Creating a Universal App in Windows 8.1

new-project-nameTemplate selection menu in Visual Studio

This blog gives you a step-by-step information about how to create universal app in Windows 8.1. In order to create a universal app, you will need the following tools.

1. Windows 7 or Windows 8 / 8.1 Operating system

2. Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition (It is a free software available online) with Update 4

Following are the steps which are needed to be performed (Please remember that I am using the black theme of the Visual Studio and chances are you might have the same thing appear in Blue theme or white theme so please consider that in mind while going through these steps):

1. Start Visual Studio and click on NEW Project option. You will find this option right in front of you once the Visual Studio is executed. If you don’t find that option then click on File option on top and then New and then Project as shown in the following image:


2. This will pop up a new window which will ask you to select the Project template and the name of it. Following is the window which will appear:


3. Our next step is to choose the right template which we want to use. In our case, we want to use the blank template for our Universal Application. On the left side, choose Templates -> Other Languages -> Visual C# -> Windows -> Windows 8 -> Universal. Note, if you have not updated your Visual Studio, you will see the following option:

Templates -> Other Languages -> Visual C# -> Windows -> Universal


4. Once selected, on the right side, it will display the list of templates available for Universal app. Following is what you will see:


We will choose the first option here and select Blank App (Universal Windows 8.1). Note, if you have not upgraded your Visual Studios, you might not see (Windows 8.1) in front of Blank App name.

5. Type the name of the project which you want to keep, set the location of the project and then press OK


It will automatically create a new BLANK Visual Studio solution and all the necessary files with settings required.

You will see two sections of the screen, one will display the editor with the app.xaml.cs file opened as shown below. This is the region where you may edit the code and save it after making changes.


The other region is on the right side which will display all the projects setup for you along with the files within each project. In the following image, it displays the list of projects (in expanded format) created when we selected a Universal App.


The project contains 3 projects whenever we create Universal App (in Windows 8.1 Solution).


1. Windows 8.1 Project: This project is for the Windows 8.1 operating system and all the changes we will perform in this project will be related to the app which we are working on for Windows 8.1 operating system.

2. Windows 8.1 Phone Project: This project is for the Windows 8.1 Phone (Mobile) operating system and all the changes we will perform in this project will be related to the mobile app which we are working on for Windows 8.1 mobile.

3. Shared Project: This project contains the code which maybe used by both Windows 8.1 Operating system app as well as Windows 8.1 mobile app. This approach makes this solution very powerful in the sense that we need to make change only in Shared project and only once which will reflect in both the application for operating system as well as its mobile version.

If you choose which is your ‘Startup Project‘ and the device on which you want to see the project and compile the solution, you should be able to see a blank screen now. This means your environment for making an application is ready and you are ready to produce the applications.

Hope this makes it easy for you! Happy coding!