How Microsoft is dealing with fake apps in the Windows Store

Microsoft Windows Store on Surface Pro 3

The days of misleading and scam apps in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store seem to be numbered. After years of Microsoft approving pretty much every app submission to the Store, just to play catch up with Apple and Android, the software giant is finally stepping up acknowledging that there is a problem. And it’s now quickly working to clean up from the desktop and mobile store from those confusing copycats, scams, and low-quality apps.

In a new article at the Building Apps for Windows blog, the company says that they heard the customers complaints on some of the apps that are not what they claim to be and the inconsistency on search that bumped unofficial apps to the top of search results, making it hard to find the right app.

“We took the feedback seriously and modified the Windows Store app certification requirements as a first step toward better ensuring that apps are named and described in a way that doesn’t misrepresent their purpose.” The company states.

The new policies in place are being applied to both the Windows and Phone Store for new app submissions, but the software maker is also applying the same policies on existing apps inside the catalog.

The company reports that it is contacting developers on questionable apps to make the necessary changes and those who didn’t complied have been removed from the store. Thus far Microsoft has removed over 1,500 apps as part of the new cleaning program and it will be refunding every person affected. Though a procedure on how to get your money back is nowhere to be found.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft to remove low-quality apps from the Windows Store to improve experience

Microsoft also says that they are always trying to deliver the best experience in the store, however “from time-to-time this process slips out of sync and we need to recalibrate.” The company notes.

There is a serious problem in the Windows app store. Many of the fake apps deliberately use legit titles, trademark icons, and description for the sole purpose of taking your money and personal information and run away. Even worse Microsoft indirectly has been part of this problem as it has been taking a cut from paid fakes apps for a long time (Though the company said it will be refunding everyone affected) and it also helped to grow the number of apps when it needed the most. Hopefully the new tougher policies will help to see less junk apps and perhaps users will finally find the correct app and no 20 different Facebook or 1000 Twitter apps.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and