App must meet to be eligible for listing in the Windows Store
We’re committed to a relationship with you that supports your ambitions and encourages a diverse catalog of high-quality, engaging apps for Windows customers worldwide.
We crafted these certification requirements with those goals in mind and they should help you make choices that enhance your app’s appeal and help speed its listing in the Windows Store.
We review every app before we list it in the Store. If our certification requirements change, we’ll identify the updates to ease your consideration. If you have feedback on the policies, please let us know by commenting in our forum. We will consider every comment.
Your apps are crucial to the experience of hundreds of millions of customers. We can’t wait to see what you create and are thrilled to help deliver your apps to the world.
You can help us by testing your app thoroughly before you submit it, and by providing us the information we need to test your app thoroughly. For example, if your app requires login credentials, provide us with a demo account. If your app requires access to a server, tell us what we need to do to verify that it's working correctly.
Section 5. Metro style apps are appropriate for a global audience.
2.3 Your app must not use its tiles, notifications, app bar, or the swipe-from-edge interactions to display ads
We describe these APIs in the Metro style apps API reference. Your app must not link to, depend on, or otherwise make use of APIs or Windows OS services other than those described in the Metro style apps API reference. This includes APIs and services exposed by, or used to communicate with, Windows 8 desktop apps or services.
3.4 Updates must not decrease your app’s functionality in a way that would be unexpected to a reasonable customer
Your app must not use an interaction gesture in a way that is different from how Windows uses the gesture. The Windows 8 touch language is described in Touch interaction design.
Your app must neither programmatically close nor offer UI affordances to close it. Windows 8 Process Lifetime Management closes Metro style apps automatically.
Your app must suspend and resume to a reasonable state.
If your app implements an app bar, that bar must show up with a bottom-up swipe.
If your app implements a navigation bar, that bar must show up with a top-down swipe.
- The app must launch in 5 seconds or less
- The app must suspend in 2 seconds or less
Opt-in consent means the customer gives their express permission for the requested activity, after you have:
- a) Described to the customer how the information will be used or shared; and
- b) Provided the customer a mechanism through which they can later rescind this permission and opt-out.
Personal information includes all information or data that is associated with an identifiable person. Examples of personal information include: contacts, photos, phone number, SMS or other text communication, images of the computer’s desktop or screen shots, browsing history, and other internet settings.
4.2 Your app must respect system settings for notifications and remain functional when they are disabledThis includes the presentation of ads and notifications to the customer, which must also be consistent with the customer’s preferences, whether the notifications are provided by the Windows Push Notification Service or any other service. If a customer disables the notification function, either on an app-specific or a system-wide basis, your app must remain functional.
The Windows system includes the computer running Windows, any software running on that computer, and any computers or software communicating with that computer.
4.4 Your app must not be designed or marketed to perform, instruct, or encourage tasks that could cause physical harm to a customer or any other personWe would consider an app that allows for control of a device without human manipulation, or that is marketed for use to resolve emergency or lifesaving situations to violate this requirement.
- Video streams, which include download-only and two-way video messaging, must use an adaptive bit-rate technology and limit the transfer rate to no more than 256 Kbps.
- Audio streams, which include voice over IP (VOIP), must limit the data rate to no more than 64KBps.
When the customer’s computer is operating outside of its home network or connected to a metered network while over the data limit, your app must obtain permission from the customer before it performs any data transfer that is larger than 1 megabyte.
4.6 Your app must comply with Windows Push Notification Service (WNS) requirements if it uses WNS notificationsIf your app uses the Windows Push Notification Service (WNS) to transmit push notifications, it must do so as described in this requirement.
- a) You may only use WNS for apps distributed through the Windows Store. Notifications provided through WNS are considered app content and are subject to all Windows Store app policies, including the certification requirements.
- b) Your app must be associated with only one Package Security Identifier.
- c) You may not obscure or try to disguise the source of any WNS message or Package Security Identifier, or other unique referral identifier.
- d) You may not include in a notification any info a customer would reasonably consider to be confidential or sensitive.
- e) Your app must not use excessive network capacity or WNS bandwidth, or otherwise unduly burden the Windows system with WNS notifications. For example, using WNS to stream content or transfer files violates this requirement.
4.7 If you use a transaction provider other than the Store's, you must identify the provider at the time of the transaction or when it collects any payment info from the customerIf your app uses the Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace for in-app purchases, this messaging is provided for you. If your app uses any other method for in-app purchases or to collect payments, it must display a message to the customer stating that you are responsible for the transaction and not the Windows Store.
For example, in-app purchases made from apps produced by Contoso that don’t use the Windows Store for the transaction would display a message such as, “This item is available from Contoso” at the time of the transaction.
4.8 If your app doesn't use the Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace for in-app purchases, your app must prompt the user for authentication to allow a transaction to be accomplished.The app can offer the user the ability to save this authentication, but the user must have the ability to either require an authentication on every transaction or to turn off in-app transactions.
4.9 If your app collects credit card info or uses a third-party payment processor that collects credit card info, the payment processing must meet the current PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Content means the images, sounds, and text contained in the app, the tiles, notifications, error messages or ads exposed through your app, and anything that’s delivered from a server or that the app connects to. Because Windows and the apps in the Windows Store are used around the world, these requirements will be interpreted and applied in the context of regional and cultural norms.
5.2 Your app must not contain content that advocates discrimination, hatred, or violence based on membership in a particular racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, or other social group, or based on a person’s gender, age, or sexual orientation
5.3 Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes illegal activity
5.4 Your app must not contain or display content that a reasonable person would consider to be obscene
5.6 Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons
5.7 Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes extreme or gratuitous violence, human rights violations, or the creation or use of weapons against a person or animal in the real world
6.2 Your app must have a Windows age rating, and you must submit third-party ratings for your app if you have themYou must assign a Windows Store age rating that most accurately matches your app. The Age rating page contains more detailed descriptions of the content that is suitable for each Windows Store age rating.
If a rating under any particular rating system is required by law in any country, you must include the rating documentation for that rating system along with your app.
If your app is rated by an optional ratings board that is identified in Rating boards for Windows apps, you must also submit that ratings certificate for the app and provide the appropriate content descriptors.
If your app has any existing third-party rating, the Windows Store age rating for the app must be determined from the following table. If your app has rating board ratings that correspond to different Windows Store age ratings, you must assign the Windows Store age rating that corresponds to the older audience.
Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or a corresponding rating under other ratings systems, are not allowed.
|Windows Store Age Rating||PEGI||ESRB||CERO||GRB||USK|
|3+ Suitable for all ages||PEGI 3|
PEGI 4 in Portugal
|EARLY CHILDHOOD||A (all ages)||A (all ages)||USK ab 0|
|7+ Suitable for ages 7 and older||PEGI 7|
PEGI 6 in Portugal
|EVERYONE||USK ab 6|
|12+ Suitable for ages 12 and older||PEGI 12||EVERYONE 10+||B (12+)||12+||USK ab 12|
|16+ Suitable for ages 16 and older||PEGI 16||TEEN|
|15+||USK ab 16|
Note Adult content is not allowed in the Store.
|PEGI 18||ADULT||Z (18+)||18+||USK ab 18|
If your app requires authentication, such as a user or account name and password, you must provide a retrieval mechanism for account info—for example, through a secondary email account or phone support—and respond to customers within 24 hours.
In addition, you must provide a complete description of your app for your customers in each language that you declare in your app's package. The languages that the Windows Store supports are listed in App languages.
The elements of your app's description, such as screenshots, text, and promotional images must describe your app and not contain additional advertising.
Tip After you upload your app’s packages, we list the languages that we detect in the Release Summary.
6.6 The capabilities you declare must relate to the core functions and value proposition of your Metro style app, and the use of those declarations must be compliant with our app quality declarations.Learn more about our app capability declarations.
These descriptions belong in the Description of update field.
- Be .png files, 1366x768 pixels in size.
- Be appropriate for people as young as 12 years old.
- Have a caption in the language of the description.
Package metadata requirements.
Package format requirements.
7.1 The purchase page link provided for your app must send users to a location where they can directly download the app, and must not lead users to another intermediary site or a site that spoofs the purchase pageUsers must be able to buy your app quickly and easily after they are directed to your purchase page from the Windows Store.
You are allowed to provide two purchase page links for your app. You must use these links to provide users access to 64-bit and 32-bit versions of your app.