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Friday, December 1, 2023

[How To] Sideload Apps Using Windows PowerShell In Windows 10

Microsoft brought the concept of Modern Apps to our PCs in Windows 8. Although, the process of downloading and installing these apps was kept native to the Windows Store. With time, this process has been made simpler and now in Windows 10, you can quickly change some settings and get these apps from anywhere.

Organizations would often create their own apps, which has the same characteristics as the apps we find in Windows Store. These apps can be made publicly available if they want to use the standard Windows Store certification, or they can make them available to their enterprise users through a process known as sideloading.

Enable Sideloading In Windows 10

Sideloading option is disabled in Windows 10 by default. You can use a Group Policy setting to enable it. This is how to configure the Group Policy:

1. Open Run Prompt by hitting Windows Key + R together. Type in gpedit.msc and hit Enter. This should open the Group Policy Editor.

2. In the Group Policy Window, Navigate to the following, on the left pane:

Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/App Package Deployment

3. Now, on the right side window, double-click Allow all trusted apps to install. On the new windows that appears, Select Enabled. Click Apply and then OK.

4. Now, once this setting is enabled, any LOB(Line OF Business) Windows Store app, signed by Certification Authority that the computer trusts, can be installed.

How To Sideload An App

Once the sideloading is enabled, you can use AppX Windows PowerShell module and the associated cmdlets to sideload an app. To manually sideload an app, follow the below steps:

1. Once again, open Run Prompt and type in powershell and hit Enter. This should open the Windows PowerShell Window.

2. Type Import-module appx and Press Enter.

3. Type Add-appxpackage “path and name of the app” to add the app and Press Enter.

4. The App would install and will be available to the user. Please note that this needs to be done for each user if there are multiple users sharing a single PC.

5. You can also use several AppX cmdlets to install and manage LOB Windows Store apps. Please refer the below table:

Note : If you want to sideload the apps to multiple computers, you have to use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) cmdlets, which we will be covering in the next post.

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