Setup a default app

Here you’ll learn the ways to set your application as the default application. The default application is the one that is launched when the system boots.

Runtime options


During development / experimental phases, you can change the default app by following means.

Using Windows Device Portal

You can click on Set as Default App link next to the app. SetupDefaultAppWDP

Using the shell

Steps to set the default app using the shell

  1. Connect to the device via Powershell

  2. List the applications installed using iotstartup list

  3. Note the appid for the application you want to make as default and set it using iotstartup add headed <appid>. For headless app, you should use iotstartup add headless <appid>.

Build time options


For large deployments, you can follow one of the below options

Using install script

When you deploy your app using the update package, you can set the launchapp variable (set launchapp=1) in the AppxConfig.cmd. See App Installer for more details.

Using provisioning package

You can specify the LaunchAppAtLogin setting in the ICD during the provisioning package creation. SetupDefaultAppICD

How to configure “Home” key


Windows 10 IoT Anniversary Update (1607) provides shell support for bringing the default application window to the foreground when another application is currently running.

To enable this behaviour, the following registry key must be added with the virtual key mapping

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\IoTShellExtension\HotKeys

The virtual key mapping consists of a unique, but descriptively named QWORD registry key with a value that maps a virtual key and its modifier to the “Home” action. The QWORD value is defined as follows:

Bit [63-32], [31-20]	: Reserved for future use.  Must be 0.
Bit [19 - 16] 		: Modifier Key. Possible values are 0x0=No Modifier, Alt=0x1, Ctrl=0x2, Shift=0x4
Bit [15 - 0] 		: Virtual Key Code.  

See Virtual Key Code for the key code values.

For example, to make the “Left Windows” key (VK_LWIN) swap back to the default application add the following QWORD registry key:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\IoTShellExtension\HotKeys

“VK_LWIN” QWORD 0x00000000 0000005B

It is also possible to add additional hot keys to perform the same function. For example, to allow both the Left and Right Windows keys swap back to the default application add two entries to the registry:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\IoTShellExtension\HotKeys

“VK_LWIN” QWORD 0x00000000 0000005B

“VK_RWIN” QWORD 0x00000000 0000005C

See Settings.HotKey sample package


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