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Power Apps Standalone App versus Customized List Form

There are two types of Power Apps canvas apps, and it may not be obvious that these are two different things, but it is IMPORTANT that you understand this BEFORE creating a PowerApp.

A common point of confusion when creating PowerApps, is the difference between the two different types of apps.  First of all, most people do not even realize that there are two different types of apps until it is too late.

Once you’ve created an app using one of these two methods, there is not an easy way to switch it to the other kind of app.  So, it is very important that you choose the correct kind of app right when you get started.  At the end of this article, I will mention a very time consuming way it can be achieved, but it is definitely not a simple click of a button.

Here’s a further explanation as to what the two different types of apps are, and why you would choose one over the other.

Customized list forms

Did you go to a SharePoint list and click PowerApps -> Customize forms?  If so, you are using a customized list form, and not a standalone app.


In order to control who can use the app and edit the app, it’s simply a matter of using SharePoint permissions.  People who have Edit permission will be able to design/customize the PowerApp, and people who have Contribute permission will only be able to use the PowerApp, which entails filling out the form as an end user.  Note that by default on your SharePoint site, all members of the site have EDIT permission on the whole site.  You may want to change this to Contribute, at least for any list where you don’t want them designing the app.

End user interaction:

To use this app, it is simply a matter of going to the list and adding or editing items in the SharePoint list.  This PowerApps is the list’s default form.  If you don’t want users going to the list or seeing the list, there is no reason to create this type of app.


If the PowerApp has been embedded on a page on your site, using the PowerApps web part, End users can go to the SharePoint mobile app, and go to that page to use the customized form.   These types of PowerApps will *not* be listed in the PowerApps mobile app.
* 3/31/2019 update:  Apparently it does not work in the SharePoint app anymore.

Designing the app:

You can only design the app by going to the SharePoint list, and customizing it from there.  This app will not be listed along with your standalone apps at

Backup / Export of app:

This is not possible with this type of app.


Click File –> Save, then click See all Versions


If you would like to get the App ID, which you may need for using this app in the PowerApp web part, from this screen, click the Details tab, and check out App ID.

Standalone Apps


You have two options for the type of roles you can give to users.

User – Allows them to use the app. This is what your end users need to access your app even if you embed it on a SharePoint page
Co-owner – Allows them to edit and design the app and publish changes to the app. This is ideal for any fellow developers that need to help you build the app.

When you first add someone, they are “User”, then when you check this checkbox, it makes them a co-owner.  Optionally send them an email, too.

End User Interaction:

Some ways that end users can get to the app, to use it:


Install the PowerApps app from the app store, and authenticate to your Office 365 tenant, then see the list of apps that have been shared with you.

Designing the app:

Go to, click the ellipsis next to your app, and click Edit. See image below.  You can only edit the apps where you have either created them, or have been given the Co-owner role.

Backup / Export of app:

Go to, and click the Export package button.  See image below.  Give it a name, and click Export.  It spits out a zip file.  Then, go to another environment or tenant, click Import package, and upload that zip file.


In your list of apps at, click the Details button on any app.

Then go to the Versions tab.

Here is a quick table, summarizing these points:


Customized list form Standalone app
Permissions SharePoint permissions on the list User or Co-owner
End user interaction On the list from the list of PowerApps, or using a direct link
Mobile In SharePoint app, if embedded as a web part In the PowerApps app
Designing From the list, customize list form at
Export Can’t be done at
Versioning save, then see all versions from the app’s details screen,

Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful to you!

4/20/2019 update:  I love April Dunham’s post, Open PowerApp using SharePoint Column Formatting.  You can get the best of both worlds with this solution!

If you do need to try to “convert” one type of app to the other, it’s going to be a matter of copying and pasting.  Create a new app, and open each app in a separate browser window.  You can copy and paste in controls and even screens.  You may even want to group controls together before copying, if you don’t want the whole screen, just some controls.  And of course, re-create your data connection(s) in the new app.

Are you brand new to PowerApps, and interested in getting started learning some fundamentals?  Try out my

FREE Power Apps Basics Course

Beyond beginner? Check out my full (12 hour) PowerApps training class!

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