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ApplicationOrder.XML File

Every Microsoft Surface application that is installed on a device made for Surface must have a corresponding ApplicationName.xml file that registers the application with Surface Shell. If no ApplicationName.xml file exists for an application, it cannot display in Launcher. For more information about the ApplicationName.xml file and registering applications, see Registering Applications.

Before Surface Shell opens Launcher, it checks to make sure a file named ApplicationOrder.xml exists. This file specifies whether an application will appear in Launcher and the order in which applications will appear from left to right. If this file does not exist (which is the default situation for a new device made for Surface), Launcher shows all registered applications in alphabetical order (by application title).

The following sections describe how to edit the ApplicationOrder.xml to configure application order in Launcher.

If you prefer to use Surface Configuration Editor, which is a tool with a graphical user interface, to edit ApplicationOrder.xml, see Configuring Launcher

Specifying Which Applications Appear in Launcher and in What Order

The ApplicationOrder.xml file enables you to specify which registered applications appear in Launcher and in what order. For new devices made for Surface, you will need to create the ApplicationOrder.xml file. (An example file is shown in the following section.) Once you have created an ApplicationOrder.xml file and specified which applications you want to appear in Launcher and in what order, the next time a new Surface mode session starts, Surface Shell checks the ApplicationOrder.xml file and updates the applications that appear in Launcher and the application order. If you, as the administrator, want to force Launcher changes, you can restart Surface Shell, wait for the current user to initiate a new session, or wait for the current session to time out. Note that if you uninstall an application, you need to also remove it from this XML file.

In the ApplicationOrder.xml file, you specify one of two modes:

  • The SpecificApps mode indicates that only the applications that you list in ApplicationOrder.xml will appear in Launcher and that they will appear from left to right in Launcher in the order that they are listed in the XML file.

  • The AllApps mode indicates that all registered applications will appear in Launcher, starting by displaying any applications that are listed in the ApplicationOrder.xml file (in the order that they are listed), and then displaying any remaining registered applications in alphabetical order. If one of the applications in ApplicationOrder.xml is misspelled or does not exist, Surface Shell does not include that application in Launcher. Check the event log for detailed information.

Make sure that you place the final ApplicationOrder.xml file in the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Surface\v2.0 folder on the device made for Surface.

Example ApplicationOrder.xml File to Display only Specific Applications in Launcher

The following code example shows an ApplicationOrder.xml file that displays three Microsoft-supplied applications in Launcher. They will appear from left to right as follows: Photo Paint, Grand Piano, Scatter Puzzle. Each application is listed in the ApplicationOrder.xml file exactly as the short cut to the ApplicationName.xml is listed in the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Surface\v2.0\Programs folder.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<shell:ApplicationOrder Mode="SpecificApps" 

Example ApplicationOrder.xml File to Display All Registered Applications in Launcher

The following code example shows an ApplicationOrder.xml file that will display three other applications. (Sound Canvas, Ghost, and Scratch Pad in that order) plus all other registered applications (in this example, the three Microsoft-supplied venue applications, Grand Piano, Photo Paint, and Scatter Puzzle) in alphabetical order.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding=utf-8" ?> 
<shell:ApplicationOrder Mode="AllApps" 

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