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How To Create MSI Installer

Many businesses and individuals use the MSI (Microsoft Installer) software installation format to distribute software applications.

Due to its simplicity of use, compatibility with Windows operating systems, and central installation management capabilities, it is well-liked.

This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to design a competent and effective installer that can be used to distribute your software application if you’re looking to create an MSI installer.

The following topics will be covered in this guide:

  • Getting to know MSI installers’ fundamentals
  • Selecting the appropriate MSI authoring program
  • Getting ready to install your software
  • Creating an MSI installer
  • Deploying and testing the MSI installer

You will have a thorough understanding of how to create MSI installers by the time this guide is finished, and you will be prepared to develop and market your software application successfully.

Table of Contents

Explanation of MSI Installers

On Windows operating systems, software applications are frequently distributed using the MSI (Microsoft Installer) installation format.


To control RGB on MSI Motherboard, you can use the MSI RGB Control Guide. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to customize your RGB lighting.

All the data needed to set up and configure a software application on the user’s computer is contained in MSI files. It has many advantages over other installation formats because it is a standard format that works with all Windows versions.

Importance of MSI Installers:

For businesses and individuals looking to effectively distribute their software applications, MSI installers are a crucial tool. They provide a number of advantages, such as the capacity to centrally manage installations, automate the installation process, and guarantee consistent user experience across all installations. MSI installers are the best option for enterprise-level software applications because they offer robust error handling.

Objectives of the Blog Post

This blog post’s goal is to offer a thorough instruction on how to create MSI installers. Everything from testing and deploying the MSI package to comprehending the fundamentals of Microsoft Installers will be covered. You will have a thorough understanding of how to create MSI installers by the time this guide is finished, and you will be prepared to develop and market your software application successfully.

Overview of the Topics to be Covered

We will discuss the following subjects in this blog post:

  • Getting to know MSI installers’ fundamentals
  • Selecting the appropriate MSI authoring program
  • Getting ready to install your software
  • Creating an MSI installer
  • Deploying and testing the MSI installer

You can create expert and effective MSI installers that can be used to effectively distribute your software applications by following this guide.

Understanding the basics of MSI installers

Definition of MSI

Microsoft Installer, or MSI, is a type of software installation that is used to distribute Windows operating system software applications. It has many advantages over other installation formats because it is a standard format that works with all Windows versions.

Advantages of MSI over other installation formats

Compared to other installation formats, MSI installers have a number of benefits, including:

  • Installation management that is centralized
  • Robust handling of errors
  • Ability to automate installation
  • Consistent installation user experience
  • Enhanced windows operating system compatibility
  • Centrally deploy updates and patches

Key features of MSI

The following are MSI installers’ main characteristics:

  • Software application installation, configuration, and removal capabilities
  • Ability to silently install software
  • The installation procedure can be customized..Converting an EXE to an MSI can be done in less than 1 minute with the right tools. [Exe to MSI Conversion]( is a great resource to help you get started.
  • Central management of installations
  • Centrally deploy updates and patches

Understanding the structure of MSI installers

Several parts make up MSI installers, including:

  • All the data needed to install and configure the software application is stored in the database.
  • The installation process is controlled by the installation engine.
  • The user interface, which details the installation procedure for the user
  • During the installation process, custom actions carry out particular tasks.

You can better understand how MSI installers operate and how to use them to effectively distribute your software applications by comprehending their structure.

Choosing the right MSI authoring tool

Overview of MSI authoring tools

Software programs called MSI authoring tools are used to make installers for Microsoft Windows. Each MSI authoring tool has a distinct set of features and capabilities and is widely available. Microsoft Visual Studio, WiX, and InstallShield are a few of the most widely used MSI authoring tools.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each MSI authoring tool. For instance, due to its integration with the Visual Studio development environment, developers frequently prefer using Microsoft. For developers who want to build MSI installers without purchasing a tool, WiX is an open-source tool that is perfect. A commercial tool called InstallShield offers a variety of features for making MSI installers, such as the ability to manage installations centrally, support for building installation wizards.

Choosing the best tool for your needs

It’s crucial to take into account your unique requirements and the features that matter most to you when selecting an MSI authoring tool. A tool that integrates with your development environment, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, might be the best option if you’re a developer and want to build MSI installers as part of the development process. However, if you run a small business and need to create MSI installers for your software programs, InstallShield or another user-friendly tool with many features may be the best option.

The best MSI authoring tool for you will ultimately depend on your unique requirements. Research the various MSI authoring tool options, contrast their features and capabilities, and select the one that best meets your needs before making a decision.

Preparing your software for installation

Gather all necessary files and dependencies

Gathering all the required files and dependencies is necessary before creating an MSI installer for your software. This covers all necessary dependencies for your software to function properly, including the primary executable file, any supporting files, libraries, and other files.

Decide on the installation paths

You must choose the installation paths for your software after gathering all the required files and dependencies. This includes any additional paths that might be needed for configuration files, libraries, or other dependencies, as well as the location where the software will be installed on the user’s system.

Prepare the software for silent installation

The software can be installed silently without the need for user interaction thanks to this feature. When you want to deploy software to multiple systems without manually interacting with each one, this can be helpful. You must make sure that your software can be installed and configured without the need for user interaction in order to prepare it for silent installation.

Choose the installation options

Finally, you must select your software’s installation options. This entails selecting the best options for installing the software and its dependencies, as well as whether to create a complete or custom installation. The installation path, installation options, and location of any configuration files are a few options you might need to take into account.

You can get your software ready for installation and make an MSI installer that is tailored to your needs by following these instructions. This will make sure that your software is properly installed, configured, and operating on the user’s computer.

Building the MSI installer

Creating the MSI project

The MSI project must be created after your software has been prepared for installation. This entails creating the project in your MSI authoring tool and specifying the required components, such as the name, version, and manufacturer. The installation paths and any other pertinent information unique to your software must also be specified.

Configuring the installer options

Configuring the installer options comes next. This includes specifying any installation options that are unique to your software, such as whether the software will be installed for all users or just the current user. To make sure the installation process goes smoothly and correctly, you must also configure the installer options.

Customizing the installation process

The installation process must then be customized after the installer options have been set up. This entails specifying the installation-related actions, such as copying files, registering components, and configuring the software. By adding shortcuts, updating registry entries, or setting up system settings, you can also add any additional steps unique to your software to the installation process.

Building the MSI package

Building the MSI package is the final step. This entails condensing all of the components into a single, self-contained MSI installer package that you have defined for your project. You can distribute the MSI package to users or install it across multiple systems once it has been created.

You can create a skilled MSI installer that is tailored to your unique needs by following these instructions. This will make sure that your software is installed and properly configured on the user’s system and that the installation process goes smoothly. The MSI installer format also offers a number of advantages, such as the ability to automate the installation process, deploy the software across multiple systems, and install and configure it remotely.

Testing and deploying the MSI installer

Verifying the MSI installer on different operating systems

Verify that your MSI installer functions properly on various operating systems before installing it. To make sure the installer functions as expected and doesn’t cause any issues, it is tested on a variety of systems, including various Windows versions. Additionally, you should make sure that the installer functions properly on any other systems that are pertinent to your target audience, including 32-bit and 64–bit systems.

Deploying the MSI installer

The MSI installer must then be deployed after it has been tested and verified. Using software distribution tools, manual installation, or the use of group policy objects are just a few examples of ways to accomplish this. It’s crucial to pick a deployment strategy that will benefit both your company and your intended audience and will enable you to use the MSI installer as quickly as possible.

Updating the MSI installer

Your MSI installer might need to be updated over time, for instance, to add new features or fix bugs. A new MSI package can be created and distributed to the target systems to accomplish this. It’s crucial to pick an updating technique that won’t cause any issues for your users and will enable you to release updates quickly and effectively.

Best practices for MSI deployment

There are several best practices you should adhere to to make sure your MSI deployment goes as smoothly and effectively as possible. These include automating the deployment process with software distribution tools, managing deployment with group policy objects, and thoroughly testing the installer on various systems prior to deployment. You can help make sure that your MSI deployment is as successful as possible and that users can use your software as soon and easily by adhering to these best practices.

How to create an MSI installer from EXE?

Run the Windows Command Prompt. Go to the folder where your .exe file is located. Run the following command: <file.exe> /s /x /b"<folder>" /v"/qn" (replace <file.exe> with the name of your .exe file and <folder> with the target folder where you want the MSI package to be saved to).

Which tool allows you to create an MSI package?

You can use the MSIX Packaging Tool to create an MSIX application package from any of the following options: MSI. EXE. ClickOnce.

How do I create a Mac installer package?

  1. Navigate to Software Deployment -> Add Packages -> Mac.
  2. Specify a name for the Package and provide the details of the package for your personal reference.
  3. Click Installation tab.

How can I make my own installer?

  1. How to create an App Installer file.
  2. Step 1: Create the *.appinstaller file.
  3. Step 2: Add the basic template.
  4. Step 3: Add the main package information.
  5. Step 4: Add the optional packages.
  6. Step 5: Add dependencies.
  7. Step 6: Add Update setting.
  8. Step 7: Add Auto Update Settings.

How to create MSI installer in Python?

  1. Open Advanced Installer.
  2. Select the “Simple” type.
  3. Uncheck the “Use wizard…” option.
  4. Press the [ Create Project ] button.
  5. Your new project has been created, which means you can now edit it.

How to convert EXE to MSI using 7zip?

Right-click on the .exe file (from which you want to extract an . msi file) and from the shortcut menu choose 7-Zip > Open Archive. Do not extract any files yet. Instead, browse and look for the folder MSI within the contents.

How do I create a setup file from an installed program?

  1. Open the Run prompt (Windows key + R) and type iexpress.exe to launch the IExpress Wizard.
  2. Select Create new Self Extraction Directive file and click Next.
  3. Select Extract files only and click Next.
  4. For the package title, the name of your app is a safe choice.

What is the difference between setup EXE and MSI?

MSI is an installer file which installs your program on the executing system. Setup.exe is an application (executable file) which has msi file(s) as its one of the resources. Executing Setup.exe will in turn execute msi (the installer) which writes your application to the system.

Which tool allows you to create an MSI package?

You can use the MSIX Packaging Tool to create an MSIX application package from any of the following options: MSI. EXE. ClickOnce.

How to create MSI installer Visual Studio?

Create the first Visual Studio installer

In Visual Studio select "Build" > "Build Solution" option to start the build. After the build is completed successfully, it will create two main files: HelloWorld.exe which is the output from the C# project and Installer Project. msi which is the installation package.

What is difference between installer and MSI installer?

The Windows Installer is a component of Windows that handles the installation, maintenance, and removal of software. .MSI files are Windows Installer database files and interact exclusively with the Windows Installer, unlike .

Should I use EXE or msi installer?

The EXE file can install an application, but it can also be the program’s main executable, whereas MSI files only install applications. EXE files cannot be modified. The only way to alter EXE installers is to repackage them using the Repackager.

How do I create a setup EXE file?

  1. Select the desired software folder in the Software Library.
  2. Choose the Create an Application Package>EXE Package task and then follow the wizard.
  3. Enter a package name.
  4. Select the executable file, e.g. a setup.exe.
  5. Specify the execution options in the Command line options.

How to create MSI installer using WiX?

Adding a WiX setup project

In Visual Studio, open your solution, and add a WiX project to it: go to the Visual Studio main menu and click File -> Add -> New Project to open the Add New Project dialog. Choose the Setup Project item in the Windows Installer XML node, specify the project name and click OK.

How to create MSI installer package?


  1. Create project.
  2. Add files.
  3. Build and install the MSI package.
  4. Remove installed file.
  5. Edit product and company names.
  6. Create shortcuts to the MSI Installer.
  7. Change product version.
  8. Installer Analytics.

What is an MSI installer package?

MSI file extension stands for Microsoft Software Installer. It is a Windows Installer format that uses Microsoft’s Windows Installer service to configure installer packages, such as Windows applications or update packages.


The entire procedure for making an MSI installer is covered in this blog post. This includes comprehending the fundamentals of MSI installers, picking the appropriate MSM authoring tool, setting up your software for installation, creating the MSS package, testing, and deploying the installer, as well as best practices. You can make an MSI installer that is simple to use, effective, and tailored to your particular needs by following these instructions.

The main takeaways are summarized as follows:

  • Understanding MSI installers’ fundamentals and benefits over other installation formats
  • Depending on your unique needs, select the appropriate MSI authoring tool.
  • Gathering required files and dependencies, choosing installation paths, and selecting installation options are all part of software preparation.
  • Creating the project, setting up options, and altering the installation procedure are all part of building the MSI package.
  • Following best practices for deployment and testing the MSI installer, including testing it on various operating systems

Although making an MSI installer is a difficult process, it is necessary for software development. You can make an MSI installer that meets your users’ needs and makes the installation process as quick and seamless as possible by comprehending the fundamental ideas and adhering to best practices.

We can anticipate more developments in MSI installers as technology develops. Greater support for various operating systems and device types, as well as new features and capabilities, may all contribute to the installation process’ increased efficiency. You can make sure that your MSI installer stays current, efficient, and continues to satisfy the needs of your users by staying current with these developments.

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Solomon Omolabi is a seasoned IT professional with 10 years of industry expertise. As the owner of, he provides meticulously researched and comprehensive articles that effortlessly tackle any technical challenge. Solomon's contributions have earned him recognition on esteemed professional platforms, making him a trusted authority in resolving complex IT issues. Read more.

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