Distribute UWP apps outside Microsoft Store

11/4/2019

Distribute UWP apps outside Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store is the worst app store.  There are also other reasons for distributing UWP apps outside Microsoft Store.

The steps to do it:

  1. Obtain a code signing certificate.
  2. Follow the instructions from the certificate authority (CA) to get the certificate file.  It may have extension .p12.  Make a copy of this file and change the extension to .pfx that is used by Visual Studio.
  3. Visual Studio > Open Package.appxmanifest > Packaging > Choose Certificate... > Select from file... > Select the abvove certificate file and enter the password if needed.
  4. For cross-platform projects, the UWP project's Assets folder must have the logo images (it is usually sufficient if the shared folder has them). 
  5. Right-click UWP app in VS Solution Explorer >Create App Packages... > Publish > Select "Sideloading" and "Enable automatic updates"> Yes, use the current certificate... > Generate app bundle: Always, select x86, x64, ARM for Architecture > Select every "1" Weeks. A VS bug does not allow the update checking interval greater than 1 week.  >  Create.  
  6. Copy a. folder My_APP_x.x.x.x_Test, b. index.html, c. My_APP.appinstaller to a directory of a web project (e.g. corresponding to URL: www.mydomain.com/download.myapp.
  7. Add a web.config file to the same folder for IIS with meme type contents for UWP app distribution.