Prepare to Sideload Apps

Applies To: Windows 8

It is important to plan and prepare your Windows 8 devices. This section discusses the app evaluation and prerequisites necessary for installing and running a sideloaded app.

Before you start sideloading apps to your Windows 8 devices, make certain that your Windows 8 app is developed within the app guidelines, using the approved tools and methods. Also, ensure that your IT infrastructure and Windows 8 devices are configured to support app sideloading.

App Evaluation

Using a developer’s license for Windows 8, you can install, develop, test, and evaluate your app. Sideload your app in your development environment by using the developer license on your development computer. The developer license is valid for only one computer for 30 days. When the developer license expires, you will not be able to run uncertified apps, but you can continue to run desktop apps or apps that were sideloaded onto your development computer. For more information about running and testing apps by using a developer license, see Get a developer license.

App Sideloading Prerequisites

Before you can sideload an app, make certain your app and Windows 8 devices are ready for sideloading by checking for the following prerequisites:

  • Installing or provisioning a sideloaded app. Before you can install or provision a sideloaded app, you must meet the prerequisites in Table 1.

    Table 1. Prerequisites for Installing or Provisioning a Sideloaded App

Prerequisite Description

Ensure that the certificate used for app signing is trusted.

The devices that will run the app must trust the root certification authority (CA) for the certificate you use for app signing. This is typically accomplished by signing the application with a certificate from a trusted CA or by adding the root CA to the trusted root in the certificate store on the targeted devices. You can deploy the certificate can be deployed by using Group Policy or through scripted methods, such as by using the certutil.exe tool.

Enable the Allow all trusted applications to install Group Policy setting.

This Group Policy setting must be enabled. For more information how to enable this setting, see To configure your enterprise PCs for sideloading using Group Policy.

  • Running a sideloaded app. After you install a sideloaded app on a device, the app tile on the Start screen will show an X in the bottom right corner of the tile until the device meets all sideloading requirements for running the app. The X indicates a problem that is preventing the app from running. Table 2 lists the methods for running a sideloaded app.

    Table 2. Methods for Running a Sideloaded App

Method Description

Join a domain.

This method is only supported for the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system.

Activate a sideloading key.

This method is supported for Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise or Windows RT running on a device that is not domain joined. Activate a sideloading product key for each device. For more information about:

See also