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Overview of the Windows SDK

This document describes installation and version support for the Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 8 (Windows SDK), which contains tools and APIs that you can use to create applications for the Windows operating system.

You can use the Windows SDK to create applications that target the following software and hardware. Not all operating systems support all platform architectures.

You can only target the x64 architecture on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.

The ARM architecture is supported only for Windows Store app development.

Operating systems

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012.

Versions of the .NET Framework

.NET Framework 4.5.

Platform architectures

x86, x64, and ARM

The Windows SDK requires the following software and hardware on the computer:

  • One of the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012

  • To install the .NET Framework 4.5 Software Development Kit feature, you must install the .NET Framework 4.5 redistributable package before you install the Windows SDK. You can download the redistributable package from Microsoft Download Center.

  • 10 megabytes (MB) to 1 gigabyte (GB) hard disk space for installation, depending on the features that you want.

You can install the Windows SDK from the Windows 8 Software Development Kit page. To minimize the chance of setup errors, we recommend that you install the latest updates from Microsoft Update before you install the Windows SDK.

During installation, you can install the Windows SDK locally, download a copy of the Windows SDK for offline installation later, or install on another computer.

If you experience a problem with the Windows SDK installation, you might be able to repair it.

To repair a Windows SDK installation

  1. In Control Panel, choose the Programs section, and then choose the Programs and Features entry.

  2. In the list of installed programs, choose Windows Software Development Kit.

  3. Choose Change.

  4. In the Setup wizard, choose the Repair option.

To uninstall the Windows SDK

  1. In Control Panel, choose the Programs section, and then choose the Programs and Features entry.

  2. In the list of installed programs, choose Windows Software Development Kit.

  3. Choose Uninstall.

Use the same steps to uninstall shared components such as the following ones.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 SDK

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 Multi-Targeting Pack

Caution noteCaution

If you uninstall components that other applications use, they will be adversely affected. For example, Visual Studio 2012 also uses the .NET Framework 4.5 SDK.

By default, the Windows SDK is installed in Program Files\Windows Kits\8.0\ or Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\, with the exception of the .NET Framework 4.5 tools. The following table shows the contents of the subfolders in the installation.

Folder

Contents

\Bin\

Windows SDK tools

\DesignTime\

MSBuild properties files for using the Windows SDK with MSBuild

\Include\

Windows SDK headers

\Lib\

Import libraries and type library (TLB) files

\Redist\

Redistributable files

\References\

Windows Metadata files for Windows Store apps.

\Remote\

Components for use with remote debugging

Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v8.0A\Bin\NETFX 4.0 Tools\

The .NET Framework 4.5 tools

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