You may soon install apps and games directly from Windows Search results

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 31, 2023
Windows 11 News

Microsoft released a new Insider Preview build for Windows 11's Canary channel yesterday that introduces a new option to install Windows apps or games directly from Windows Search results.

The Canary Channel was introduced by Microsoft recently to better separate development. It includes changes that may take a while before they appear in other development or stable versions of the Windows 11 operating system.

Microsoft posts release notes for new Canary Channel builds only when new features are introduced. This is the case for build 25330, which includes several new features, such as a new wheel device settings page to configure behavior.

Windows apps installation from Windows Search results

windows 11 store search-install

The big new feature of the Windows 11 build is the integration of Microsoft Store apps and games installations directly from Windows Search.

Microsoft has this to say about the feature in the release notes: "Install free apps and games from search results: We’ve introduced a new way to install free apps and games. Hovering over a free product on the search results page opens a new expanded card experience, where you can find a convenient install button. This will trigger the installation without having to navigate into the product page."

The feature is available for free apps and games only, according to Microsoft. When Windows 11 search returns a matching app or game, users may use an install button to install it directly from Search. Previously, users clicked on the result, which took them to the Microsoft Store. There, they needed to activate the install button to install the app or game on the device.

microsoft store apps search
The current Windows Search output

The new option improves the convenience of installing Microsoft Store apps and games, and it may help increase downloads for Store apps and games.

The search result lists just a few information about listed applications. It is unclear, if Microsoft is limiting the option to highly rated and popular apps, or if it is not filtering the option. Current search listings do not provide many information about applications and games. The new card that is displayed on hover displays additional information, but it still does not display all information about an app or game.

Microsoft integrated two additional Microsoft Store changes to the newly released Windows 11 build. The first introduces a new purchase design when buying apps or games in the Store. Microsoft notes that the new style aligns "better with Windows 11", but it is a purely cosmetic change.

The second change is also purely design-related. Microsoft updated the in-app ratings dialog, claiming that it is faster, more reliable and also aligns better with Windows 11's style.

Closing Words

Quick installs of free apps and games from Windows Search may boost downloads and it may improve the workflow for some users. Downside is that some users may install these suggested programs without really knowing much about them. Microsoft needs to get this right the first time it launches the feature in stable versions of Windows.

Now You: do you use Windows Search?

You may soon install apps and games directly from Windows Search results
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You may soon install apps and games directly from Windows Search results
Microsoft introduced a new option to install Windows apps or games from Windows Search results in the latest Windows 11 Insider build.
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  1. Someone said on April 2, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    this is nosense. Windows 10 even isnt so crappy after the “search highlights” update, before an year. Man. Look how w11 search results beacame ! Away, in all means ! !

  2. Anonymous said on April 1, 2023 at 12:06 am

    Yeah this totally won’t warrant another anti-trust lawsuit to be delivered to Microsoft’s HQ for not letting Steam and other digital stores do the same in Microsoft Edge.

  3. Anonymous said on March 31, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    Could we get a button to uninstall instead? Nobody wants to install any store apps. The majority of customers desire to remove the preinstalled junk from there.

  4. John G. said on March 31, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    This could be a serious security risk. Thanks for the article!

  5. Constance said on March 31, 2023 at 10:41 am
  6. basingstoke said on March 31, 2023 at 10:07 am

    Yikes that’s yet another not so great feature. People should put some thought into installing programs and making changes to their system – doing so willy-nilly is never gonna be a great idea.

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