How to share your Metro style application for Windows 8 with another developer

If you’re writing a Metro style app for Windows 8, here’s how you can share it with another developer.  Note that both the source and destination machines need a valid development license.  Verify this with the PowerShell cmdlet Get-WindowsDeveloperLicense.

In Visual Studio, choose Create App Package under the Store menu:

VS11 Create App Package


Select Create a package to use locally only:

VS11 Create App Package Wizard


Make note of where the package will be saved, and then click Create:

VS11 Create App Package location


Navigate to the package location, right-click on your package’s folder, and select Send to –> Compressed (zipped) folder.  You don’t need the .APPXUPLOAD file.

Make zip from app package


Mail the zipfile to another developer, or otherwise transfer it to a second machine.  Remember that the destination machine must have a valid developer’s license.  Extract the zipfile, and then run Add-AppxDevPackage.bat as Administrator.  The app will then show up in the target machine’s Start Screen.

For more information, watch John Sheehan’s presentation Under the hood: installation and updates for Metro style apps from the September 2011 Build conference.

(Screenshots made with Snagit by TechSmith.)


Comments (11)
  1. Horizon_Net says:

    Good one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Richard Clark says:

    Excellent: I did a french translation. If you have any remarks about it 😉

  3. @Richard: My French is rusty, but your post looks great.  Glad you found this useful.

  4. RichardDeeming says:

    "… the destination machine must have a valid developer’s license"

    Or be running Windows 8 Enterprise, looking at the screen-shot.

    So if I create a Metro app and want to share it with my friends and family, who don't have developer licenses and aren't running Windows Enterprise, I have to upload it to the store, hope that it passes all the checks and is accepted, and then either make my friends and family pay for it, or let anyone download it for free? Don't think I'll bother then, thanks.

    Seriously, who are Metro apps aimed at? They don't have enough power for enterprise apps, but you seem to be doing your best to prevent hobbyist programmers from creating and sharing them as well! >:(

  5. @Richard Deeming: I'm not running Windows 8 Enterprise.  The screenshots are from the Consumer Preview.  This blog post isn't meant to be a comprehensive discussion about all ways to share Metro style apps.  I'm only addressing my core audience, which are developers.

  6. Mike Brown says:

    I wonder what made him think it was Win8 Enterprise…but while we're on the topic, will there be a home brew solution for Windows 8 (similar to the tool available on Windows Phone 7)?

  7. RichardDeeming says:

    I was referring to the second screen-shot, under the title "Select Create a package to use locally only". The text below the bullet-point reads:

    "You do not have to sign in to a Windows Live account. This package can be used only on a computer that has a developer licence installed or has an Enterprise edition of the Windows operating system."

    This seems to contradict the earlier statement that "both the source and destination machines need a valid development license".

  8. @Richard Deeming: OK, I follow you now.  Perhaps this will clarify:…/hh852635.aspx and…/deploying-metro-style-apps-to-businesses.aspx.  My blog post doesn't address installing Metro style apps for enterprises.  I'm only addressing how developers can share their apps with other developers.  In particular, I'm working with devs in my community who want feedback on the apps they're building.  I made this post to give them instructions on how they can send me their apps.

  9. @Mike Brown: Thanks for your question, but the only things I'm prepared to say about Windows 8 right now are what's in the documentation, the "Building Windows 8" blog (, or the "Windows Store for developers" blog (…/windowsstore).

  10. Igor Kulman says:

    In RTM there is not a batch but a powershell file Add-AppDevPackage.ps1

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