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Windows 10: What Is An App?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Windows 10

Gerald has a Windows 10 question:  He writes: “What exactly is an app? In Windows 10, there is a section for All Apps, which includes what I would call Programs. Would I one lose all of those during a reset?”

App is an abbreviation for Application. An application is a program. A program is an application. They are the same thing.

You’ll find the All Apps option in the Start Menu of Windows 10.


It’s a quick way to get a look at everything that’s installed on your PC. Apps are listed in alphabetical order.


There are two kinds of apps.  Apps and Desktop Apps. Desktop Apps are programs that only run on a PC with full Windows 10 that has enough computing power to support them. That includes a lot of business software and program like Photoshop or Adobe Premiere.


Other apps will run across multiple platforms. On your Windows 10 PC, on a Windows tablet, on a Windows phone, or even on the new Xbox One.

When you refresh your PC, you put it back to the way Windows 10 would come install on a computer. You would lose all the apps on the PC with the exception of those that come included with Windows. Those pre-installed apps include Microsoft Paint, your Photo App, Groove Music, WordPad, NotePad, Windows Media Player and more.


Any apps that you purchased or downloaded from the Windows Store could be immediately re-downloaded. Once you’ve logged in to your Microsoft Account, it will recognize that these apps have been purchased and you can immediately download them again.


Any other programs will need to be reinstalled from a disc or re-downloaded from the site where you purchased them. (Make sure you check that you have the discs for apps you wish to keep before refreshing your PC. Also make sure you have the product keys to reactivate these programs as well.)

~ Cynthia


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One Response to “Windows 10: What Is An App?”

  1. Gary - WB8MWR says:

    Seems to me that you’ve said several times that upgrading to Win 10 would result in no program losses!
    I don’t have the satellite bandwidth to re-download everything you say I will need.

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