Windows 10 Preview: How to Enable Developer Mode to Sideload Apps
The sideloading of apps refers to installing and running applications that are not featured in the Store. It’s something that is most commonly associated with smartphones and tablets. However, the option to sideload apps is now available in a recent version of the Windows 10 Insider Preview, build 10122 or greater to be precise. All you need to do is enable Developer Mode.
As the name would suggest, the configuration option is of particular interest to developers as it allows them to test out their own applications on a live system to ensure that they work properly. But there’s nothing to stop anyone from taking advantage of this feature; they can also sideload apps by enabling the mode in Windows 10.
Developer Mode is not something that is entirely new in Windows desktop OS though; it has been available in previous builds as well. But back then, you had to mess about the registry or Group Policy Editor, and now you can handle everything in a rather comfortable way through Settings.
Enable Developer Mode in Windows 10
With build 10122 or greater installed on your machine, follow the below steps to enable the new Developer features:
- Tap on the Windows-key, then open Settings.
- Navigate to Update & Security > For developers.
- Once there, you may either enable “Sideload apps” or “Developer mode.”
Before you proceed, Windows 10 will show you a warning message saying sideloading is potentially dangerous; just click Yes to continue if you’re ready to take the risk.
The core difference between both options is that “Developer mode” unlocks a few extra options that “Sideload apps” is limited to. If you ever change your mind, you can easy switch back to regular mode by selecting the “Don’t use developer features” option.
The new method is a significant improvement on Windows 8.x implementation, especially for developers who no longer have to sign up to get started or registering phones. It should make life a lot easier for home users as well, as they can now use the sideload feature to install apps from a third-party, for instance from a developer who has not published an app on Windows Store.
Sideloading apps in Windows 10 has its own risks though. Microsoft notes that users should only install apps from trusted sources. That is to say you agree to obtain all rights necessary to sideload the apps, which may include code that violates Store policies.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.