How to SideLoad Non Windows Store Apps to Windows 8

One of the questions we get asked the most is Can I install Windows 8 apps without Windows Store?  After some research we found out a method to sideload non-store applications. Please remember this method will only works for Windows 8 Enterprise Edition or Windows Server 2012, by joining the PC to a domain. If you have a standalone Windows 8 Enterprise Edition, make sure you have activated Windows 8 Enterprise with the product key.

According to TechNet the SideLoad Requirements are:

  • Windows Runtime-based apps must be cryptographically signed and can only be installed on a computer that trusts the signing certificate
  • You must activate a sideloading product key or join the PC to an Active Directory domain that has the Allow all trusted applications to install Group Policy setting enabled.
  • Until the PC meets all of the sideloading requirements, app tiles on the Start menu will show an “X” in the bottom-right corner to indicate that a problem is preventing the app from running.

Microsoft is serious about security, so no Malware can get through from the Windows Store or from a non-store application getting infected through sideloading.

SideLoad Non-Store Apps to Windows 8

Here is how to do it:

Step 1:

We need to enable the Group Policy that allows us to sideload non-store application.

  • Hover the mouse to Left end corner and right-click on Start


  • Click on Run and type in gpedit.msc to open Group Policy Editor.


  • Go to Computer Configuration  – > Administrative Template – > Windows Components – > App Package Deployment
  • Double-click on “Allow all trusted apps to install”.


  • Click on “Enabled” then click OK

Now you are ready to install non– store applications on Windows 8.

Step 2:

Now we’ll install the application using PowerShell command.

  • Go to your Windows 8 UI and start typing in PowerShell.
  • Right click on the PowerShell and click on “Run as administrator”.


  • That will open the PowerShell in administrator mode. It should say Administrator : Windows PowerShell on the top.


  • Now type in add-appxpackage C:\app1.appx –DependencyPath C:\winjs.appx

You are all set!

Now you should have the application installed. This method is for IT professionals for deployment on a large-scale. I personally couldn’t test this method since I was not able to find a non-store application.

Microsoft has now made it easy to SideLoad apps on Windows 10 PC.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at