Windows Dev Center

App package requirements

Follow these guidelines to prepare your app's packages for submission to the Windows Store.

Note  Be sure and review the Before you submit Windows Store apps section to make sure you have everything taken care of before you submit packages.

Before you build your app's package for the Windows Store

Make sure to test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit to check for compliance with the technical requirements of Windows Store apps. We also recommending testing your app on different types of hardware. Note that until we certify your app and make it available from the Windows Store, it can be installed and run only on computers that have developer licenses.

Building the app package using Microsoft Visual Studio

If you're using Microsoft Visual Studio as your development environment, you already have built-in tools that make creating an app package a quick and easy process. See Creating an app package to learn how.

Note  Be sure that all your filenames use ANSI.

When you build your app's packages, you have the option of creating an .appx file or an .appxupload file. Both of these files can be uploaded on the Packages page. If you upload an .appxupload file, the Store can create a .cab file if customers experience failures (crashes, unresponsive events, and JavaScript exceptions) while running your app. You can use this .cab file to debug programming errors in your app. For more info about downloading these .cab files, see Reviewing app quality.

Keep in mind that you app's packages don't have to be signed with a certificate rooted in a trusted certificate authority.

App bundles

For apps targeting Windows 8.1, Visual Studio can generate an app bundle to reduce the size of the app that users download. This usually makes sense if you've defined language-specific assets, a variety of image-scale assets, or resources that apply to specific versions of Microsoft DirectX.

Note  One app bundle can contain your packages for all architectures. You should submit only one bundle per app.
With an app bundle, a user will only download the relevant files, rather than all possible resources. For more about app bundles, see App packages and deployment, Creating an app package, and Package your Windows Store DirectX game.

Building the app package manually

If you don't use Visual Studio to create your package, you must create your package manifest manually.

Be sure to review the App package manifest documentation for complete manifest details and requirements. Your manifest will need to follow the package manifest schema in order to pass certification.

Note  Values in the manifest are case-sensitive. Spaces and other punctuation must also match. Take care to enter the values correctly and review them to ensure that they are correct.

App bundles use a different manifest. Review the Bundle manifest documentation for the details and requirements for app bundle manifests.

Tip  Be sure to run the Windows App Certification Kit before you submit your packages. This can help determine if your manifest has any problems that might cause certification or submission failures.

If your app has more than one package, these app manifest elements must be the same in each package (per targeted OS):

Package format requirements

Your app’s packages must comply with these requirements.

App package propertyRequirement
Package size
  • App bundles: 25 GB maximum per bundle
  • App packages targeting Windows 8.1: 8 GB maximum per package
  • App packages targeting Windows 8: 2 GB maximum per package
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