Applies to: Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1
With Windows 8, the Windows Store made it easy to install new modern apps. However, when those apps were updated, you had to go through a series of steps to install the updates: see the live tile for the Store app change to indicate the number of app updates that were available, launch the Store app, click the updates link, select all the updates, click Install. The process would then be repeated, sometimes several times a week.
In Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, the update process has been automated. Now, by default, Windows automatically downloads and installs all Windows Store app updates as soon as they are available, with no user interaction. You can, of course, turn off that behavior if you so choose, through the App updates settings in the Windows Store app, as shown here:
This can also be set by using the "Turn off Automatic Download and Install of updates" Group Policy setting, but because this makes the whole process effortless for the user, we expect most people to leave this enabled.
For organizations that have disabled the Windows Store through the "Turn off the Store application" Group Policy (for example, to prevent some users from installing additional apps), another improvement has been made in Windows 8.1. Now app updates can be installed automatically even when the Windows Store has been disabled for the user. Also, you don’t need to specify a Microsoft account to install app updates, only to install new applications. If you want to prevent all Windows Store access, you can still do this by setting the "Turn off the Store application" policy at the computer level.
If you are curious about the app updates that have been installed on a device, you can see this information in the event log, in the log named "Microsoft-Windows-AppXDeploymentServer/Operational" (under "Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\AppXDeployment-Server" in Event Viewer). Search for event ID 10001 and you will see a list of apps that have been successfully updated.
Michael Niehaus is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, responsible for helping enterprise IT pros with Windows deployment, Windows RT, and Windows manageability needs. Prior to joining the Windows, Michael was a longtime program manager and developer for the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, having joined Microsoft in 2004 after 14 years working in enterprise IT.