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Using the Windows App Certification Kit

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

Applies to Windows and Windows Phone

To give your app the best chance of being published on the Windows Store, or becoming Windows Certified, validate and test it locally before you submit it for certification. This topic shows you how to install and run the Windows App Certification Kit. For more details on specific tests carried out by this kit refer to the following topics:


If you are developing a Windows 8.1 app:

If you are developing a Windows Phone 8.1 app:

If you are developing a Windows 8 app:

  • You must install and run Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10.
  • You must install Windows App Certification Kit version 10, which is included in the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 10.

Other pre-requisites:

  • You must have a valid developer license for your computer. See Enable your device for development to learn how.

  • You must deploy the Windows app that you want to test to your computer.

    Note  If you're using Visual Studio, you can run the Windows App Certification Kit when you create your app package. See Creating an app package to learn how.

A note about in-place upgrades

The installation of a more recent Windows App Certification Kit will replace any previous version of the kit that is installed on the machine.


Validate your Windows app using the Windows App Certification Kit interactively

Note  If you’re testing a bundle, the OS will decide which architecture to deploy. In cases where the bundle has multiple architectures, if you receive an error specific to the architecture you did not deploy, then this error won’t be seen. We recommend testing your bundle on different devices that cover all the different architectures in your bundle so that you can see all results.
  1. From the Start menu, search Apps, find Windows Kits, and click Windows App Cert Kit.

  2. From the Windows App Certification Kit, select the category of validation you would like to perform. For example: If you are validating a Windows app, select Validate a Windows app.

    You may browse directly to the app you're testing, or choose the app from a list in the UI. When the Windows App Certification Kit is run for the first time, the UI lists all the Windows apps that you have installed on your computer. For any subsequent runs, the UI will display the most recent Windows apps that you have validated. If the app that you want to test is not listed, you can click on My app isn't listed to get a comprehensive list of all apps installed on your system.

  3. After you have input or selected the app that you want to test, click Next.

  4. From the next screen, you will see the test workflow that aligns to the app type you are testing. If a test is grayed out in the list, the test is not applicable to your environment. For example, if you are testing a Windows 10 app on Windows 7, only static tests will apply to the workflow. Note that the Windows Store may apply all tests from this workflow. Select the tests you want to run and click Next.

    The Windows App Certification Kit begins validating the app.

  5. At the prompt after the test, enter the path to the folder where you want to save the test report.

    The Windows App Certification Kit creates an HTML along with an XML report and saves it in this folder.

  6. Open the report file and review the results of the test.

Validate your Windows app using the Windows App Certification Kit from a command line

Important  The Windows App Certification Kit must be run within the context of an active user session.
  1. In the command window, navigate to the directory that contains the Windows App Certification Kit.

    Note   The default path is C:\Program Files\Windows Kits\10\App Certification Kit\.
  2. Enter the following commands in this order to test an app that is already installed on your test computer:

    appcert.exe reset
    appcert.exe test -packagefullname [package full name] -reportoutputpath [report file name]

    Or you can use the following commands if the app is not installed. The Windows App Certification Kit will open the package and apply the appropriate test workflow:

    appcert.exe reset
    appcert.exe test -appxpackagepath [package path] -reportoutputpath [report file name]


    [package full name] is the fully qualified name of the package.

    [report file name] is the fully qualified file name, that includes the file path, of the XML file that the kit will create to contain the test report.

    [package path] is the full path to the package.

    You will no longer need to specify windowsstoreapp or windowsphoneapp for the -apptype parameter, because the app type is automatically determined by the kit.

  3. After the test completes, open the report file named [report file name] and review the test results.

Note  The Windows App Certification Kit can be run from a service, but the service must initiate the kit process within an active user session and cannot be run in Session0. For more information on this test scenario, download the Windows App Certification Kit white paper.
Note   For more info about the Windows App Certification Kit command line, enter the command appcert.exe /?

Related topics

Windows App Certification Kit tests
Windows Store Policies