This document contains information about an experimental branch of cordova-windows with support for Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 released at the Build conference in April 2015. Information is subject to change with later revisions of the software.

What’s New in Windows 10 for Cordova

Windows 10 has a number of new platform features that make it easier to share code across Cordova applications, as well as bringing forward support for hosted web apps. This document outlines what app developers and plugin developers need to know about Windows 10 when building support for Windows.

Getting Started with Windows 10

Adding Windows 10 support to your app is as easy as setting your Windows target platform version to 10.0:

<preference name="windows-target-version" value="10.0" />

To develop apps for Windows 10, you require:

  • Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Technical Preview 2, 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Visual Studio 2015 RC

Web Context and Windows Runtime Access

In Windows 8.1, loading your app into the web context (using ms-appx-web://) would allow developers freedom of certain kinds of document manipulation (such as inline script) but would prevent Windows Runtime (WinRT) access. In Windows 10, many of these restrictions have been lifted; web applications have access to WinRT APIs as long as the page’s origin has been whitelisted in the app manifest.

To prevent malicious scripts injection, developers are encouraged to:

  • Whitelist only authorized and protected origins using the allow-navigation tag in config.xml
  • Apply a Content Security Policy meta tag to all pages viewed in a Cordova app

These are good practices in all cases.

Remote Access and Capabilities

When the app manifest declares remote URIs or Web Context to have access to WinRT, then the public Windows Store will prevent on-boarding of apps that have the following capabilities declared:

  • Enterprise Authentication (enterpriseAuthentication)
  • Shared User Certificates (sharedUserCertificates)
  • Documents Library (documentsLibrary)
  • Music Library (musicLibrary)
  • Pictures Library (picturesLibrary)
  • Videos Library (videosLibrary)
  • Removable Storage (removableStorage)
  • Internet client/server (internetClientServer) - note that internetClient is still permitted
  • Private network client/server (privateNetworkClientServer)

Each of the library restrictions may be worked around by requesting that the user interact with the file system via a file picker. This prevents malicious injected code from arbitrarily accessing (for example) the file system.

The network-related restrictions must be worked around by either using an API that doesn't use capability checks or by brokering communication via standard internet communication channels, such as XMLHttpRequest or Web Sockets.

The Enterprise Authentication and Shared User Certificates capabilities are specifically targeted at Enterprise scenarios. These capabilities are supported for private/enterprise-enabled App Stores, so if you are building apps which are going to be deployed to an internal deployment mechanism, you can still support these.

Whenever you build targeting Windows 10, if one of these capabilities is detected in your app manifest, a warning will be displayed.


config.xml Preferences

windows-target-version, windows-phone-target-version

<preference name="windows-target-version" value="10.0" />
<preference name="windows-phone-target-version" value="10.0" />

The default value is 8.1 for both platforms

These preferences identify the version of Windows or Windows Phone you would like your app package to target.

Valid Values

  • 10.0, UAP: Builds for Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform
  • 8.1: Builds for Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 (the default)


If you are targeting Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 only, you only need to have a single windows-target-version setting in your config.xml file. Explicitly setting windows-target-version to specify Windows 10 will push the Phone setting to 10 as well.


<preference name="WindowsDefaultUriPrefix" value="ms-appx://|ms-appx-web://" />

This preference identifies whether you want your app to target the local context or web context as its startup URI. When building for Windows 10, the default is the web context (ms-appx-web://).

In order to have a local-context application that is not impacted by web-context capability restrictions, you must set this preference to ms-appx:// and not declare any <allow-navigation> elements with remote URIs.

Valid Values

  • ms-appx:// (Default for Windows 8.1): The start page runs in the local context
  • ms-appx-web:// (Default for Windows 10): The start page runs in the web context

{SDK}-MinVersion, {SDK}-MaxVersionTested


<preference name="Windows.Universal-MinVersion" value="" />
<preference name="Windows.Mobile-MinVersion" value="10.0.9927.0" />
<preference name="Windows.Mobile-MaxVersionTested" value="10.0.10031.0" />
<preference name="Microsoft.Northwind-MinVersion" value="" />

These preferences identify which ecosystems or required Extension SDKs (including but not limited to Windows Universal, Windows Mobile, or Xbox) and the min/max versions they are compatible with. They still require that the platforms have support for the Universal Windows Platform (with Windows 10 as the base OS). However, these may indicate that the application is aware of particular functionality that may only be available on certain devices.

Valid Values

There are three parts to each value: the SDK, the version restriction, and the version value. These preferences are detected by beginning with Windows or Microsoft and ending in -MinVersion or -MaxVersionTested:

  • The SDK defines what platform or Extension SDK you want to target. The default is Windows.Universal. Valid values for these are defined in the AppxManifest schema, in thePackage/Dependencies/TargetPlatform elements.
  • The version restriction defines application compatibility rules. For example, if the -MinVersion is set to, then OS versions which don‘t support at least of the corresponding SDK won’t be able to load it.
  • -MinVersion specifies the minimum version of the SDK required
  • -MaxVersionTested specifies the highest-tested version of the SDK. If a new version of the corresponding SDK is released, it will run in compatibility mode for the specified version.
  • The version value is a 4-integer tuple in the form of

If no preferences of these types are specified in your config.xml file, then Windows.Universal version will be chosen by default.

The allow-navigation Element

<allow-navigation href="" />

This preference identifies origins which will have access to Windows APIs. Effectively, this means that origins which are whitelisted with allow-navigation elements can be top-level navigation targets, and will have full access to Cordova plugins that target Windows.

This aligns with the behavior of the allow-navigation element in cordova-plugin-whitelist, but is built into the platform. Both the top-level page, as well as webviews, will have access based on the origin of the URI. It is recommended that, when using this element, that any pages loaded into the frame have a Content Security Policy applied.