Although it does not need to be done often there could be any number of reasons that you would need to reset your Windows Phone handset.  Or maybe you have purchased a new Windows Phone handset like the Nokia Lumia 900 or the HTC Titan II that are due out on 08 April 2012.

Both situations mean you need to reinstall your apps back to the handset and luckily there are a couple of very solid methods for doing this easily.

The first method I want to show you is built into the Windows Phone Marketplace and your account there. 

What you need to do is visit the marketplace website and sign in to your Windows Live ID, soon to be known as your Microsoft Account, and then go to your account page.

As you can see below this page gives you details about your account including a list of apps you have installed on your handset.  This list consists of apps that were both free and purchased.  This is a complete list of your entire installation history since you set this account up with the indicated handset so that means some of these apps may already be removed from your phone.  You can just skip reinstalling those apps. 


To begin the reinstallation process just click on the app you want to send to your phone to get the install screen:


Select the checkbox to acknowledge any location or other notification about the app and then click the Reinstall link.  This will start the process of sending the app to your Windows Phone.  Now go back the installed app list and find the next app you want back on your phone and repeat the process.

The second option when it comes to reinstalling your Windows Phone apps is to use an app built for the process.  The one app I have found to do this is called Reinstaller and is very popular and highly rated in the marketplace (553 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars).  This app also connects to your Windows Phone Marketplace account and downloads your app installation history to the phone for easy access.

Here is how the process works:

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This is the main page of the app. Tap Connect to provide your Windows Live ID/Microsoft Account credentials.
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This is the Connect page and after entering your login credentials it shows you the Windows Phone Marketplace account summary. Tap Next to start the scanning process.
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This part of the process scans your purchase/installation history and brings the data to the phone. Tap the Install button that appears once the scan is complete.
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On this page select the apps you want to reinstall.  The buttons at the bottom allow you to select all, uncheck all and install the selected items.
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This is the page you get once you tap install. This app uses the phone marketplace interface to reinstall the apps.  Once the app is installed you must tap the back key on the phone to return to the next item for installation.  Keep repeating this process until all of your desired apps are reinstalled on the phone.

There are some limitations with the app according to the developer and things it does not do that you need to be aware of:

  • Restore saved app data and game stats
  • Access any other information apart from the list of apps
  • Access, collect or send any personally identifiable information to anyone
  • Keep you logged on to after the app has exited
  • Transfer apps/games purchases to another Live account

Do I have a preference for either method? No.  Each have their pros and cons but both ultimately get the job done in making it easy to get your phone back online with your installed apps.

Are you aware of any other methods to do this? Please let us know about them in the comments below.