Ever since Nokia has boarded the Windows Phone ship, its market share seems to be slowly growing and off late it has overtaken the Blackberry market share. WP8 has created a strong foothold as the third OS in the Smartphone race, behind Android and iOS.

Now, one reason for the huge growth of the Android platform is the availability of huge number of Apps. Piracy among the apps is also a big issue here. But, in one way, the availability of pirated apps has helped in the growth of the Android ecosystem.

Now, coming to Windows phone! This OS does not easily allow its users to manually install Apps from other sources. But, we will tell you about a small workaround which will allow you to install .XAP files(WP8 installation files) on your device.

Install XAP files on WP8

Disclaimer: The writer and the website management won’t be liable for any action taken by the users. The users are solely responsible for following this guide!

Installing .XAP files from SD card

This is valid for phones with SD card support like Nokia Lumia 520, Lumia 620, Lumia 720, Lumia 820, HTC 8S, Samsung Ativ S and others.

  1. Download the .XAP files on your Computer from the Windows Phone store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/ [Using the” Download and Install manually” option at the button of the App listing] You can also try using .XAP files from other locations, but it is risky as it may contain malware. Also, we have tried this tutorial only with files available in the WP Store.
  2. Once you download the .XAP files, transfer it to ROOT of the SD card. (Most of your Songs and Photos will be in the ROOT)
  3. WP8 Store SD Card option

  4. After transferring the .XAP files to the SD card, insert it in the phone. Please note that your phone must be switched off while you insert the SD card for smooth functioning of this.
  5. Now, switch ON your WP8 phone [wait for a few minutes for your phone to scan the SD card]
  6. Go, to the “Store” tile and click on it. Tap on the SD card option after you enter the Store.
  7. Select the App which you want to install. [you will see the .XAP app files here]
  8. DONE!

Note: If you are using an Old version of the .XAP file, then your App may be shown as incompatible.

Installing .XAP files on phones without SD card

This is for phones without SD card support like Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 1020, HTC 8X, etc. Understand the fact, that it is not possible to sideload the apps on these phones without “developer unlocking” the device.

  1. Developer Unlock your device. You can find the procedure here.
  2. After unlocking the device, you can add the .XAP files in the inbuilt phone storage [instead of the SD card]
  3. The .XAP files will be visible in the Store from where you can install it.

I hope this will help you use your Windows phone device more freely!

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Betrayed death, only for his love for Smartphones.. A self-proclaimed geek! | Add my circles on Google+ :


  1. Posted October 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi. I didn’t think it was possible to do this without an SD card. Can you clarify step 2 in the non-SD card approach? Is there a particular location where the XAP should be placed? Use a special tool or just Windows Explorer?

  2. Giuseppe Giuffre
    Posted November 5, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    HI, I have Lumia 920, and i have the same problem, i can’t install downloaded app from my phone. The questions are: How can i put copy the file xap into the phone without sd? where must i put them?
    Anyone can help me???

    • 90Nibiru
      Posted March 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      You can use WMDC Launcher, but I don’t know if you can install it without an interop-unlock.

  3. Orientalist
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The non-SD card does not work.

  4. Sumit Agarwal
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    bro i m not getting sd card option in store pls help me ……………..

  5. Hector Mavrakis
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I figured it out guys! :D
    Okay so what you do is:
    1. Dowload the xap file from where ever.
    2.Plug in your phone and put the file straight in with all the other folders.
    3.Click the store, and click those 3 dots at the bottom.
    4. Then click install local apps.
    It will send you to a thing and just click on the app or the game to install it!
    Your Welcome WP Users!!!!

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