UWP AppInstall Auto Update issue On Windows 10

Occasional Contributor

I have a new UWP application that can be installed (side-loaded) from the web with a valid certificate.  However so far during testing I am unable to get the app to update when a higher version number exists on the website when auto-update is set to "0" hours or any other condition I have tried. I am at a loss to troubleshoot the issue. If I attempt to update the UWP app manually over HTTP it works as expected and recognizes when the version is the same, newer, or even older. It even installs on Windows 10 machines not in developer mode as I had hoped. If I switch the app source to a local drive and test it acts the same. What exactly are the triggers on the Windows 10 PC that cause the updated version to be discovered? What should I be looking for?

- new to all this

5 Replies
best response confirmed by Roy_MacLachlan (Microsoft)

Hi @hrb-2,

I'd like to offer some help to you on this. It sounds like you've selected to distribute your Windows App using an AppInstaller file (configured with automatic updates). Can you share a copy of your AppInstaller file that's being used to install / update your Windows App on client computers.


A couple key items to be aware of, the AppInstaller URI specified in the AppInstaller file must point to itself, and the AppInstaller file used for installing the Windows App must be updated to contain the newer version of the Windows App.

For more information, please also visit our Microsoft Doc's Article on AppInstaller and Auto Updating:

Thank you for your interest and sorry for not getting back to you in a more timely manner. I seem to have made some progress as the UWP app is now updating. However, the user is not given any choice in the matter, which seems heavy handed and I would swear previously was not the case. When I publish a new version of the application I select Sideloading and enable automatic updates. The app is signed with a proper certificate. Finally I select a output location, set autoincrement, and only x64 release is checked for the type of package to create. Finally for the installer location I include an http:// address that includes the path to where the files are located. (ex: and tell it to check every time. Once the build is complete and the files are deposited in the output location I upload them to the IIS webserver. Everything there is configured correctly and new installs are successful. Update are now happening but I never see the AppInstaller run to download them it all seems to happen automatically once the UWP application is run on the target PC. Either the next time or perhaps the time after the update will occur. I would prefer that the AppInstaller program would interface with the user and request permission to do the install which used to happen when I got it working the first time last year but now it just happens. How would you like me to share a copy of the Appinstaller file for you to look at?

Microsoft Verified Best Answer

Hi @hrb-2 

No worries about the delay, I'm happy to help. You can share your AppInstaller file with me directly via Tech Community DM. I've sent you a message, please respond to it with a copy of your AppInstaller file.


I would like to direct you to the AppInstaller Schema 2017 v2 that you are likely using with your AppInstaller file. More importantly the Auto Update settings (found by selecting the "OnLaunch" link). 


HoursBetweenUpdateChecks HoursBetweenUpdateChecks specifies the frequency with which the the deployment service will check for an update to the App Installer file.  Numeric
0-255. default=24.
ShowPrompt Indicates if deployment will show a prompt, informing the user about the update.  Boolean

Should only be used if ShowPrompt="true". Indicates if deployment will stop the user from launching the application until the update has been applied.


“UpdateBlocksActivation” = true means the UI the user will see allows the user to take the update or close the app.

“UpdateBlocksActivation” = false means the UI the user will see allows the user to take the update or start the app without updating.



If your users are not receiving a prompt when an update is availabe as they are launching their Windows App, please make sure you've configured the above settings correctly.


Please note that AppInstaller setting changes are applied when the app is next updated or reinstalled.


If this has been helpful, or has answered your question please mark it as "Verified Answer".


Thank you,

Roy MacLachlan

This has sort of become a moot point given Microsoft appears to have killed downloading Apps via the AppInstaller application and protocol. There is little or no response from them when I query about any progress for those who are not domain connected and controlled. It seems as though they have fixed the problem for the folks with the big bucks but forgotten the community of independent devlopers that bought into UWP and AppInstaller.

Hi @hrb-2,


Unfortunately, I do not have any updates on the "ms-appinstaller" activation protocol beyond pointing you to the blog post that described the problem. Dian has shared in the blog post that new updates will be shared in this blog post.


Please keep an eye on this blog post as an update will be posted.