Sideloading in Windows 8 is a tactic which we can safely assume to be used by plenty of users, because all the hard work invested by Microsoft and all the policy rules developers would have to agree to won’t include all the needed applications. That’s why users will sometime have to resort to installing non-Store apps in Windows 8 and although the operating system does not natively support such a procedure, there’s a sneaky workaround and we are going to show you how to make use of it.
Just like in Android and Windows Phone, Microsoft has not forbidden sideloading apps in Windows 8 but they have restricted the access by default. Before anyone can customize the OS and install non-Store software on the upcoming, a few steps must to be done and the short tutorial varies from one Windows 8 version to another.
How to install unofficial programs in Windows 8
Sideloading will be something which many users will make appeal to on various motives. First of all, not every single app will be available in the Windows 8 store, some because they won’t fulfill all the rules Microsoft forces or simply because the developer of the app hasn’t yet submitted his work to the Store. Speaking of developers, they will also have to test their creations before releasing a product to the wild and this can only be done with sideloading.
We must first activate a setting in Windows 8 to allow all kinds of applications to be installed. There are two methods of doing this:
For Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise:
- Push the Windows key and then enter the group policy menu.
- Using the filters from the right side of the page, switch to Settings.
- Load the Group Policy.
- Now go to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> App Package Deployment.
- Double click the “Allow all trusted apps to install” setting.
- Switch the value to enabled and then click OK.
For other versions:
- Change the value of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Appx\AllowAllTrustedApps Registry to one, by simply copying the address in the navigation bar an editing the file.
Apps will be manually installed using the command line and .appx files. You can only add applications for one user at a time, but they will stick if the user roams on other computers. To simply use the software on other accounts run the commands again. All you have to do is run the following command in a Windows PowerShell prompt, where “C:\app1.appx” is the path to the software itself:
- add-appxpackage C:\app1.appx –DependencyPath C:\winjs.appx
Also make sure to include all packages that are directly related to the app itself, or it will not function properly.