Windows Phone 8 SDK tools

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs everything you need to build and test Windows Phone apps. This topic describes the tools that the SDK installs on your computer. Other tools that you may use later in the development cycle, such as the tools for publishing apps in the Windows Phone Store, are web-based tools.

This topic contains the following sections.


To install Windows Phone SDK 8.0, see Get the SDK.

Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs everything you need to build and test apps for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone OS 7.1. You don’t have to install Windows Phone SDK 7.1 to build apps for Windows Phone OS 7.1. However, if you already have Windows Phone SDK 7.1 installed, you don’t have to uninstall it before you install Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

For info about developing Windows Phone apps on a Mac, see How to develop for Windows Phone 8 on your Mac.

Design and code

  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone 8
    Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone is a complete development environment for creating Windows Phone apps. It includes development features such as project templates, a code editor, a visual designer, and a Toolbox of controls. It also includes integrated testing features such as simulation, monitoring and profiling, and the Windows Phone Store Test Kit. For an introduction to building apps using Visual Studio, see How to create your first app for Windows Phone 8.

  • Blend for Visual Studio
    Optionally, use this stand-alone visual design tool to build the UI for your app. You can open Windows Phone projects in Blend or in Visual Studio.

  • Design library for Windows Phone
    Review the guidelines that can help you to make a good app a great app. For suggestions on integrating design principles into the app development process, see Implementing Windows Phone app design.

Run and debug

Test and validate


Additional tools

Microsoft tools

The following updates and tools have been released by Microsoft since the original release of Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

Open source tools

The following open source controls and tools have been created by members of the Windows Phone team. These tools are not supported by Microsoft.

Support resources

To find answers and solve problems as you work with the tools in Windows Phone SDK 8.0, go to the Tools for Windows Phone Development forum. To see all the forums for Windows Phone development, go to Windows Phone Development Forums. To review other support options, go to MSDN Troubleshooting and Support.

See Also

Other Resources

Windows Phone Silverlight development