Windows Dev Center

Managing packages for apps targeting both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

If you have an app targeting Windows 8 in the Windows Store, you can retarget it for Windows 8.1 in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, then upload your new Windows 8.1 packages to your existing app. Customers who had previously downloaded your app on Windows 8 and later upgrade to Windows 8.1 will automatically get the version you submitted targeting Windows 8.1, and their settings, data, and in-app purchase history will be preserved.

After you’ve published packages targeting both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, your app will be appropriately displayed in the Store so both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users have access to the version that’s best for them. Users running Windows 8 will see that there’s a version of your app targeting Windows 8.1, and be encouraged to upgrade, but if they remain on Windows 8 they can download the version of your app targeted for Windows 8 (along with any further updated Windows 8 packages you submit).

Note  If you don’t upload Windows 8.1 packages, your app built for Windows 8 will still be available to customers running Windows 8.1 with its existing listing details and packages. Apps built for Windows 8 will run on Windows 8.1, but not the other way around.

Uploading Windows 8.1 packages

In your Windows Store Dashboard, click Edit on the app tile. On the Packages page, you’ll be able to upload your new packages. The Windows Store Dashboard will automatically detect that these are packages built for Windows 8.1. See Resolving package upload errors for help fixing any errors you encounter when submitting packages.

Updating app listing details

When you add your packages for Windows 8.1, the details from your current Windows 8 listing will be copied over to the new listing to help you get started. You can review these and make changes as needed for your packages for Windows 8.1.

Note  The information is copied, but it is then maintained separately. Changing information or adding new screenshots for the Windows 8.1 listing will not change your existing Windows 8 listing, or vice versa. If you want to make updates to the description for both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, you need to do that in both places.

Keep in mind how your app will appear in the Windows Store for users on Windows 8.1. In particular, the first screenshot that you submit with your app may be used in Windows Store promotional layouts with Windows 8.1. Your app’s wide tile is also used in screens such as Picks for you, so design your tile with that in mind.

Once your app is published, the Windows Store will automatically display the right listing to potential customers. Those running Windows 8 will see the listing associated with your Windows 8 packages, along with a note that a version targeting Windows 8.1 is available should they choose to upgrade. Customers running Windows 8.1 will see the listing you created for Windows 8.1.

Versioning considerations

When you import a project from Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 into Visual Studio 2013 to make it a Windows 8.1 project, Visual Studio 2013 will automatically increment the version number far enough ahead that you'll be able to build and submit additional updates to your app targeting Windows 8 if you choose to do that later. This is important because the version number of your first Windows 8.1 package must be higher than the version number of your current and future Windows 8 packages. In other words, the version number of any Windows 8 package you submit must be lower than the version number of any Windows 8.1 package that you've submitted for the same app.

Important  If you build your Windows 8.1 app package manually, be sure to set the version number far enough ahead of the version number on your Windows 8 packages, so that there's room to increment the Windows 8 packages when you submit further updates. Otherwise, you could run out of acceptable version numbers and be unable to submit updates to your Windows 8 packages.

For more information on valid version number scenarios, see Creating an app package and Resolving package upload errors.

Ending support for Windows 8

If you decide to stop supporting your app for Windows 8 customers, you can remove the Windows 8 listing. When you do this, new customers will only be able to acquire your app if they are running Windows 8.1. Your existing Windows 8 customers will still be able to use and reinstall the app, and they’ll continue to receive any updates you submit for your Windows 8 packages, but they will no longer be able to make in-app purchases. See Removing apps for more info.

Related topics

Retarget your Windows Store app to Windows 8.1
Resolving package upload errors
Submitting an app update



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