How to SideLoad apps on Windows 10 PC

Like Windows 8, Window 10 is also supports sideloading of apps. This feature allows users to download their favourite apps outside the Windows Store. There are a lot of apps which are not available in the Windows Store, and using this method, users can now install and run those apps easily on Windows 10. The procedure to sideload non-store apps in Windows 8 was a little difficult, but in Windows 10, it is much easier.

SideLoad apps on Windows 10

Let us see how to SideLoad applications on a Windows 10 computer.

What is SideLoading of applications

Installing and running any non-certified software in Windows device is known as sideloading of apps. Sideloading of applications gives freedom to users to download any type of app from different stores. Earlier Microsoft did not allow Windows users to install any outside application and blocked such application installs if any user tried to install it.

How to download apps outside the Windows Store

SideLoad apps on Windows 10

 

To download non-Store apps, first enable the ‘For Developer’ mode of Windows 10. The ‘For Developer’ mode will not only allow users to download uncertified apps, but also allow them to test their own developed apps before launching them officially.

With this developer mode, a user can test or install apps without tweaking the Registry or the Group Policy Editor, as was required on Windows 8.1.

This option is available on Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10122 or later versions only. To enable this option follow these steps:

  • Launch the ‘Start’ menu.
  • Open the ‘Settings’.
  • Select ‘Updates and Security’
  • Go to the ‘For Developer’ section and select the checkbox of ‘Sideload Apps
  • Windows 10 will send a warning message saying ‘Sideloading of apps is potentially dangerous’
  • If user is ready to take the risk, he/she can select ‘Yes’ and proceed.

After changing these settings, the user is free to download any application from different app stores.

Risks of sideloading apps

Technically it is wrong to download any application outside from the authentic stores. It includes a lot of security risks and malware can infect your system. Hackers can send ransomware or users can be targeted by identity thieves, and so on. Therefore, before enabling the ‘sideload apps’ option, Microsoft send out the warning message.

Windows 10 includes lots of built-in security features and tools that can easily detect any type of unwanted software. Moreover, a lot of  controversial games and software, emulators and BitTorrent clients are restricted by Microsoft. It is always better to download application from trusted platforms. But if you do need to run or test outside apps, this is the way to go in Windows 10.

Whether this feature includes lots of risks, users like me are very excited about it. Now they are free to use and run different type of apps, themes and games on their Windows 10 PCs, laptops and phones, like Android users do.

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Abhishek Shukla is a computer graduate by education, a complete tech freak and music addict. Playing with software and mobile phones are part of his hobby. He is currently employed with a multinational company in India.