Overview of publishing an app to the Windows Store
Publishing your app to the Windows Store puts your work in front of millions of potential customers, in hundreds of markets around the world. Here, we walk through the steps you'll follow to get your app into the Store, from signing up through launch.
The exact steps you follow will vary depending on how you've configured your business operations and what types of apps you want to develop. See Account types, locations, and fees for more information about the difference between individual and company accounts.
Note The process is a bit different for an enterprise developer creating line-of-business apps, or a developer working directly with an OEM. See Deploying enterprise apps and Working with OEMs for more info.
Take a few moments to look over our App Developer Agreement and App certification requirements for the Windows Store. These documents define the relationship between you and Microsoft, and the criteria your app needs to meet to be eligible for listing in the Store. You might even want to look at how to avoid some of the common certification failures; this info can help you get your app through the certification process as quickly as possible.
If you haven't already done so, sign in with your Microsoft account and open a Windows Store developer account. You'll need a credit card as well as a Microsoft account (you can get one during the sign up process if you don't have one already). Registration takes only a few minutes, although we'll need to verify your account before you can submit an app to the Windows Store.
You can choose and reserve your app name whether you have an existing app that you think is ready to go or you haven’t written a single line of code. Don’t forget to make sure that your app name is unique, and to consider how to name your app in foreign languages if you want to sell your app internationally.
You must give your app an age rating when you submit it to the Windows Store. You might also need to create a GDF file and upload a ratings certificate from one of the supported rating boards. Be sure to think through not just the intended use for your app but also your app’s capabilities in general. For example, apps that allow unrestricted access to the Internet or that use hardware features like webcams and microphones generally need to be rated for ages 12 and older, even if their content is appropriate for a younger audience.
Next, choose a business model. The Windows Store supports free apps as well as a variety of price tiers, and you can use several business models including trial versions, ad-supported apps, in-app purchases, or even a third-party commerce system. You can use the many Windows Store reports to track your app’s sales and performance, and make changes to your business model over time.
The Windows Store supports a large number of languages, countries, and regions, offering your app an unprecedented global reach. Take a look at which markets and languages the Windows Store supports, and choose the ones that make the most sense for you and your app. Be sure to check out our guidelines for globalizing your app.
Your app’s description is one of your best opportunities to encourage users to download your app. We offer some guidance to help you create compelling descriptions. If you’re selling your app internationally, remember that you’ll have to translate your description into the different languages your app supports. Also, don’t forget to inform potential customers of functions that your app supports but that aren’t immediately obvious—for example, in-app purchases.
When you think your app is ready for the Windows Store, download our Windows App Certification Kit. You can use this kit to test your app and identify any potential problems with your app before you submit it to the Windows Store.
Once your developer account is in place, you’ve reserved your app name, and the app has passed the tests in the Windows App Certification Kit, you're ready to submit your app to the Windows Store! Review our app submission checklist, which describes the different stages of our certification process. Also keep an eye on your Windows Store Dashboard, so you can track the status of your app during certification. And if your app fails certification the first time? Don't worry—we have resources that can help you identify and fix the problem as quickly as possible.