Windows 11 Store - VST3 distribution?

Hi all,

If anybody reading this is interested in the topic of possibly distributing their VST3(s) written with JUCE, via the Windows 11 Store, you might like to “up vote” this question:

Best wishes,


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I already distribute my app via the windows store. and it can load 3rd-party plugins from the standard location (C:\Program Files\Common Files\whatever).

How this is done is you ‘wrap’ a classic windows app using ‘Project Centenial’

I understand the Windows 11 app store is even more permissive. I think you can use standard Win32 installers unmodified.

Or does your question apply more to sandboxed (UWP) apps?

Hi @JeffMcClintock

Wow, that is really interesting. Believe it or, I’d never heard of Project Centennial.
I’ve tried digging just now, and it doesn’t seem to be around right now?

My own win32 apps are wrapped-up as UWP apps, using something called the Windows Desktop Bridge (for C++ Win32 apps). They’re quite locked-down in terms of what they can do!

Maybe what you’re referring to is exactly what I’m referring to - just terminology!

How do you wrap-up your app?
And, critically, how do you build it for the Store, and upload it?
And, if you’re basically doing what I’m doing - how are you able to load 3rd party DLLs?! :slight_smile:

I’d love to find out more!

Thanks, Pete

Finally tracked-down how I first did this - back in 2017.


“Just add a packaging project, reference your desktop project, and then press F5 to debug your app. No manual tweaks necessary. This new streamlined experience is a vast improvement over the experience that was available in the previous version of Visual Studio.”

So ‘Project Centenial’ was the original name, but it’s called now a ‘desktop bridge’ project officially I think. The idea is that you take any classic windows app and run the installer through a utility called ‘desktop app converter’ that captures all the actions of the installer. It then creates a windows-store installer that does exactly the same actions and packages it up into an ‘appxupload’ bundle. ie. at that point your classic app can now be uploaded to the app store in the same manner as a ‘real’ UWP windows-store-app. Microsoft will verify it and publish it to the store.

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OK, that’s exactly what I’m doing!

I was convinced that such apps couldn’t load DLLs!

I presume you have a Package.appxmanifest, with something like this…?

oh, seems we did the same thing. The last piece of the puzzle is your app needs to run ‘full trust’ to access vst plugins.

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Wow - very cool indeed! Where do you set that?!

apologies, i did this a few years ago and the details are a little fuzzy. I do notice this setting…

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Thanks very much - I’ll keep digging, and share what I learn! Pete

Weirdly, I’m finding that provided I have this in the manifest:

    <Capability Name="internetClient" />
    <uap3:Capability Name="backgroundMediaPlayback" />
    <rescap:Capability Name="runFullTrust" />
    <DeviceCapability Name="webcam"/>

… and don’t try added anything else …

And just leave entry point as $targetentrypoint$ … “it just works” …!