9 Official Windows Store Apps to Replace Popular Desktop Apps

Sandy Writtenhouse 29-03-2017

Windows 10 might soon ask you to install the Store app, rather than its desktop version. If you’ve been wanting to try Windows Store apps Desktop vs. Microsoft Store Apps: Which Should You Download? Should you get your Windows apps from the Microsoft Store, or use traditional desktop programs? Here are the main differences. Read More , now is the time.


The Windows Store offers a large variety of official apps Are You Confused by the Windows App Terminology? Did you ever wonder what's the difference between an application, program, or software? Or whether that Windows app is metro, modern, universal, or plain straight? You're not alone. Let us clear things up! Read More that can replace their desktop counterpart. So if you want to stick with an official application, but explore what Windows Store apps have to offer, explore these great options.

1. Dropbox

With the Dropbox app for Windows, you have access to all of your files as well as your notifications. You can watch saved videos, view photos, and check out your documents. If you would like to edit your files, just select the More (three-dot) icon from the top right, pick Open with, and choose the application.

dropbox windows app

You also have several options for managing items such as uploading a new file, saving to your device, making them available offline, and sharing with others. The app includes a Settings section so that you can adjust your sync, cache, security, and account options.

2. Box

If you are a Box user, the Windows app offers about the same type of access as the Dropbox app. You will see your folders and documents, recent items, updated files, and transfers. You can also search for a particular file, which is handy.


box windows app

You can send documents or copy them to your clipboard, add comments to items, as well as upload, download, or delete with a few clicks. The app does have a Settings section, although limited. You can log out, enable file-saving, and set a passcode. But if these are settings you seldom use, the Box app is still convenient for fast access.

3. Skype

If you have ever been aggravated with the Skype application, take the Skype Windows app for a spin. It just dropped its Preview label and is ready to serve the mainstream. Just like the desktop app, you can communicate with chat, video, and audio calls. And, you can send files, photos, video messages, and emoticons. The latest version also lets you search chats, switch input and output devices like microphone or camera during your call, and send text messages.

skype preview windows app


The Skype Preview app is responsive and lets you add in bots for travel, games, parcel delivery, and health. The Settings area is all-inclusive with audio, video, notification, logging, and playback options. Plus, you can choose between the light and dark modes for something different.

4. Messenger

While you may see some unofficial downloads for Facebook’s popular Messenger app, you’re safest with the official one from the Windows Store. Plus, if you use the Facebook Windows app and click the Messenger icon, you will be directed to download the Messenger app anyway.

messenger windows app

The app looks quite similar to that on your mobile device as far as color, icons, and people. You can adjust settings for your notifications and photo, video, and emoji options. So if you are on your computer daily and find this more convenient, it is a great way to go.


5. Wunderlist

If Wunderlist is your go-to application for managing tasks, then check out the Windows app. You will see your lists, to-dos, and background photo are exactly the same as on the web, desktop application, and mobile app.

wunderlist windows app

Once you install the Wunderlist Windows app, you can take advantage of its integration with Cortana Your Best Windows 10 To-Do List App Is Cortana + Wunderlist Cortana can handle task and to-do lists. She now also connects to your Wunderlist. We show you how you can manage all your lists with Cortana. Read More . View your lists, add tasks, and open specific lists within the Cortana window to mark to-dos as completed. You can also manage your notification, account, background, and Smart List settings easily.

6. Todoist

For Todoist fans, the Windows app is a nice, clean option. You will see your inbox and upcoming items along with projects and filters on the left side. You can take advantage of the features you are familiar with for Todoist like easy adding of projects and tasks. You can quickly include and edit the due date and priority for each to-do.


todoist windows app

As with Wunderlist, Todoist has a section to manage your account, personalization, and notification settings. So, you can adjust these items as well as view the Karma feature and check out keyboard shortcuts. And you can review your recent sync log, report issues, or sync manually if needed.

7. Evernote

With the recent device limitations implemented by Evernote, you might still be picking and choosing where to use it. However, if you work on a computer daily and are an avid Evernote user, then having the Windows app puts it in the handiest spot.

evernote windows app

You can access all notebooks, notes, and tags, create new ones, sync, organize, and do pretty much everything you love about Evernote. The reminder, sharing, text editor, and file attachment options are each available. So, instead of finding the download on the Evernote site and going through the installation process, just pop open the Windows Store 9 Essential Windows Apps for Students Choose the right educational app and meet your learning goals. Here are some essential Windows apps for your school year. Read More and grab the app quickly.

8. Zinio

If you read your favorite magazines using Zinio, then having the app is a terrific way to check out the newest issues. You will see those in your queue, more to explore, a handy shop, and your bookmarks when you pop it open.

zinio windows app

Select a magazine to read and you will see navigation along the top and bottom if you would like to skip around. When you begin to read, the navigation disappears giving you a full view of the pages. Then, just click the arrows on the right and left of the screen to move forward or back in the magazine.

9. OpenTable

Take a break from your day and find a spot to have dinner with the OpenTable app. You just enter your location, desired date and time, and the size of your party. Click Find a Table and you will see your options plotted on a map and can select one from the right to receive more details.

opentable windows app

Information varies depending on location, but can include reviews, a menu, a description, and photos in addition to the basics. You can receive the details without an account, but if you sign up or log in, you can make and manage reservations too.

Which Windows Apps Do You Like the Best?

Aside from the popular or standard apps like Facebook, Netflix, or The Weather Channel, have you found a hidden gem on the Windows Store For Real? The Strangest Apps on the Windows Store The Windows Store is full of amazing tools, some spam, and a number of really strange apps. We highlight the most entertaining apps and amusing games we could find. Read More ?

New apps are popping up all the time, so if you have a favorite that you would like to share, let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Dropbox, Evernote, Skype, Windows Store.

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  1. jim
    March 31, 2017 at 6:36 am

    wish I could use store. it is nonworking since last 3 updates.

  2. GraySuricato
    March 30, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Other replacements and gems for me
    1. VLC as media player
    2. Device diagnostics hub as Task manager
    3. 8 zip as zip file manager
    4. Fresh Paint as paint
    5. Remote desktop app
    6. mytube for youtube
    7. teamviewer remote control
    8. Autocad 360
    9. Crystaldiskmark 5

  3. Swanny
    March 30, 2017 at 1:03 am

    The Evernote Windows 10 app seems to be one of the few programs that was ported to the Store using Desktop Bridge. Gave it a try, but one big grate I had with it was no jump list support. I use the New Note shortcut frequently, so that was a show stopper for me.

    Also the Facebook Messenger Windows 10 app is really lacking... can't size it down to just show the profile pictures like you can with the web app. Also I've had an issue with clicking links in conversations not doing anything.

    Wunderlist is pretty decent as an app, definitely recommend that.

  4. HildyJ
    March 29, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    If you are looking for access to files or simple programs like to do list managers, apps may work for you. But keep in mind that sometimes apps do not provide the full functionality of desktop programs. I can't speak for Evernote but OneNote's desktop version is much more powerful than the app.

    • Lou
      March 29, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks for that heads up. I love Office and I'm loving Windows 10, but it's criminal how poorly they work together. How do we not have a live tile for Outlook yet?

  5. Lou
    March 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Dropbox question - do you have access to "all of your files" (when online), or just the locally synced ones? I'm using OneDrive on my Windows PC and windows tablet now and I can't get all of my files through the app, I have to go to the website. If Dropbox gives me access to all of them I'm switching.

    Another small annoyance, the OneDrive app for Android does give me access to everything.

    • Sandy Stachowiak
      March 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Lou!
      Hopefully I'm understanding your question correctly. Yes, I have access to all of my files whether online or within the Windows app (or my mobile device).

      Just to test the responsiveness of the sync, I uploaded a file to Dropbox online on a different computer, popped open the Windows app on my PC and the file was there right away. I then did the exact opposite and uploaded a file using the Windows app and when I turned my head to look at Dropbox online on my other computer, it was there within seconds. (The same goes for my iPhone app, immediate sync.)

      If I misunderstood your question, please let me know :-)