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April 13, 2016

Windows App Studio Update: Installer companion app

If you’ve used Windows App Studio before, you know that it’s an easy-to-use tool for building Windows apps. You also know that the sideloading and installation process has been a bit complex by comparison, since it required running PowerShell scripts and deploying a certificate in a somewhat manual way.  Since you told us that it was a bit of a pain point, we spent some time to solve the problem.

Today, the Windows App Studio team is excited to deliver on your requests by officially announcing a brand new companion app designed to make the sideloading and installation process easier: the Windows App Studio Installer app.


The Windows App Studio Installer app is currently available in the store for Windows 10 devices. The installation process is now as simple as two mouse clicks.  Behind the scenes, the app checks to see if the necessary certificate is installed, and if it’s not, the app installs it automatically.  If necessary, it will then guide the user through enabling sideloading mode in Windows 10 and open the proper settings page.  Once those things are in place, it installs the appx on the local computer.

Here is how it works:

Installing Apps

  • Generate your app in Windows App Studio and build an installable package.
  • Click the link to install the app.
  • The link will open up the Installer app, and from there, all you need to do is click the install button. Note: If you are not already in sideloading or developer mode for Windows 10, this tool will also prompt you to make that change and automatically open the correct settings page.
  • Once you click “Install,” the app deploys the certificate (if necessary) and installs the app. Once the installation process completes you can open it from the Installer app, or however you normally prefer to open programs, like with the Win key + app name shortcut.

Sharing Apps

With the Installer app, it’s now much easier to share apps with your friends and family, regardless of their level of expertise with Windows.

  • When you generate installable package, look for links just below the install button for sharing via email, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Click one of those links to share your app through email, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
  • Whoever you shared it with will get a link to a page about your app and will have the link to download it with the Installer app.
  • Once they click “Install App” on the page, it will open up the Installer app. It’s just one more click from there to install the app.

We hope that this tool makes it a lot easier to install and share all the great apps you’ve been building with Windows App Studio.  This is the first version of this companion app, so we’d love to hear your thoughts on what works well and what can be improved—let us know on the Forums or on User Voice.  We’re looking forward to adding more features to this tool in coming release and would love to incorporate your feedback.

Written by the Windows App Studio Team