How can I prevent my UWP app from showing up in the Start menu?

Raymond Chen

Customers developing UWP applications have asked if there is a way to prevent the app from appearing in the Start menu. For example, printer manufacturers have a UWP print extension app that is launched automatically by the Print Settings UI. They don’t want the user launching their print extension app directly; they want the user to do it through the system printing UI. Is there a way to remove the app from the Start menu?

Yes: In your manifest, go to the VisualElements element and add the attribute AppListEntry="none".

This removes the app from the Start menu, as well as from Search. The app does remain visible in the Apps & features list of all apps, so that the user can uninstall it. If the app is registered for any extension points, such as file types or protocols, the app will show up in the corresponding UI for controlling those extension points.

Disappearing from the Start menu does not render your app unlaunchable. The app can raise toast notifications that will launch the app when clicked. And the app can be launched programmatically by methods such as Launcher.Launch­Uri­Async and Launcher.Launch­File­Async, say because the application is the registered default handler for the URI or file type. If the app is a handler but not the default handler, the caller can specify an explicit Target­Application­Package­Family­Name to get the app to launch.