Beta testing

Beta testing gives you the chance to improve your app based on feedback from individuals outside of your app-development team who try your unreleased app on their own devices.

This section describes your options for beta testing Universal Windows apps.

Why beta test?

To thoroughly test an app, you need to try it against as many device configurations and user interactions as possible. Doing all of that testing in-house is difficult if not impossible.

With beta testing, users try your app on their own devices. And it's unmoderated: instead of performing specified tasks, users have complete freedom in how they use an app, so they can find issues that you might never have expected.

With beta testing, you can:

  • Test your app on a variety of devices.
  • Identify performance issues and other bugs that you might not have found otherwise.
  • Get real-world usage info that can be used improve the user experience.
  • Receive feedback without affecting public ratings in the Microsoft Store.

When to beta test

It's best to conduct beta testing as the final stage of testing before you release your app. At that point, you have tested the app as thoroughly as you can yourself, and you've covered all explicit use cases. Beta testing is not a substitute for other testing methods. Since beta testing is unmoderated, participants may not catch all bugs in your code because every tester's experience is self-directed and it's unlikely that they'll explore all features of the app. But beta-testing feedback can give you a final wave of real-world feedback that reveals issues that you might never have expected before you go live.

Next steps

In Partner Center, you can limit distribution of your apps to only your testers, regardless of which operating systems your app targets. There’s no need to create a separate version of your app with a separate name and package identity; you can do your testing, then create a new submission when you’re ready to make the app available to everyone. (Of course, you can create a separate app for testing only if you prefer. If you do, make sure to give it a different name from what you intend as the final, public app name.)

See Beta testing and targeted distribution to learn how to submit your app to the Store for beta testing.