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How to stop and restart an app in Windows Phone Emulator

October 26, 2012

Applies to: Windows Phone 8 | Windows Phone OS 7.1

You can stop and restart apps in Windows Phone Emulator without closing the emulator window. This enables you to deploy apps more quickly, to access the Start screen, and to test how well your app maintains its state when deactivated.

You should always test your app going in and out of the dormant or tombstoned states. For additional information, see App activation and deactivation for Windows Phone.

To stop an app

  • To stop an app running in the emulator, do one of the following:

    • In the emulator, click the Back button.

      If the active page of the app was not the app’s start page, you may have to click the Back button more than once to exit the app.

    • In Visual Studio, on the Debug menu, click Stop Debugging or press Shift+F5.

    The app exits and the Start screen opens in the emulator. This cancels the current debugging session but leaves the emulator open for faster app deployment.

To deactivate an app

  1. In Visual Studio, right-click the project in Solution Explorer and select Properties to open the Project Designer.

  2. On the Debug page, leave the Tombstone upon deactivation while debugging check box unchecked if you want the app to go into a dormant state when deactivated. Check the check box if you want the app to be tombstoned when deactivated.

  3. On the Debug menu, click Start Debugging or press F5 to run the app in the emulator.

  4. In the emulator, click the Start button.

    The Start screen appears and the app is deactivated. The app will either go into a dormant state or be tombstoned, depending on the Tombstone upon deactivation while debugging check box setting.

To reactivate a dormant or tombstoned app

  • In the emulator, click the Back button.

    If you navigated to other pages or opened another app, you may have to click the Back button more than once to reactivate the app. The debugging session should resume. If the debugger has detached from the app, you may need to press F5 for it to resume. For additional information about debugging and reactivation, see How to test app state changes for Windows Phone.

To restart an app in the emulator

  1. On the Start screen, click the app list arrow.

  2. In the app list, click the app icon.

    The app restarts without debugging.

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