Alternatives to Windows APIs in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps

Learn which features of the Windows API can be used in a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app and which APIs to use as alternatives for those that cannot.

App installation

None of the existing app installation APIs are supported in a UWP app. Here's some alternatives to the app installation APIs:

Devices

A subset of the device APIs is supported in a UWP app.

For device APIs that cannot be used in a UWP app, here are some alternatives.

Feature Alternative
Bluetooth Windows.Devices.Bluetooth
Device enumeration (Function Discovery, PnP-X, WSD) Windows.Devices.Enumeration
FAX none
Location API Windows.Devices.Geolocation
Print Windows.Graphics.Printing
3D Printing Windows.Graphics.Printing3D
Sensors Windows.Devices.Sensors
Serial and parallel ports Windows.Devices.SerialCommunication
SMS Windows.Devices.Sms
UPnP Windows.Devices.Enumeration.Pnp
Windows Portable Devices Windows.Devices.Portable
WSD Windows.Devices.Enumeration
Battery Windows.Devices.Power
Windows.System.Power

Graphics

Subsets of these graphics APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • Direct2D
  • Direct3D 11
  • DirectWrite
  • DirectXMath
  • DXGI
  • WIC

Here are some alternatives:

Multimedia

Subsets of these multimedia APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • Core audio
  • Media Playback
  • Media Foundation
  • Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI)

For more information on API that are available for UWP apps, see Audio, video, and camera

Networking

Subsets of these networking APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • DHCP
  • Mobile Broadband
  • RPC
  • Windows Sockets (Winsock)
  • Windows Web Services

Here's some alternatives to networking APIs that cannot be used in a UWP app.

Feature Alternative
BITS Windows.Networking.BackgroundTransfer
EAP none
Firewall none
HTTP Server none
IP Helper Windows.Networking.Connectivity
NDF none
NLM Windows.Networking.Connectivity
P2P none
QOS Windows.Networking.Sockets
RAS none
SNMP none
TAPI none
WinHTTP Windows.Web.Http
WinINet Windows.Web.Http
Winsock Windows.Networking.Sockets

Printing and documents

A subset of the printing and documents APIs is supported in a UWP app.

When designing a UWP app, you'll want to provide the best printing experience:

Security

None of the existing security APIs are supported in a UWP app. Here's some alternatives to the security APIs:

Storage

Subsets of these storage APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • Directory create, delete, and enumerate
  • File mapping

Here's some alternatives to Win32 storage APIs that cannot be used in a UWP app.

Feature Alternative
File copy, move, and replace Windows.Storage.StorageFile
Directory create, delete, and enumerate Windows.Storage.StorageFolder
IMAPI none
Management (mount points, format, quotas) none
Oplocks none
Search Windows.Storage.Search
USN journal none

System

Subsets of these system APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • Heap API, thread local storage (TLS)
  • Last error
  • Synchronization

Here's some alternatives to system APIs that cannot be used in a UWP app.

Feature Alternative
Console none
Current directory none
Fibers none
Memory manager Heap API
Named pipes none
Power Windows.Devices.Power
Windows.System.Power
Windows.System.Power.Diagnostics
Registry Windows.Storage.ApplicationDataContainer
Windows.Storage.ApplicationDataContainerSettings
Thread pool Windows.System.Threading
Threads Windows.System.Threading

User interface

Subsets of these user interface APIs are at least partially supported in a UWP app:

  • National Language Support (NLS)
  • Strsafe functions
  • Text Services Framework (TSF)
  • UI automation
  • Windows Animation Manager

Here's some alternatives to user interface APIs that cannot be used in a UWP app.

Feature Alternative
Common controls HTML, XAML
DDE/NetDDE none
DWM none
File Open, File Save Windows.Storage.Pickers.FileOpenPicker
Windows.Storage.Pickers.FileSavePicker
IMM TSF
Magnifier none
MSAA UI automation
NLS Windows.Globalization
Windows.Globalization.DateTimeFormatting
Windows.Globalization.NumberFormatting
RichEdit HTML, XAML
Theming HTML, CSS, XAML
Touch Windows.UI.Input
User: carets framework or app to draw
User: cursors Windows.UI.Core.CoreCursor
User: clipboard Windows.ApplicationModel.DataTransfer.Clipboard
User: controls HTML, XAML
User: display Windows.Graphics.Display
User: high DPI apps are DPI aware
User: hooks none
User: icons apps represented by tiles
User: keyboard accel Windows.UI.Core.CoreAcceleratorKeys
User: keyboard input Windows.Devices.Input
User: MDI none
User: messages events and notifications
User: mouse input Windows.Devices.Input
User: multimon single monitor
User: SystemParametersInfo Windows.Devices.Input
User: strings strsafe functions
User: timers none
User: shutdown none
User: windowing Windows.UI.Core.CoreWindow
Windows.UI.Core.CoreWindowDialog
Windows.UI.Core.CoreWindowFlyout
Windows Animation Manager Windows.UI.Core.AnimationMetrics
Windows Ribbon HTML, XAML