it will let you install right away.
  • Installing multiple apps is also possible.

While it remains all same, the pain to get the OS detect that there is a XAP on SD card or phone storage is is gone now. I tried it all day and every app was detected instantly. Now, you don’t need to refresh your phone over and over again.

A die-hard fan of Windows, PC Gaming, and Xbox. He is a seasoned content writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is a specialist in writing about Windows, software reviews, troubleshooting Windows, and automation.


  1. Hey Ace, Can you share a screenshot of where have you kept the app? Please connect with your PC and get a screenshot.

  2. i have a doubt on installing the xap in sd card whether the data would store in phone memory or sd card memory

  3. where do i copy the xap file on the sd card ? i tried it with a new folder with the xap inside and i tried without the folder ! in both cases the ‘install local apps’ didnt show up in the store !

  4. hi..i’d downloaded the asphalt 8:Airborne game and copied to my SD card.
    My problem is that i can see and go the option “install local apps” but i dont see that file under it.Any idea??

    Thanks in advance

  5. ..continued..
    and yes i tried moving it to phone storage and also restarted my phone several time but that didnt help.

  6. i updated my nokia lumia 525 to windows phone 8.1 and i have develpers edition.It hangs while changing songs on lock screen.Is it normal??

  7. I downloaded the xap file, placed it in the SD card but still no luck , there is no options fo SD card, tried the switch off swtich on technique too, but still no luck.

  8. I am having the same issue where there is no option to install local app, it just says “setting”

  9. on my lumia 620 with wp8.1 and last update, the “Install Local Apps” option does not show up. What can i do to activate this option?

  10. Having the same issue as some people on here where the option “install local apps” is not showing up, i have the xap fine on the internal storage of the phone in the folder ‘downloads’.

  11. I have lumia 630, in which no where I found the option of ” instll local apps” , pls guide

  12. hi..i’d downloaded the asphalt 8:Airborne game and copied to my SD card.
    My problem is that i can see and go the option “install local apps” but i dont see that file under it.Any idea??

    Thanks in advance

  13. Hey I downloaded asphalt 8 airborne to my sd card in Nokia Lumia 520 but when I opened install local apps in wpstore then there was no app shown to me…ashish..can u plz tell me the solution..??

  14. Make sure it’s the latest app available from the store. Now move the file to the root directory of your micro SD card. Reboot your phone and wait for store get a refresh. It will show up under SD card section.

  15. I am having the same issue.There is no option to install ‘local app”, it just says “setting”, “downloads” and “my apps”

  16. how to show sd card option in store.So m lumia 520 is windows 8 ,it is update to windows 8.1 but not show in sd card option how to show sd card option in nokia lumia which model plz help ..

  17. That’s really odd and seems to be more of bug than anything else. I see it working on my 1020 instantly but many report it doesn’t work that straight. Best would be to try restarting the device and see if it works

  18. the main problem is you must be connected to internet in order to do this. its a stupid feature if Im already connected I dont need to download and install this way!

  19. earlier I also had this problem..but as soon as i put an xap file on sdcard install local app option will apper automatically.

  20. hi guys. if you are unable to find ” install local apps”. it was not showing on my phone also.
    1. save any .XAP file on your sdcard first
    2. then restart your phone once.
    3. open store and check. if still not shown just surf the store go to downloads etc.. and then check.
    remind me installing software on windows PCs……. Restart now or later……

  21. I downloaded app in SD card and trying to install but it installation status showing pending and not moving forward. what should i do?

  22. Sir I found install local app option. But when I open it there is nothing as I want to install The rise of empire game.. Plz help me sir…

  23. when i try to install apps from sd card it says identifying apps but nothing is there after a few time. i am using wp 8.0 with my lumia 525

  24. I got install local apps option…
    The application install a half….
    Then shows “attention required tap here”

  25. Option not showing on Lumia 930. (T-mobile stock)
    Reading your post gives a hint, do the xap files need to be signed for the phone to “want” to go through this?
    you say:
    “An exception was there for companies and they could do it by installing their certificates.”

  26. Hi Sir..,this is Muhilan from india. I bought nokia Lumia 730 a week ago. I’ve tried the method you’ve said that “How to install the apps manually” by using store and the option ” INSTALL LOCAL APPS” is not coming. I’ve tried by restarting the phone and also moving the apps from phone to SD card and viceversa. Nothing worked Either. PLEASE HELP ME…SIR…:-(

  27. Sir please help…till I can get that option…and also How to manage Bluetooth files…
    How to send and receive Applications from windows phone to windows phone…PLS PAY SOME ATTENTION SIR…I STRUGGLING…

  28. 1. Install FILES App to manage files received and sent.
    2. You cannot send apps i.e. raw files, but you can send link using share option. Do a long press on an app and choose share.

  29. am unable to install games and applications from store to my SD Card. whenever I change the setting from phone to card, its shows unable to install, attention required. I can install applications on phone easily. even I can’t move the application to my card. am using Microsoft lumia 535. with window 8.1

  30. .appx worked for me same as .xap.. But I’ve another issue, I downloaded an .xap through UC browser(enable speed mode, otherwise UC will get you to store after clicking app link) and moved it to apps folder. That app is not detected. May be it is compulsory to copy .xap/.appx from PC. Same as in case with ringtones. Gonna try it now.
    Anyone tried same xap you used, on other phones with different user accounts?

  31. “Install Local apps” option does NOT show up even after I have two xap files in my phone’s Download folder. Its Lumia 730 with Win 8.1

    Please help.

  32. Worked using Lumia 930 Cyan. Tried one .xap and one .appxbundle files.
    It only worked when I copied to the phone using a computer.
    When I copied both files it only detected the.xap one.
    So I removed the .xap file and copied the .appxbundle, so it detected and I was able to install.
    Thanks a lot for your tip!

  33. Hi Admin
    I am new in windows phone 8 development.I have a doubt that i am a developer and i have build .xap file for windows phone 8 before releasing i want to test the app.When i transferred the file in sd card and i tried to install its showing error.I know that the above process but its takes one day to test.I want to check instantly similarly in android.Please help me.Email-ID:yasarkhan.1992@gmail.com

  34. Hello admin…i am using Lumia 730 and .xap file is copeid to sd card but there is no option of local apps in store….what should I do?

  35. hello admin i am using microsoft lumia 532 and there is no option of local apps in store but i restart phone i am alraedy intalled the games in Uninstalled yes or no restart phone already installed real race and asphalt and six guns games also uninstalled us say yes or no, this games ininstalled i never restart phone but never uninstalled this games i confirmed restart phone please answer……..,

  36. Hi,
    I have lumia 640 xl and install local app option does not appear even after i restarted the phone several times.
    pls help

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