Certification requirements for Windows apps

1. Metro style apps provide value to the customer

1.1 Your app must offer customers unique, creative value
or utility

1.2 Your app must be fully functional when the customer
receives it from the Windows Store

The Windows Store offers only fully functional apps to provide customers with
the best experience. Anything that might cause our testers to think that your
app is not completely finished will cause your app to fail certification.

1.3 Your app’s trial functionality must reasonably
resemble its full functionality

A trial can, however, limit access to some of the app’s features, or limit
the period of time that the app functions.

1.4 Each app must display only one tile after it is

The image on an app’s tile must be reasonably related to the content of the

2. Metro style apps can display ads but are more than
just ads or websites

2.1 Your app must not display only ads

If your app includes or displays ads, it must provide additional
functionality beyond the ads.

2.2 Ads in your apps must comply with our content

Our content policies are described in Section 5. Metro
style apps are appropriate for a global audience

2.3 Your app must not use tiles or notifications for

2.4 Your app must do more than open a website or mimic
the behavior of a website

Your app must provide a reasonable snap state; it shouldn’t be cut off when
snapped. Your app must also support touch, keyboard, and mouse input.

Tip  If you only want to provide a
link to a website, you don’t need an app because you can pin a link to the
Start screen.

2.5 Ads must not execute program code that did not come
from the ad provider

3. Metro style apps behave predictably

3.1 Your app must use only APIs for Metro style

The APIs for Metro style apps are described in the Metro style apps API reference. Your app must also not link
to, depend on, or otherwise make use of APIs or Windows OS services outside
those described in the Metro style apps API reference.

3.2 Your app must not stop responding, end unexpectedly,
or contain programming errors

Tip  Review the Quality data from
your Dashboard to become aware of any problems your app might have so that you
can correct them quickly.

3.3 Your app must provide the same user experience on
all processor types

If your app has a different user interface or functionality when it runs on
different processor types, you must submit a separate app for each processor
type and describe the differences in the Description of each

3.4 Updates must not decrease your app’s functionality
in a way that would be unexpected to a reasonable customer

3.5 Your app must fully support touch interactions

Your customers must be able to access all of your app’s functionality using
only touch interactions and gestures.

3.6 Your app must use the mechanisms provided by the
system for those features that have them

3.7 Your app must not use an interaction gesture in a
way that is different from how Windows uses the gesture

4. Metro style apps put the customer in control

4.1 Your app must obtain opt-in or equivalent consent to
publish personal information

Your app can publish a customer’s personal information
to a service or other person only after obtaining opt-in consent.

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;

b) Provided the customer a mechanism through which they can later rescind
this permission and opt-out.

If your app publishes a person’s personal information,
but that person is not a customer, you must obtain express written consent to
publish that personal information, and you must permit the person whose
information is shared to withdraw that consent at any time.

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

If your app collects personal information, you must have a Privacy
Policy and add a link to it in the Description page to let your
customers know how you will safeguard their personal information.

4.2 Your app must respect system settings for
notifications and remain functional when they are disabled

This 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.

4.3 Your app must not jeopardize or compromise the
security or functionality of the Windows system

The Windows system includes the computer running Windows, any software
running on that computer, and any computers or software communicating with that
computer. The app must not include, link to, distribute through the Windows Push
Notification Service, or otherwise provide an entry point for viruses, malware,
or any other malicious software, to access the customer’s Windows system.

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 person

We would consider an app that allows for control of a device without human
manipulation, or that is for use in emergency or lifesaving situations to
violate this requirement.

4.5 Your app must protect customers from unintentional
large data transfers over metered networks

When operating over a metered network, your app must offer the customer the
option of permitting these transfers without limit or limit audio and video
transfers to the following data rates:

  • Video streams, which include download-only and two-way video-chat, must use
    an adaptive bit-rate technology and limit the transfer rate to no more than 256

  • Audio streams, which include voice over IP (VOIP), must
    limit the data rate to no more than 64KBps.

When the customer’s computer is connected to a metered network,
your app must obtain permission from the customer or wait until it has access to
an unrestricted network before it performs any
synchronization, upload, or download that requires a total transfer larger than

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 notifications

If 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) Your app must obtain opt-in consent before
you can use the WNS to provide notifications.

e) You may not include in a notification any information a customer would
reasonably consider to be confidential or sensitive.

f) 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 would violate this

g) You can’t use the WNS by way of any automated process or service.

h) You can’t use a notification to force an app to run in the background.

5. Metro style apps are appropriate for a global

This section describes types of content that are not
permitted in the Metro style apps that are made available in the Windows

Content means the images, sounds, and text contained in the app, as
well as 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.

5.1 Your app must not contain adult content

Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that
would warrant such a rating, are not allowed.

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

5.5 Your app must not contain content that is
defamatory, libelous or slanderous, or threatening

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

5.8 Your app must not contain excessive or gratuitous

6. Metro style apps are easily identified and

6.1 Your app must have a unique name

Your app’s name is what we use to list your app in the Windows Store. You
must give your app a name that is unique throughout the Windows Store catalog.
You can give your app a name in another language; however, additional names must
also be unique throughout the Store.

Tip   The best way to
comply with this requirement is to use the Submit an app option
in your Dashboard and reserve a name in the Name screen before
you start developing your app.

6.2 Your app must have a Windows age rating, and you
must submit third-party ratings for your app if you have them

You 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

Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or a corresponding rating under
other ratings systems, are not allowed.


3+ Suitable for all ages




A (all ages)

A (all ages)

USK ab 0

7+ Suitable for ages 7 and older




USK ab 6

12+ Suitable for ages 12 and older




B (12+)


USK ab 12

16+ Suitable for ages 16 and older





C (15+)

D (17+)


USK ab 16

Adult content

Note  Adult content is not allowed in
the Store.




Z (18+)


USK ab 18


6.3 You must provide technical support info for your

We don’t provide customer or technical support for your app.
You must provide that support and specify easily discoverable and accurate
technical support info for your app in the Support contact info
field of the Description.

If your app requires authentication, such as a user or account name and
password, you must provide a retrieval mechanism for account information—for
example, through a secondary email account or phone support—and respond to
customers within 24 hours.

6.4 You must list your app in at least one of the
Windows Store’s geographic markets

Select the countries/regions in which you want to list your app on the
Selling details page from the Submit a new app
option in your Dashboard. This is separate from and unrelated to the languages
that your app supports. We will detect the languages that your app supports by
reading the Package/Resources element of the app manifest when
you upload the app’s package(s).

6.5 You must describe your app in at least one of the
languages that the Windows Store supports

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 Windows supports are listed in Countries
and regions

The elements of your app’s description, such as screenshots, text, and
promotional images must describe your app and not contain additional

Tip   After you upload
your app’s packages, we will list the languages that we detect in the
Submit an app overview.

6.6 The capabilities you declare must relate to the core
functions and value proposition of the app

6.7 If you submit an updated release, you must describe
any changes in capabilities since the last release

If you change any features or the content of the app manifest’s
Package/Capabilities element, you must describe those changes
in the Description of update field of the

6.8 You must provide at least one screenshot of your

You must provide at least one, but no more than eight,
screenshots of your app for each language your app supports. Each screenshot
image must:

  • Be .png files, 1366×768 pixels in size.

  • Be appropriate for people as young as 12 years of age.

  • Have a caption in the language of the description.

Graphically-enhanced screenshots are not allowed, unless they
are clearly marked as having been enhanced.

6.9 Your app’s packages must have a correct app

In each of your app’s packages, the app manifest elements must contain the
correct values as described in the Package
metadata requirements

6.10 Your app’s packages must be correctly

Your app’s packages must comply with the Package
format requirements

6.11 The app’s category and subcategory must correspond
to the character or purpose of the app


As these requirements evolve, we’ll note the changes in the revision history
below. Stable requirements are critical to your doing your best work, so we aim
to ensure the changes we do make are sustainable and continue to protect and
enhance your apps.

Thank you again for joining us in this commitment to delivering
fantastic experiences.

Revision history

Date Version Revision description Link to document
Dec. 6, 2011 1.0 Initial draft of document for Store Preview. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=228257