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Configuring Single Application Mode

By default, the Microsoft Surface software uses Launcher and access points to enable users to open and navigate between multiple Surface applications. However, in some situations, you might want to deploy only one application to a device made for Surface. In this scenario, the device made for Surface acts like a single-purpose system and the Launcher menu and access points are unnecessary.

To achieve this scenario, you can enable single-application mode so that only one specified application runs on a device made for Surface. In single-application mode, the specified application starts immediately and the Launcher menu and access points are disabled, enabling the specified application to be the complete user experience.

You can use any Surface application as the specified application for single-application mode. Special registry settings help distinguish single-application mode from the default Surface user experience.

The XML registration file for an application in single-application mode is the same as the typical XML registration file.

Configuring Single-Application Mode using the Surface Configuration Editor

On a device made for Surface, you can use the Surface Configuration Editor to enable single-application mode.

To configure Single-Application Mode using the Surface Configuration Editor

  1. Register the application that you want to run as the only application on the device made for Surface. For more information, see Registering Standard Applications.

  2. In Windows Mode, double-click the Surface Configuration Editor desktop icon.

    Alternatively, you can click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Surface 2.0, and then click Surface Configuration Editor.

  3. If this is the first time you have opened the Surface Configuration Editor, in the Feedback Options page, select one of the options under Windows Error Reporting and Surface Customer Experience Improvement Program.

  4. Under Surface Shell Settings, click Single-Application Mode.

  5. In the Single-Application Mode page, under Turn on single-application mode, select Yes.

  6. Under Choose the application, select one of the applications from the list.

  7. Click OK.

Configuring Single-Application Mode Manually

To run a device made for Surface and a specified application in single-application mode, you must set the appropriate registry keys and then restart the device made for Surface. The following table shows the registry keys and subkeys that you must use to configure single-application mode. All of these keys are located under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Surface\v2.0\Global subtree.


Registry entry Location Description Valid values Default value



The orientation of the application that runs in single-application mode.

"Bottom" or "Top"




The overall setting for single-application mode.

0 (disabled) or 1 (enabled)




The name of the application that runs in single-application mode.

The file name of the application's XML file, without the file name extension.




The number of times that the device made for Surface will restart the application before the device becomes out-of-order.


If this entry is 0, the application will never restart. If this entry is MAX_DWORD, the application will always restart.

2 (The application will restart two times.)



The time period, in seconds, in which the number of restarts is counted.

1–MAX_DWORD (in seconds)




The amount of time, in seconds, that the application has to load before the loading screen times out.

1–60 seconds (in seconds)


See Also

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