How to activate developer mode in Windows 11

The primary purpose for which regular Windows 11 users turn on Developer Mode is to install UWP apps from outside of the Microsoft Store, although its functionality is not limited to this.

This easy step-by-step tutorial details how to enable Developer Mode in Windows 11 in the Preferences or alternatively: in the registry editor, PowerShell or the command line.

Activate developer mode in Windows 11 preferences

The basic way to activate developer mode is to use the corresponding section of the settings:

  1. Open Preferences, you can do this using the keyboard shortcut Win+I
  2. Go to “Privacy and security” and open “For developers”.
  3. In “Developer Mode”, turn on the “Install apps from any source, including free files” switch.
  4. Confirm developer mode activation.

Here the action ends, although there are other options on the same configuration page:

  • device portal
  • Device discovery
  • A number of tweaks related to file rendering in the browser, remote desktop behavior, default terminal, and the ability to run unsigned PowerShell scripts

More information is available on the official Microsoft website.

Additional methods to activate developer mode

The ability to install applications from any source is the responsibility of the appropriate local group policy, which can be changed in the local group policy editor or registry editor.

In Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise, it is more convenient to use the Local Group Policy Editor:

  1. Right-click the Start button, select Run, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - Windows Components - Deploy Application Package.
  3. In the right pane of the editor, double-click the “Allow development and installation of Windows Store apps from an integrated development environment (IDE)” policy.
  4. Set it to “On” and apply the settings.

If there is no local group policy editor (on Windows 11 Home), you can use the registry editor:

  1. Hit Win + R, type regedit, and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to the registration section
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModelUnlock

    and if it doesn't exist, create that partition.

  3. In this section, create a DWORD32 parameter called AllowDevelopmentWithoutDevLicense and value 1 (if the parameter is already present, double click on it and change the value from 0 to 1). It may also make sense to change the value of the parameter AllowAllTrustedApps in this section about 1 (Allows installation of unpublished apps, aside from enabling developer mode.)
  4. Done, developer mode is activated.

You can do the same on the command line or in PowerShell (requires running as administrator) by running the following two commands in order:

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModelUnlock" /t REG_DWORD /f /v "AllowAllTrustedApps" /d "1" reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AppModelUnlock" /t REG_DWORD /f /v "AllowDevelopmentWithoutDevLicense" /d "1"

That is all for now. If there are any questions, feel free to post them in the comments of the article.