Running the Windows Phone Emulator on Windows 8.1 Preview

With Windows 8.1 Preview now available, we would like to highlight a compatibility issue with the Windows Phone Emulator included in the Windows Phone SDK 8.0. When you start the Windows Phone 8.0 emulator in Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8.1, the following dialog may appear to indicate a compatibility issue:

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To resolve the issue, you need to install Visual Studio 2012 Update 3, which updates the emulator to properly work with Windows 8.1 Preview. You can install the update either before you upgrade to Windows 8.1 Preview or after, but you’ll need to have it installed before you can use the emulator again.

To install Visual Studio 2012 Update 3, you can either download it from Microsoft Download Center, or you can install it within the Visual Studio 2012 environment using the following steps:

  1. Open Visual Studio 2012.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Extensions and Updates.
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  3. In the Extensions and Update dialog, click to expand the Updates tab, and then click Product Updates.
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  4. Locate and install Visual Studio 2012 Update 3.

Regardless of which update path you take, you can kick off the upgrade and grab a coffee (or, in my case, a Slurpee because of the current heat) and let it run for a while. After it completes, it’ll prompt you to restart your machine and you’re emulator will launch again just fine!