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Certify your desktop application

Follow these steps to get your desktop app certified for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Important: Desktop application listings are not a part of the Windows 10 Dev Center and Windows 10 Store experiences. Existing Desktop application listings will not be discoverable in the Windows Store on Windows 10, but will remain available for Windows 8 and 8.1 users. While existing desktop application listings cannot be updated in the Windows Dev Center, it is still possible to file a support ticket to have a listing removed by Microsoft.

For more information on Unified Dev Center dashboard preview and other upcoming Store changes, visit the Building Apps blog.

If you are instead developing a UWP app, see Guidance for Windows App Certification in UWP.

Step 1: Prepare for certification


What are the benefits?

Certifying your desktop app provides several benefits for you and your customers.

Read the requirements

Review the technical requirements and eligibility qualifications that a desktop app must meet.


Step 2: Test your app with the Windows App Certification Kit

Get the KitTo certify your app, you have to install and run the Windows App Certification Kit (included in the Windows SDK).
Using the Kit Before you can submit your app, you must test it for readiness. You can also download a copy of the app certification white paper.
Review test details Get the list of the tests your app needs to pass to qualify for compatibility with the latest Windows operating system.


Note: Filter drivers must also pass the Hardware Certification Kit. (See Certification requirements for Windows desktop apps, section 6.2.)

Step 3: Use the Windows Certification Dashboard

To submit your app for certification, you'll need to log in or register a company account on the Windows Certification Dashboard. Once you do, not only will you be able to get your app certified, but you'll also gain access to tools to review and manage your app at all stages of the process.

Set up your accountIf your company isn't already registered, you must register it through the Windows Certification Dashboard.
Get a code signing certificateBefore you can establish a Windows Certification Dashboard account, you need to get a code signing certificate to secure your digital information.
Test locally and upload the resultsAfter your run the Windows App Certification Kit tests, upload the results to the Windows Certification Dashboard.
Manage your submissionAfter you submit your app for certification, you can review your submission through the Windows Certification Dashboard.


Step 4: Promote your desktop app

Check app compatibilityIf you are building an app for Windows 8.1, investigate compatibility concerns.
Use the logo with your app Display the logo on packaging and in ads and other promotional materials according to the guidelines. For Windows 7 only.


See also:

App compatibility forum: Find support from the community about compatibility and logo certification.

Windows SDK blog: Find tips and news related to app certification.

Windows Server forum: Visit the Certification forum to get answers.

Compatibility cookbook: Get info about what's new or changed in the latest version of Windows.