Running Windows Store apps on the local machine

To debug, test, or run performance analysis on a Windows Store app, you can run the app on the same machine that hosts Visual Studio. Because Windows Store apps run in a full screen window, using a dual-monitor display is the most efficient way to run your application locally. If the display on the device is touch-enabled, you can exercise the full functionality of the app; otherwise, you will be limited to mouse and keyboard gestures.

Tip Tip

How to set up a dual monitor display on a remote machine

If the Visual Studio machine is on a virtual machine or remote device, you can specify that the remote desktop connection use two monitors. Open Remote Desktop Connection, click Options, click the Display tab, and then check Use all my monitors for the remote session.

Remote Desktop Connection multi-monitor checkbox

To run the app on the local machine, select Local Machine from the drop-down list next to the Start Debugging button on the debugger Standard toolbar.

Run on Local Machine

If you can't see the Standard toolbar, click the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Standard.

The choice you make in the drop-down list is persisted in the project properties file and becomes the default run target.

You can also set the run target directly in the project properties file. Right-click the project name in Solution Explorer and then choose Properties. Then do one of the following:

  • In C# and Visual Basic projects, click Debug and then select Local Machine from the Target Device drop-down list.

    C# and Visual Basic project property page
  • In C++ and JavaScript projects, expand the Configuration Properties node, click Debugging, and then select Local Debugger from the Debugger to launch list.

    C++ and JavaScript project properties page

To switch from a running instance of a Windows Store app to Visual Studio

When you run a Windows Store app on a local machine and use only a single monitor, you might want to switch back to Visual Studio while leaving the app running. For example, the app might be in a state that cannot be reached by a breakpoint, such as waiting for an event or trapped in a long or endless loop. To return to Visual Studio, press ALT + TAB.