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How to get rid of the “ghost” updates on Windows 8 RP Store

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This morning I initially planned to work on one of my Windows Phone applications. Instead of doing this, I played around with the Windows Store and assume that I found a solution for the “ghost updates” that a lot of people are experiencing.

First, to all those who now want to tell me that this post is no longer of interest, you are wrong. Not all preview users will be able to get their final Windows 8 copy before October (only those with MSDN or TechNet-subscriptions and partners will be getting it over the next few days).

So now lets go on.

It is annoying to see that the update count on Windows Store tile always shows 2 updates, but when you enter the marketplace, you will get the information that there is no update.

This happened also to me (and I did not have the Amazon Kindle app on RP installed, this is a known issue).

I decided to uninstall all Metro apps (yes, I said Metro because until now there is no official word about the new UI name) to see if the count will go to zero. I began with 3rd-party apps to uninstall, but the count was still 2. Then I uninstalled all Microsoft apps (at once), the count remains even without any installed app. After I restarted my PC, the count was finally gone.

After this restart, I went to the Windows Store, and checked all of my previously installed apps. And I found something very interesting.

Microsoft apps? Where are they?

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I found out that a bunch of (preinstalled) Microsoft apps were not listed in the “my apps”-list:

  • SkyDrive
  • Music
  • Video
  • Photo
  • Camera
  • News
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Travel
  • Reader

No matter how often I refreshed the listed or sorted it in another way, they were not there. This lead me to do a search for all apps by “Microsoft Corporation”. With the search results, the confusion turns perfect:

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As you can see on the screenshot above, there are two entries for each of the Video, Camera, Photo and Reader app. If you click on them, they are both absolutely identical from description, screenshots etc.

So I installed all apps I used before, expect those with double entries in search. Still no update count. Ok, done until here.

Now I installed one by one the doubled apps, as I use them also frequently. I sorted the list to show me newest entries first, so I installed the second version of every app:

  • installed Camera, checked update – no count
  • installed Video, checked update – no count
  • installed Photo, checked update – no count
  • installed Reader, checked update – no count

Next step was – a restart (sometimes the store does update only after a restart, don´t know why). After that restart, there was no update shown anymore.

I don´t know which of those apps exactly caused the “ghost updates”, but that´s the solution.

Of course you do not have to do all steps like I did. Here is the short version:

  • On Start screen, select all Metro apps (easier with zoomed out view)
  • once they are all selected, click on uninstall
  • do a restart, as this deletes some temp data
  • after the restart, start the Windows Store and go to “your apps” (right click or swipe from top on Store´s starting page)
  • select all apps you want to install and install them again

After that, the count is to zero, and you have all your apps again. Even the position of the tiles will be like before, so there is no way to be afraid of a lot of work afterwards. What you have to do after:

  • sync contacts again
  • log in to your apps that need a login
  • connect your mailboxes to the Mail app

You will find a few threads on Microsoft Answers also, but the suggested things like refresh your PC does not work for this problem. And if you have VS 2010 and VS 2012 installed or the Office 2013 preview, you will have to install them all over again after the refresh has finished.

So I think my solution will take you far less time, and you will get rid of the annoying “ghost“ updates.

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