How In-App Purchases Work in Windows Store Apps



We have received a fair number of support emails and store reviews regarding “lost purchases”.  We thought it would be beneficial to make a blog post to better inform our customers about the issue, as well as to point out possible solutions.


Who Handles Application Transactions?


When an In-App purchase is made in a Windows Store Application, control of the interaction is passed to the Windows Store through built in APIs supplied by the operating system. Microsoft handles all aspects of the transaction process. This is done to keep your personal information safe and secure. Developers only receive the following information, the total number of downloads, number of specific IAPs Acquisitions, and the estimated revenue from these transactions.


So this insures the developer / user relationship is anonymous. That is of course unless a customer reaches out for support, via email. Even then, all the developer only has an email address. So it is impossible for a developer to validate, restore, and/or refund lost purchases.


Microsoft is paid for this service. Microsoft receives a 30% cut of app revenues to handle all aspects of software delivery, handling purchase transactions, tracking licenses across devices, and delivering a digital store front.


What Causes a “loss” of a Purchase?


All an app can do is ask questions of the Windows Store, to determine if the current user has made a specific purchase. For durable purchases, apps have to make this query at startup and “unlock” the appropriate features if the OS has indicated they are purchased.


There are some circumstances under which the Store reports the wrong information and purchases can appear to be lost. This is primarily caused by the App Stores local records getting out of sync with the user’s Microsoft cloud account. There is nothing an app or its developers can do about this. The only real solution is continued improvements on the Store from Microsoft, which they are undoubtedly pursuing.


Here is a link to Microsoft’s Community and MSDN forums where can talk directly to them.

Previously-purchased durable IAPs not being recognized



Help Us Fix this Issue

If you care to be proactive, and MS has suggested that when you encounter a loss of purchases that there is some info that would be most useful to them. The two bits of information they requested are your Microsoft ID you have registered with the store, and a log file.  They can then correlate what is in their store cloud and what your local machine is reporting. Details follow on how to generate such files. Yes, it would be nice if we did not have to be a middleman in collecting such details, but we are   happy to assist in any way we can.


How to get your WSCollect logs?

1.     Open Sketchable

2.     Launch the In App Purchase Popup. When this dialog is being displayed press…

3.     Press Win+R

4.     then type WSCollect into the prompt.

5.     This will create a dump file on your desktop. It will be called something like Store_logs

6.     Please compress and email us this file to our support email account.


Your help is much appreciated.


How to Recover you IAPs


Here are several possible solutions to this issue.


Simulate an In App Purchase

1. Press the in app purchase button.

2.  When given the choice to repurchase or cancel choose CANCEL.

3. This should display a message similar to “you already own this item” message).

4. Check to see if this fixed the issue.


Update Windows

1.     Launch the Settings App

2.     Select Update & Security

3.     Press the Check for Updates button.

4.     Install any outstanding updates and restart you machine

5.     Repeat this process until the message “Your computer is Up to date is displayed.


Wait 7 Days

1.     The system will auto correct on the first launch of the app 7 days after the problem appeared for the user.



1.    Try a simple restart of Windows first. Go to “Start” > “Power” > “Restart“.

Try logging into your Microsoft account again

1.    Open the “Store” app, then right-click or tap and hold anywhere on the screen.

2.    Select the “Your Account” option.

3.    Select “Change user“.

4.    Type your Microsoft account credentials, then select “Save“.

Reset the Store Cache

1.    Select Start.

2.    Search “wsreset“.

3.    Run the “wsreset” command.

4.    The Store app will then open where you can see if you can download your apps again.


Fix problems with Windows Update

1.    Select Start, type “troubleshooting“.

2.    Select the “Troubleshooting” option.

3.    Select the “Fix problems with Windows Update” option in the “System and Security” section.

4.    Select “Next” and follow the rest of the wizard.


Reset Windows Update

1.    Select “Start“, type “services“, then select the “View local services” option.

2.    Select the “Windows Update” service, then select “Stop” to stop the service.

3.    Navigate to “C:\Windows“.

4.    Rename the “SoftwareDistribution” folder to “SoftwareDistribution.0“.

5.    Go back to the “Services” screen and start the “Windows Update” service again.

6.      Attempt to download your apps.



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