Get started with the hardware submission process

With the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (for Windows 10) and the Windows Hardware Certification Program (for Windows 8/8.1 and older operating systems) you can design, create, and test your hardware and drivers before you submit the final version through the Partner Center hardware dashboard for certification. By certifying your hardware device, system, and drivers for Windows, you gain the support of Microsoft marketing resources in the form of compatibility and reliability listings, logo artwork, and promotional partnerships.

This article describes how to get started with the hardware submission process. We'll take you through each step of the process, from getting an extended validation (EV), to registration, and finally, to driver publication and certification.

Step 1: Get an EV code signing certificate

Your Hardware Dev Center dashboard account must have at least one extended validation (EV) certificate associated with it to submit binaries for attestation signing or to submit binaries for HLK certification. To learn how to get an EV certificate, see EV certificate signed drivers

Step 2: Register for the Hardware Developer Program

Now that you have your EV certificate ready, you can now register for the Hardware Developer Program. To register, follow the steps in How to register for the Microsoft Windows Hardware Developer Program.

Step 3: Test your hardware and drivers

Now that your company is registered in the Hardware Developer program, you'll need to design, create, and test your hardware and drivers. To ensure that your drivers and hardware run on Windows systems as your customers expect, you'll need to participate in either one of the following programs:

Step 4: Submit for certification and compatibility

Once you've properly tested your drivers, you can now create a new hardware submission.

Step 5: Manage driver distribution

If you have drivers that you want to distribute with Windows Update or share with another company, see Manage driver distribution with shipping labels, which covers common driver distribution tasks such as:

Step 6: Publish your driver

Now that your driver has passed the review process in the Partner hardware dashboard, it then becomes eligible for the hardware compatibility or certification program. In addition, you can publish it to the Windows Server Catalog and the Windows Certified Products List by providing an announcement date in your submission.

You can continue to use the Partner Center hardware dashboard to:

  • Customize your driver after initial certification (DUA).

  • Manage your users and legal agreements.

  • Use the dashboard API to programmatically work with submissions.

Once your driver has been certified, you can share the verification report with a sharable URL. This URL allows the report to be accessed and downloaded without prior authorization or access to the Partner Center. The sharable URL contains three identification numbers separated by slashes as shown below:<SellerID>/<PrivateProductID>/<SubmissionID>

The identification numbers used in the URL, and their locations are as follows:

Component Description
SellerID The identification number of your partner account. This can be found on the account management page, under Account settings.
PrivateProductID The identification number generated with each product creation. Located on the driver details page for your product. See Dashboard ID definitions for more information.
SubmissionID The idenfication number given to each submission and submission update. Located on the driver details page for your product. See Dashboard ID definitions for more information.

To create a sharable link, replace SellerID, PrivateProductID, and SubmissionID in the example URL above with the appropriate identification numbers.

Next Steps