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How to Share Your Windows 8 App with Friends for Testing

Sometimes you’d like to share an app with friends or family for testing purposes before submitting it to the store. And many times those friends or family won’t have Visual Studio installed. This blog post walks you through the steps for building and shipping your app to another person for testing purposes.


First, make sure to change the project build to ‘Release’ instead of ‘Debug’. This can be done from the Visual Studio toolbar.



Now, under the Debug menu, clean and then rebuild the solution.



After the build completes, right-click on the project in the Solution Explorer window and choose Store –> Create app packages…



When prompted if you want to build the app for the store, say no.



When the app packages are finished building you’ll be presented with the option to run the certification kit.


Do NOT launch the Certification Kit. Instead, click OK.


After dismissing the dialog:

  1. Go into your project folder
  2. Then into the AppPackages folder
  3. Then into the <AppName>_<AppVer>_<AnyCPU | ARM | x86 | x64>_Test folder
  4. Select the .ps1, .appx and .cer files and add them to a zip file
  5. Send the zip file to your friends and family
  6. Ask them to unzip the zip file into its own folder (under My Documents is fine)
  7. Ask them to right-click the .ps1 file and choose Run with PowerShell (just double-clicking the .ps1 file may not work)
  8. Ask them to follow the on-screen prompts and accept the installation of the developer certificate (installing a developer certificate will require a Windows Live ID)
  9. The application should now appear on their Start Experience, ready to test
  10. . When they’re done testing they can uninstall the app like any other Store app (just right-click and choose Uninstall from the Start Experience App Bar)


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  1. October 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm
  2. October 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

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