Microsoft is now giving testers access to a new Xbox app for Windows that dramatically improves the process of installing games from the Windows Store. As we reported earlier this month, the updated app will allow PC gamers to install the title into any folder they choose with full access to the game’s files. an option that helps solve many problems installing titles from Xbox Game Pass for PC, and it also means you can back up and restore your game files if needed.
Windows 10 and Windows 11 users can try out the new Xbox app from the Xbox Insider Hub app in the store. To get the updated Xbox app, you’ll need to join the “Windows Gaming” preview of the Xbox Insider Hub app. Microsoft lists a number of known issues with this initial release. This includes issues launching some games on external drives and many games that are not yet supported. I’m also unable to add games downloaded from the Windows Store to Steam, as a permission issue seems to be preventing it.
Previously, Microsoft forced games to install in the WindowsApps folder in the root of the drive, locking down files so they couldn’t be changed or moved at will. The updated Xbox app now lets you choose your save location. If you have existing games installed, you can move them to your secondary drive. I tested the app and successfully moved Forza Horizon 5, Gears 5, and Microsoft Flight Simulator to the secondary drive. I now have full access to those files and folders as well.
Since the Xbox app is still in preview, this is a bug and may be fixed before general availability. Anyway, after years of problems and bugs for PC users, installing games from the Windows Store finally feels like Steam. If you’ve avoided Xbox Game Pass for PC because of the Windows Store, this new Xbox app should remove some of the headaches that come with it.
Summary of news:
- Microsoft’s new Xbox app for Windows finally eliminates game installation issues
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