Windows App Certification Kit error - doesn’t show all apps

Windows App Certification Kit is a great tool for all the developers who wish to publish their Windows 8 apps on the official Windows Store. It makes a bunch of tests to make sure your app works as it should (according to specific application certification requirements). The only problem is – sometimes it doesn’t show your app on the list of installed WinRT apps. What to do if that happens?

It happened to me today. I wanted to run WACK on my latest app. It offered me pretty much ALL the apps I have installed, EXCEPT the one I wanted to test. I tried 3 times before I searched the Internet for advice what to do. Here are the most common answers:

1. Uninstall all the apps with no Installed Location (source:

The steps are in that case:

1) Open a powershell window
2) Do a “Get-AppxPackage > out.txt”
3) Open out.txt and look at InstallLocation field of all the apps installed.
4) For the apps whose InstallLocation is blank, do a “Remove-AppxPackage <packageFullName>”

I tried it – it didn’t work. I opened powershell, got the list of all the installed apps, and all of them had Install Location field defined. No luck here.

2. Make sure your app is in release mode (uninstall and deploy it again) (source:

My app was in debug mode, so I figured – could that be it? I switched it to Release mode, uninstalled, deployed, ran WACK – no luck. It didn’t show my app in the list.

What worked for me was the following combination:

3. Closing Visual Studio + deinstalling all the other sideloaded apps (those mostly include SDK samples, other open source samples etc.)

Deinstalling the apps might have been unnecessary. I was getting really strange results in some cases, and in some cases it was enough just to close the Visual Studio. But the important thing was definitely to close the solution. Now, you might think that it’s an obvious option, but it’s not really, because the certification kit tests the deployed apps, and it doesn’t necessarily run from Visual Studio. Is there a handle of some sort on the deployed app? Or it doesn’t think it’s deployed (even if I deployed it 4 seconds ago) while the code is opened in editor? Maybe. But it wouldn’t hurt if the WACK asked you to close any open solutions before continuing to make sure you don’t waste your time.

Hope this helps!

About Igor Ralic

Software engineer at Microsoft. Running for Office. Passionate about making an impact with great apps & services. Stays close to coffee and away from coriander. Opinions expressed here are my own.