With abundance of homebrew apps available to sideload on Windows Phone, unfortunately, there is no straightforward method to update the XAP files. Default WP marketplace will let you update the app whenever the new version is available. Even you can force update your app if update doesn’t show in your region. In every possibility, users would want to update the app install the fresh version to retain all the settings.
Imagine yourself updating all the relevant data whenever new version in the marketplace. It will be too much of a mess to re-enter all the necessary information like username, password or it would be impractical approach to loose all the data. Due to certain restriction, so far, users of custom ROM or WP7 Root Tools had to cope up with such trouble.
A recognized XDA forum developer GoodDayToDie has released XapHandler app which will give you a freedom to force update XAP app without any hiccup. Alternatively, you could also chose to install a fresh copy of the app/game. In short, XapHandler is a XAP management app for fully unlocked or WP7 Root Tools users. Normal users do not need to go in depth since this will not work on your device.
Usually, Windows Phone IE browser does not allow to install Xap file from browser or email. However, custom ROM like Deepshining supported installation via IE from the initial days itself. Even newly launch WP7 Root Tools gave more freedom to developers to mark their app as a trusted one, giving them a full root permission.
Attached Xap file can now be installed from IE browser or Email. The app will now enable to IE to understand .xap extension and it will automatically redirect to install the app on your device. Stock ROM users would need to run WP7 Root tools and give an exclusive permission to XAP Handler to do this.
- Install XapHandler
- Run WP7 Root Tools
- Pivot to policies, ands et XapHandler as trusted (stock ROMs only)
- Run XapHandler
- When prompted to set file association, hit OK
- Exit XapHandler
- Open XAP file from email, IE
- Check out the data about the app given in XapHandler
- Decide whether you want to make a clean install or update the XAP
- Wait for success message
It will make all the necessary changes to the registry in order to achieve this operation. In case if you fall in trouble, there is a detailed tutorial on how to restore the registry here. The homebrew community is going stronger and stronger each day. Soon, we might be able to get more application management tool.
There is also a TOM XAP installer tool available which will let you install multiple XAPs from your PC. But, it is not an efficient way to handle Xap files.It is an option for chevronWP7 unlocked users.