Windows App Certification Kit

To get your app Windows Certified or prepare it for publication to the Microsoft Store, you should validate and test it locally first. This topic shows you how to install and run the Windows App Certification Kit to ensure your app is safe and efficient.


Prerequisites for testing a Universal Windows app:


In-place upgrades: Installing a more recent Windows App Certification Kit will replace any previously installed version of the kit.

What's new

Tests for Windows Desktop Bridge Apps are now supported in the kit. Windows Desktop Bridge app tests can give your app the best chance of being published on Microsoft Store or get certified.

The kit can now be integrated into an automated testing where no interactive user session is available.

The App Prelaunch Validation test is no longer supported.

Known issues

The following is a list of known issues with the Windows App Certification Kit:

During testing, if an installer terminates but leaves active processes or windows running, the app certification kit may detect that there is still work to be done by the installer. In this case, the kit appears stuck running the "Process Install Trace Files" task and it's not possible to move forward with the UI.

Resolution: After your installer is complete, manually close any active processes or windows spawned by the installer.

For Arm UWA, or any UWA app that doesn't target the device family desktop or OneCore, a message may appear in the final report that states "Not all tests were run during validation. This may impact your Store submission.". This message does not apply in cases where the user didn't manually deselect tests.

Resolution: n/a

For Desktop Bridge Apps using Windows SDK Version 10.0.15063 please ignore any failures in Application Manifest Resources test that flag your image not confirming to the expected dimensions if those dimensions are only off by one pixel. The test is supposed to have a +/-1 pixel tolerance. E.g. A small tile at 125% would be 88.75x88.75px if rounded up to 89x89px this would fail the size restrictions of 88x88px.

Resolution: n/a

Validate your Windows app using the Windows App Certification Kit interactively

  1. From the Start menu, search Apps, find Windows Kits, and click Windows App Cert Kit.

  2. From the Windows App Certification Kit, select the category of validation you would like to perform. For example: If you are validating a Windows app, select Validate a Windows app.

    You may browse directly to the app you're testing, or choose the app from a list in the UI. When the Windows App Certification Kit is run for the first time, the UI lists all the Windows apps that you have installed on your computer. For any subsequent runs, the UI will display the most recent Windows apps that you have validated. If the app that you want to test is not listed, you can click on My app isn't listed to get a comprehensive list of all apps installed on your system.

  3. After you have input or selected the app that you want to test, click Next.

  4. From the next screen, you will see the test workflow that aligns to the app type you are testing. If a test is grayed out in the list, the test is not applicable to your environment. For example, if you are testing a Windows 10 app on Windows 7, only static tests will apply to the workflow. Note that the Microsoft Store may apply all tests from this workflow. Select the tests you want to run and click Next.

    The Windows App Certification Kit begins validating the app.

  5. At the prompt after the test, enter the path to the folder where you want to save the test report.

    The Windows App Certification Kit creates an HTML along with an XML report and saves it in this folder.

  6. Open the report file and review the results of the test.


If you're using Visual Studio, you can run the Windows App Certification Kit when you create your app package. See Packaging UWP apps to learn how.

Validate your Windows app using the Windows App Certification Kit from a command line


The Windows App Certification Kit must be run within the context of an active user session.

  1. Open a command window with admin rights ("Run as administrator").

  2. In the command window, navigate to the directory that contains the Windows App Certification Kit.

    Note   The default path is C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\App Certification Kit\.

  3. Enter the following commands in this order to test an app that is already installed on your test computer:

    appcert.exe reset

    appcert.exe test -packagefullname [package full name] -reportoutputpath [report file name]

    Or you can use the following commands if the app is not installed. The Windows App Certification Kit will open the package and apply the appropriate test workflow:

    appcert.exe reset

    appcert.exe test -appxpackagepath [package path] -reportoutputpath [report file name]

  4. After the test completes, open the report file named [report file name] and review the test results.

Note  The Windows App Certification Kit can be run from a service, but the service must initiate the kit process within an active user session and cannot be run in Session0.

Note   For more info about the Windows App Certification Kit command line, enter the command appcert.exe /?

Testing with a low-power computer

The performance test thresholds of the Windows App Certification Kit are based on the performance of a low-power computer.

The characteristics of the computer on which the test is performed can influence the test results. To determine if your app's performance meets the Microsoft Store Policies, we recommend that you test your app on a low-power computer, such as an Intel Atom processor-based computer with a screen resolution of 1366x768 (or higher) and a rotational hard drive (as opposed to a solid-state hard drive).

As low-power computers evolve, their performance characteristics might change over time. Refer to the most current Microsoft Store Policies and test your app with the most current version of the Windows App Certification Kit to make sure that your app complies with the latest performance requirements.