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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

CREATE AN EXE OR SETUP FILE IN .NET WINDOWS APPLICATION

77 Votes Hi .NET Architects!

Visual Studio Setup and deployment Projects provides to make an executable or installer file in .NET windows application is easy and rapidly.

Visual Studio provides templates for four types of deployment projects: Merge Module Project, Setup Project, Web Setup Project, and Cab Project. In addition, a Setup wizard is provided to help step you through the process of creating deployment projects. You can see the templates and the wizard in the New Project dialog box under the Setup and Deployment Projects node.

The following are guidelines for choosing the right type of deployment project for your project.

1)Merge Module Project : Packages components that might be shared by multiple applications.

2)Setup Project : Builds an installer for a Windows-based application.

3)Web Setup Project : Builds an installer for a Web application.

4)Cab Project : Creates a cabinet file for downloading to a legacy Web browser.

5)Smart Device Cab Project : Creates a Cab project to deploy device applications.

This topic demonstrates deployment using a Setup and Deployment Project.

Setup Projects

Setup projects allow you to create installers in order to distribute an application. The resulting

12/24/13

Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

Windows Installer (.msi) file contains the application, any dependent files, information about the application such as registry entries, and instructions for installation. When the .msi file is distributed and run on another computer, you can be assured that everything necessary for installation is included; if for any reason the installation fails (for example, the target computer does not have the required operating system version), the installation will be rolled back and the computer returned to its pre installation state.

I. Create Setup Project

The following steps will gives the elegant guidance to create an executable or installer file.

1. Go to file menu > click Add > new project >now “Add New Project” dialog will appear.

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Windows Installer

2. Select the “Other Project Types” and click “Setup and Deployment” projects,Choose “Setup Project” give name project name in name text box finally click OK.

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 3. New

3. New project appear in solution explorer,for eg., you have give the name “MyEXE” file will be displays with given name.

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 3. New

4.Right click the MyEXE > go View > click “File System”

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 5.You can

5.You can see the “File System on TargetMachine”under three folders Application Folder User’s Desktop User’s Program Menu

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 5.You can

6.Select Application Folder and right click Add>Project Output>select Primary output

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 5.You can

7. Select User’s Desktop right click on the right side pane>click create new shortcut>select output file from Application folder>change the file name from primary output name to MyEXE

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Next >>

Next >>

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Next >>

Same procedure follows the user’s program menu also

8.If you want to change the Manufactures name, just right click the project go to properties

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Change the

Change the properties as per you requirement

9.Finally Build the new project

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Change the

11. Select the Release folder for build. (Select ‘Properties’ in right click of Setup Project)

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 12. SetDownlaod #2 .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Downlaod II. Create shortcut icon in User’s Desktop, User’s Programs Menu and Add/Remove Programs Note: System support only .ico file format a. User’s Desktop balanagaraj.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/create-exe-or-setup-file-in-net-windows-application/ 7/19 " id="pdf-obj-6-7" src="pdf-obj-6-7.jpg">

12. Set the Compression Mode

Mode 1: Optimization for speed (Installation Speed)

Mode 2: Optimization for size (Setup file size)

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 12. SetDownlaod #2 .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Downlaod II. Create shortcut icon in User’s Desktop, User’s Programs Menu and Add/Remove Programs Note: System support only .ico file format a. User’s Desktop balanagaraj.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/create-exe-or-setup-file-in-net-windows-application/ 7/19 " id="pdf-obj-6-15" src="pdf-obj-6-15.jpg">

13. Once successfully build the setup. Please look up in inside Release folder

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 12. SetDownlaod #2 .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Downlaod II. Create shortcut icon in User’s Desktop, User’s Programs Menu and Add/Remove Programs Note: System support only .ico file format a. User’s Desktop balanagaraj.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/create-exe-or-setup-file-in-net-windows-application/ 7/19 " id="pdf-obj-6-19" src="pdf-obj-6-19.jpg">

When you want to install the setup file or exe file on the client machine, before you should be installed .NET Framework on that machine because, Applications and controls written for the .NET Framework v2.0 requires the .NET Framework Redistributable Package version 2.0 to be installed on the computer where the application or control runs. (Framework 4.0 need .NET Framework 4 Client Profile).

#1 .NET Framework 2.0 Redistributable Package Downlaod

#2 .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Downlaod

II. Create shortcut icon in User’s Desktop, User’s Programs Menu and Add/Remove Programs

Note: System support only .ico file format

a. User’s Desktop

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

Step 1: Add an icon file (.ico) in project

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Step2: Select the icon file

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Stpe3: Icon file added in Application Folder

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Step4: Select ‘User’s Desktop’ or ‘User’s Program Menu’ and right click on right side pane

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Step5: Add primary output of actual application and click ‘OK’ to select

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step6: Rename

Step6: Rename the actual name to your desired project/product name

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step6: Rename

Step7: Here the sample product name is ‘Your Product Name’ for demo purpose

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step6: Rename

Step8: If we want to add icon on shortcut, Click Properties Window

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 9:

Step 9: Select Icon, next Browse icon file

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 9:

Step10: Browse icon file in Application Folder

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

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Step 11: Click ‘Application Folder’

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Step 12: Add File button will be enable once you have clicked the Application Folder

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 13:

Step 13: Select your product icon and Click ‘OK’

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b. User’s Programs Menu

Kindly follow the same steps for shortcut added in User’s Program Menu.

C. Add/Remove Programs Icon

If you want to add your icon in Control Panel > Programs >Uninstall, You need to follow the below steps.

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 13:

Step 1: Select the setup project in Solution Explorer and right click, select the ‘properties’

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 13:

Add the icon from Application Folder.

View Icons

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

Install your setup in target machine, You can view the shortcuts in Desktop, Start Menu and Uninstall Programs.

Figure 1: Shortcut icon in Desktop

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Install your

Figure 2: Shortcut icon in User’s Program Menu

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Install your

Figure 3: Shortcut icon in Uninstall Programs

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Install your

III. Add Prerequisites

Prerequisites are provide support resources to run the installed process on your target machine.

Visual Setup and Deployment projects are automatically detect the required prerequisites need to install the system. But the question is what is the source for install the prerequisites? No need to worry, Visual Studio IDE provides three options to install the prerequisites on your system.

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Install your

Download prerequisites from component vendor’s website (default option)

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

  • Download prerequisites from the same location as my application

  • Download prerequisites from the following location

How to add prerequisites in Visual Studio?

  • 1. Select Project in Solution Explorer, Right click

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net D ownload
  • 2. Click the Prerequisites button in Property Pages

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net 3. Select

3. Select the required prerequisites from the window

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Click ‘Ok’,

Click ‘Ok’, prerequisites will associate based on your install location selection.

IV. Setup file User Interface customization

If you want to customize the installation process screens. Visual Studio provides facility through ‘User Interface’.

Right click of setup project, Select View and Click ‘User Interface’.

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Click ‘Ok’,

Here, you can see the hierarchy tree of installation process screens.

a. Add new dialog window

Step 1: Right click desired selection, Select ‘Add Dialog’

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

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Step 2: Select the dialog which you wish to add

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Step 3: New dialog added

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 2:

b. Re-order the Screens

Right click of desired screen which you need to move the specific place and select ‘Move Up’ and ‘Move Down’

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Step 2:

c. Change the text and banner images

Right click and select the ‘Properties Window ‘ where you need to edit the text and image.

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Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net

12/24/13 Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net Once you’ve

Once you’ve complete the changes and ‘Build’ the project again. Now, you setup file is professionally ready.

V. Prevent Multiple Instance Running.

How do avoid multiple instance in installed application?

In Program.cs file add the below code.

static void Main()

{ Application.EnableVisualStyles(); Application.SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault(false); Process[] process = Process.GetProcessesByName(Application.ProductName); //Prevent multiple instance if (process.Length > 1) { MessageBox.Show("{Application Name} is already running. This instance will now close.", "{Application Name}", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information); Application.Exit(); } else { Application.Run(new <Initial Form>()); } }

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12/24/13

Create an EXE or Setup File in .NET Windows Application | explore .net