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May 13, 2016

Publish or update a public app (Dev Center Tip #1)

When managing apps in the Windows Dev Center, you will most commonly choose to publish or update a public app. This is the default option listed on the flowchart we introduced in the previous post in this series. Use this option when there is no need to restrict availability to a limited set of customers. (Of course, not all apps may be available to all customers, due to device type compatibility and other factors.)

To use this option, simply choose Make this app available in the Store in the “Distribution and visibility” section of your submission.


When using this option, you can choose to have your submission:

  • Go live as soon as possible (on average about 16 hours from when you submit)
  • Set a future publish date.

When setting a future publishing date for new releases, I suggest at least 24 hours in advance, to help make sure the app goes live when expected.


When you submit updates to a published app, the updated packages will be available on average about two hours after submission (though this can sometimes take longer, especially with larger packages). Price, screenshot, or description changes take on average 16 hours to go live.

Customers will receive the updated package the next time their device looks for updates, if automatic app updates is turned on, or when they trigger the update by going to the Windows Store and selecting Check for updates on the downloads and updates page.

Help users discover your app

Remember that quality metadata will make it easier for users to find your app in the Windows Store. Be sure to always do a health checkup on your metadata during the publication process to improve your app’s chances of being discovered.

  • App icon and screenshots: use original quality imagery so your app can be featured
  • Description: grab people’s attention in the first few sentences
  • Keywords: include up to 7 keywords with up to 30 characters each—make them relevant
  • Change log: let users know what’s new in your app

Once your app is published, promote it using the techniques outlined in our earlier 10×10 post about getting noticed. Meanwhile, Windows Store continues to do its part by making changes behind the scenes to improve the discoverability of your apps through search enhancements and improved ranking algorithms.

Other posts in the Dev Center Tips series: