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Sideload Windows Store Apps in Windows 8

Use a Sideloading Product Activation Key

So, what do you do for computers that are not domain joined, such as in bring-your-own-device scenarios? Or, what about Windows RT devices that cannot be joined to a domain? How do you sideload apps to those devices? The answer is to use a sideloading product activation key.

A sideloading product activation key is a special type of volume license key assigned to a specific device. Sideloading product activation keys are necessary when either of the following scenarios is true:

  • Devices running Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise are not domain joined.
  • Devices running Windows RT cannot be domain joined.
note iconNote:
If you sideload any apps before activating a sideloading product activation key, the app tile on the Start screen will show an X in the bottom right corner of the tile, and the app will not run

You can enable sideloading for these scenarios by using the Windows Software Licensing Management Tool (Slmgr.vbs) and performing the following steps for each targeted device:

  1. Obtain a sideloading product activation key for the device. For more information about how to obtain a sideloading product activation key, see the Windows 8 Volume Licensing Guide.
  2. Add the sideloading product activation key to the device by running the following command from an elevated command prompt (where <sideloading product key> is the 25-digit sideloading product activation key):

    Slmgr /ipk <sideloading product key>

  3. Activate the sideloading product activation key by running the following command from an elevated command prompt:

    Slmgr /ato ec67814b-30e6-4a50-bf7b-d55daf729d1e

    note iconNote:
    The activation globally unique ID (GUID) is not the same as the sideloading product key. The activation GUID will always be ec67814b-30e6-4a50-bf7b-d55daf729d1e.