New switch to disallow Win32 App installs on Windows

Written by Bogdan Mitrache · March 3rd, 2017


In the latest Windows Insiders update there is a new OS-level switch that allows users to block installation of Win32 apps outside of the Windows Store. This means your MSI/EXE setups may no longer install for users that have this option enabled.

Windows block

Deploy in Enterprises or a to new Windows Edition

It is unlikely that consumer users would enable this option. However, there are users in controlled environments, like schools, hospitals, and of course big companies, with their PCs administered through special management solutions from Microsoft or its partners.

In this cases, multiple reasons like security, ease of management, saving costs on application (re)packaging and testing and many more can lead to the IT team on deciding to block non-Windows Store applications from installing.

Also, a new Windows Edition could allow only Windows Store apps to run in a restricted environment, much like the discontinued WinRT. This would include Win32 apps converted through the Desktop Bridge project too.

Get your product to the Windows Store today

You can also publish a Win32 application in the Windows Store, through the Desktop Bridge program, with the help of Advanced Installer or the Desktop App Converter tool from Microsoft.

As a key technology partner for Microsoft, Caphyon included in the latest edition of Advanced Installer full support for the Desktop Bridge, allowing you to package your Win32 application as an MSIX/AppX without changing almost nothing in your code.

You can continue to build and provide an MSI/EXE installer for the current customers base and deliver the AppX from the Windows Store or directly for those customers that prefer it over the legacy MSI/EXE installer.

Once you have an AppX package for your Win32 application you can also start using UWP APIs, for example updating a live tile, and continue with planning a long term migration towards a complete UWP application, step by step.

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