How to deploy your Windows Store app to Surface RT for testing.

A short post on how to test your Windows Store apps on your Surface RT.


This is not so hard but it took me a little while to find out how to do this so I thought I’d share this.

The ‘problem’ is that you need a developer license on the target machine. This you will be administered when, for example, creating a new app in Visual Studio.

However, you can’t run Visual Studio on Surface RT, so this needs to be done another way. And it is useful to test your applications on portable devices in order to test sensors, GPS etc.


So here is how you do it.

. Select your project in Visual Studio. Right click and select “Store” -> “Create App Packages…”



. Select “No” in the “Do you want to build packages to upload to the Windows Store?”


. Configure ARM as the target. Take note (or change) of the location for the output location and select “Create”.



. Now you will have the App package created at the output location. Copy the whole “AppPackages” directory to the Surface RT.


You can still not run it. First you need to install you developer license on the Surface RT.


. On the Surface RT, start a PowerShell command prompt as administrator.

. Run the following command and follow the instructions:




See more about this here:

“Get a developer license (Windows Store apps)”


. Once this is done, you have the developer license on the Surface RT. So simply navigate to the “AppPackages” directory that you copied over earlier.

Right click the .ps1 file that was generated for you (typically something like “Add-AppDevPackage.ps1”) and select “Run with PowerShell”.


. And we’re done! You should now have your app on your Surface RT’s start page. Ready for testing.


Once you have the developer license on the Surface RT there is no need to reinstall it for each time you want to test your application.

The license will only be valid on the machine for finite time. After this the app will not run and you will have to reinstall the developer license on the Surface.

That is, if you have not finished your app and published it to the store J


There may be other ways to do this, but this is how I do it and it is simple enough.