Run Windows Store apps in the simulator

Applies to Windows only

The Visual Studio simulator for Windows Store apps is a desktop application that simulates a Windows Store app. It lets a developer on a single machine run applications and simulate common touch and rotation events. You can also choose the physical screen size and resolution that you want to emulate, simulate the geo-location co-ordinates of user input events, and simulate network connection properties.

Applies to Windows Phone only

See Run Windows Phone apps in the emulator for Windows Phone information.

Together with Visual Studio, the simulator provides an environment in which you can design, develop, debug, and test Windows Store apps. However, before you publish your app to the Windows Store, you should test your app on an actual device.

Caution note Caution

The Visual Studio simulator for Windows Store apps does not run in an isolated environment on your local machine. Therefore, errors that occur in the simulator, such as a non-recoverable system-wide error, can also affect the entire machine.

To run your Windows Store app in the simulator, select Simulator from the drop-down list next to the Start Debugging button on the debugger Standard toolbar.

Running in the Simulator

Mouse mode button Mouse mode

Sets the interaction mode to mouse gestures. Mouse gestures include clicks, double-clicks, and drags.

Start touch emulation button Start touch emulation

Sets the interaction mode to touch gestures of a single finger. Single-finger events include tapping, dragging, and swiping.

Simulator one finger target

The single target icon indicates the location of events in the simulator. Use the mouse to position the pointer.

One finger touch target

Press the left mouse button to activate the touch mode. For example, click the button to simulate a tap, or press and hold the button as you drag or swipe.

Pinch / zoom button Touch emulation pinch/zoom.

Sets the interaction mode to pinch and zoom gestures of two fingers.

Siimulator two finger target

The double target icon indicates the location of two fingers on the device screen.

  1. Move the mouse to position the icons over the object on the device screen.

  2. Rotate the mouse wheel backward or forward to change the simulated distance of the two fingers before you pinch or zoom.

Pinch, zoom, and rotate targets

  1. Press the left button and rotate the wheel backward (towards you) to zoom in (pinch).

  2. Press the left button and rotate the mouse wheel forward (away from you) to zoom out (zoom).

Rotate object button Touch emulation rotate

Sets the interaction mode to rotation gestures of two fingers.

Siimulator two finger target

The double target icon indicates the location of two fingers on the device screen.

  • Move the mouse to position the icons over the object on the device screen.

  • Rotate the mouse wheel backward or forward to change the simulated orientation of the two fingers before you rotate the object.

Pinch, zoom, and rotate targets

  • Press the left button and rotate the wheel backward (towards you) to rotate the object counter-clockwise. As you rotate the mouse wheel, one of the two target icons rotates around the other to indicate the relative size of the rotation.

  • Press the left button and rotate the mouse wheel forward (away from you) to rotate the object clockwise.

The following buttons generate single actions that are independent of the interaction mode.

You can set the simulator window to always be on top of other windows.

Toggle Topmost Window

Toggle Topmost Window

Enables or disables Always on top mode of the simulator window.

You can switch the device orientation between portrait and landscape by rotating the simulator 90 degrees in any direction.

Note Note

The simulator does not respect DisplayProperties.AutoRotationPreferences property of a project. For example, if your project sets the orientation to Landscape, and you then rotate the simulator to a portrait orientation, the simulator display image will also be rotated and resized. Test these settings on an actual device.

Rotate right button

Rotate Simulator clockwise 90 degrees

Rotates the simulator clockwise by 90 degrees.

Rotate left button

Rotate Simulator counter-clockwise 90 degrees

Rotates the simulator counter-clockwise by 90 degrees.

Note Note

If you rotate the simulator so that one edge of the simulator is larger than the screen it is displayed on, the simulator is automatically resized to fit within the screen. The simulator is not resized to its original size if you rotate it again.

To change the simulated screen size and resolution, choose the Change Resolution button on the palette and choose a new size and resolution from the list.

Change resolution list

The screen size and resolution are listed as Screen width inches, pixel width X pixel height. Note that both the screen size and the resolution are simulated. Location co-ordinates on the simulator are translated to the co-ordinates of the selected device size and resolution.

Note Note

You can save scaled versions of bitmap images in your app and Windows will load the correct image for the current scale. See Guidelines for scaling to pixel density. However, if you change the simulator resolution so that Windows picks a different image to fit the resolution, you have to stop and restart your debug session to view the new image.

To test location-aware apps, use the Set Location dialog box.

  1. Simulator set location Choose the Set Location button.

    • If you need to fulfill requirements, the Set Location dialog box appears.

      Set location requirements dialog box

      Unfulfilled requirements in the list are marked with a red circle containing an 'X.'

      • If the requirement does not ask you to contact your system administrator, choose Configure to automatically correct the issue.

      • Otherwise, contact your system administrator to correct the issue.

    Simulator Set Location dialog box

  2. On the Set Location dialog box, set the Latitude and Longitude values in decimal degrees.

  3. Set the Altitude value to indicate the height of the position, specified in meters above or below the position. Use negative values to specify altitude that is below the position.

  4. Set the Error Radius value to indicate the accuracy level of the latitude and longitude coordinates, specified in meters.

When you submit an app to the Windows Store, you must include screenshots of the app.

Note Note

The screenshot is saved at the current resolution of the simulator. To change the resolution, choose the Change Resolution button.

Simulator capture screen shot

To create screenshots of your app from the simulator, choose the Capture screenshot to clipboard button.

Screenshot settings

To set the location where screenshot are located, choose the Screenshot settings button and choose the location from the shortcut menu.

Screenshot settings context menu

You can help your app’s users manage the cost of metered network connections by maintaining awareness of network connection cost or data plan status changes and enabling your app to use this information to avoid incurring additional costs for roaming or exceeding a specified data transfer limit. The Windows.Networking.Connectivity APIs lets you respond to NetworkStatusChanged and SystemTrigger.TriggerType events that sign. See Quickstart: Managing metered network cost constraints.

To debug or test your network cost-aware code, the simulator can mimic properties of a network that are exposed through the ConnectionProfile object returned by GetInternetConnectionProfile.

To simulate network properties:

  1. Set Network Properties button On the simulator toolbar, choose Change network properties

    Set Network Properties dialog box
  2. On the Set Network Properties dialog box, select Use simulated network properties

    Note Note

    Clear the check box to remove the simulation and return to the network properties of the currently connected interface.

  3. Enter a Profile Name for the simulated network. We recommend using a unique name that you can use to identify the simulation in the ProfileName property of the ConnectionProfile object.

  4. Select the NetworkCostType value for the profile from the Network Cost Type list.

  5. From the Data Limit Status Flag list, you can set the ApproachingDataLimit or the OverDataLimit property to true, or you can choose Under Data Limit to set both values to false.

  6. From the Roaming State list, set the Roaming property.

  7. Choose Set Properties to simulate the network properties by triggering a foreground NetworkStatusChanged event and a background SystemTrigger of type NetworkStateChange.

More information about managing network connections

Managing Network Data Usage

Quickstart: Managing metered network cost constraints

Network information sample

Analyze energy use in Store apps

Windows.Networking.Connectivity

How to respond to system events with background tasks

How to trigger suspend, resume, and background events in Windows Store apps

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow to switch focus from the simulator window to the simulator toolbar.

  2. Use the Up Arrow and the Down Arrow to move between toolbar buttons.

Press Ctrl+Alt+F4.

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