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How to register your phone for development for Windows Phone 8

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

This topic describes how to register or unregister a phone.

It’s important to test your apps on a real phone. Before you can deploy apps to your Windows Phone, you have to register the phone for development. After you register your Windows Phone 8 phone, you can install, run, and debug apps that target Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone OS 7.1 on the phone.

This topic contains the following sections.


To register your phone, you have to have the following prerequisites:


More info

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 

Get the SDK

The Windows Phone Developer Registration tool is a stand-alone tool that’s installed as part of the Windows Phone SDK.

If your computer doesn’t support the Windows Phone SDK 8.0, you can still register a Windows Phone OS 7.1 phone and develop apps that target Windows Phone OS 7.1 by using the Windows Phone SDK 7.1. All supported versions of the SDK are available from the same web page.

A Windows Phone with Windows Phone OS 8.0 or Windows Phone OS 7.1 

Not applicable.

A Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID)

How do I sign up for a Microsoft account?

Optionally, a valid and current developer account on Windows Phone Dev Center 


If you have a developer account, you can register three devices to use for app development, and you can publish apps in the Windows Phone Store.

If you don’t have a developer account, you can only register one device to use for app development. Before you can publish apps in the Windows Phone Store, you have to register.

A unique name for each device that you want to register

If you try to register a device and get the error message, The device name is already in use by this account, you have to rename the device with a unique name.

  • You can rename a Windows Phone 8 device in File Explorer.

  • You can rename a Windows Phone OS 7.1 device in the Zune software.

To register a phone running Windows Phone OS 7.1, you also have to have the Zune software.

Download the Zune software

To register a phone, use the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool. This is a stand-alone tool that’s installed as part of the Windows Phone SDK.

To register your phone by using the Windows Phone Developer Registration Tool

  1. Turn on your phone and unlock the phone screen.

  2. On your phone, ensure that the date and time are correct.

  3. Connect your phone to your computer by using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  4. On your computer’s Start screen, switch to All apps view.

  5. Under Windows Phone SDK 8.0, click Windows Phone Developer Registration. The app starts, as shown in the following image.

  6. Verify that the Status message displays Identified Windows Phone 8 device. Click the Register button to unlock the phone.

    If your phone is already registered, the Status message indicates this and you see an Unregister button.

  7. Click Register.

  8. In the Sign In dialog box for your Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID), enter the email address and password for your Microsoft account. Click Sign In.

    If you’re a registered developer, be sure to use the Microsoft account associated with your developer account.

  9. After your phone is successfully registered, the Status message displays Congratulations! You have successfully unlocked your Windows Phone.

Your phone is now registered. You can now deploy apps to the phone.

If you have trouble registering your phone, check the following requirements.

  • Is the phone connected to the computer with the USB cable and recognized by the computer?

    • If you’ve connected a Windows Phone 8 phone, make sure it’s listed as a drive in File Explorer.

    • If you’ve connected a Windows Phone OS 7.1 phone, make sure it’s recognized by the Zune software.

  • Is the phone turned on and the screen unlocked? If you have to retry registration, be sure to turn the phone on again and unlock the screen.

  • Are the date and time set correctly on the phone? In SETTINGS | date + time, turn off the Set automatically setting and then retry registration. After registration succeeds, turn this setting on again.

  • Are both the computer and the phone connected to the Internet? On your computer, make sure that your web browser does not have Work offline enabled. Also, you cannot connect through a proxy server that redirects to a login page; for example, in a hotel or an airport.

  • Is your Microsoft account information correct and valid? If you use more than one Microsoft account, make sure that you have signed out of the other accounts and then retry registration.

  • Is your Windows Phone Dev Center account active and valid? To check your account status, in your web browser, browse to the Account page.

  • Is the IpOverUsb service (Windows Phone IP over USB Transport) running on the computer? If you still have a problem, consider restarting the service.

For more info about running apps on a registered phone, see How to deploy and run an app for Windows Phone 8.

To register a phone, you can also use the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool. You can also unregister a phone on Windows Phone Dev Center, even if you no longer have the registered phone.


After you unregister a phone, apps that you deployed no longer run because the app licenses are no longer valid.

To unregister your phone by using the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool

  1. Connect your registered phone and run the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool as described in this topic.

  2. Click Unregister in the tool.

To unregister your phone on Windows Phone Dev Center 

  1. In your web browser, browse to the Devices page for your Dev Center account.

  2. Click the Remove link next to the phone that you want to unregister.

Get started developing for Windows Phone.

Write your first app

Walk through the steps to create a simple web browser as your first Windows Phone app.

How to create your first app for Windows Phone 8

Learn more from online courses

Watch videos and follow demos to learn the features that interest you.

Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners in 35 parts

Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start in 21 parts

Take another look at the Getting Started checklist

Know what you can do with the SDK and find guidance for building great apps.

Getting started with developing for Windows Phone 8

Pick your next step

Review this list of suggestions about other tasks in the app development cycle and about other features of the Windows Phone platform that you can build into your next app.

What's next for Windows Phone 8 development

To find answers and solve problems as you work with the tools in Windows Phone SDK 8.0, visit the Tools for Windows Phone Development forum. To see all the forums for Windows Phone development, visit Windows Phone Development Forums. To review other support options, visit MSDN Troubleshooting and Support.