August 20, 2018 9:00 am

Important dates regarding apps with Windows Phone 8.x and earlier and Windows 8/8.1 packages submitted to Microsoft Store

Update June 18, 2020: Microsoft has stopped accepting Windows Phone 8.x XAP packages. You can no longer publish new Windows Phone XAP packages for new or existing apps. You can continue to update existing Windows Phone apps with UWP packages for use on Windows 10 devices, remove XAP packages from them, or make other updates, such as a Store Listing or Pricing change.

As a part of our Windows device life cycle, Microsoft Store will soon stop accepting new apps with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP and APPX). Soon after that date, we will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and Windows 8/8.1 devices; at that time, updates will only be made available to customers using Windows 10 devices.

Take note of the following dates so you can effectively plan your development cycles:

  • October 31st, 2018 – Microsoft will stop accepting new app submissions with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier or Windows 8/8.1 packages (XAP or APPX).
    • This will not affect existing apps with packages targeting Windows Phone 8.x or earlier and/or Windows 8/8.1. You can continue to submit updates to these apps as described below.
  • July 1st, 2019 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows Phone 8.x or earlier devices.
    • You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows Phone 8.x or earlier packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.
  • July 1st, 2023 – Microsoft will stop distributing app updates to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 devices.
    • You’ll still be able to publish updates to all apps (including those with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 packages). However, these updates will only be made available to Windows 10 devices.

We encourage you to explore how you can port your existing app to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) where you can create a single Windows 10 app package that your customers can install onto all device families. You can learn more about UWP apps here.