Installing Windows 10 apps from a web page - MSIX (2023)

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The ms-appinstaller scheme(protocol) has been disabled. This means App Installer will not be able to install an app directly from a web server and it will need to be downloaded first. Update the link on your website by removing 'ms-appinstaller:?source=' so that the MSIX package or.appinstaller file will be downloaded. This may increase the download size for some packages. The user can then install the package with App Installer.

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Typically, an app needs to be locally available on a device before it can be installed with the App Installer. For the web scenario, this means that the user must download the app package from the web server, after which it can be installed with App Installer. This is inefficient and wastes disk space, which is why App Installer now has built in features to streamline the process.

App Installer can install an app directly from a web server. When the user clicks on an app package hosted web link, App Installer is invoked automatically. The user is then taken to the app info view in App Installer and is then one click away from engaging directly with the app.

The direct app install is only available in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and newer. Previous versions of Windows (going back to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update) will be supported by the web install experience on previous versions of Windows 10. This experience is not as fluid as the direct app install, but it provides significant improvements to the existing app install procedure.


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App Installer version must be greater than 1.0.12271.0 to support this feature.

Protocol Activation Scheme

In this mechanism, App Installer registers with the operating system for a protocol activation scheme. When user clicks on a web link, the browser checks with the OS for apps that are registered to that web link. If the scheme matches the protocol activation scheme specified by App Installer, then App Installer is invoked. It's important to note that this mechanism is browser independent. This is beneficial to site administrators, for example, who don't need to consider web browser differences while incorporating this into a webpage.

Requirements for protocol activation scheme

  1. Web servers need to have support for byte range requests (HTTP/1.1)
    • Servers that support HTTP/1.1 protocol should have support for byte range requests
  2. Web servers will need to know about the Windows 10 app package content types
    • Here's how to declare the new content types as part of web config file

How to enable this on a webpage

App developers who want to host app packages on their web sites need to follow this step:

Prefix your app package URIs with the activation scheme 'ms-appinstaller:?source=' that App Installer is registered to when referencing them on your webpage. See the example for MyApp Web Page for details.

<html> <body> <h1> MyApp Web Page </h1> <a href="ms-appinstaller:?source="> Install app package </a> <a href="ms-appinstaller:?source="> Install app bundle </a> <a href="ms-appinstaller:?source="> Install related set </a> </body></html>


By prefixing the link to the Windows app, or AppInstaller file with ms-appinstaller:?source='' client devices will launch the Desktop App Installer, with details pertaining to the Windows app. MIME Types must be configured on the Web Server as this information will be shared with the Desktop App Installer informing of the file type and it's file type association.

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It is required that MIME-Types be configured for the Windows apps and AppInstaller files that will be shared from your website. By including the MIME Types, the Desktop App Installer will quickly identify the file association and launch the information page with next steps. If not included, the Desktop App Installer must determine the file association which can negatively impact how quickly the Desktop App Installer will interpret the information and launch the Windows app installer. The only MIME-Types that are required to be configured on your Web Server are of the file types that will be hosted on your website.

If the Windows app installation media is hosted on a file share, and linked to from the website then MIME-Types need not be configured on the Web Server.

File ExtensionMIME Type

For more information on how to configure the MIME types, please visit Distribute a Windows 10 App from an IIS Server.

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Signing the app package

For users to install your app, you will need to sign the app package with a trusted certificate. You can use a third party paid certificate from a trusted certification authority to sign your app package. If a third party certificate is used, the user will need to have their device in either sideload or developer mode to install and run your app.

If you are deploying an app to employees within an enterprise, you can use an enterprise issued certificate to sign the app. It's important to note that the enterprise certificate must be deployed to any devices which the app will be installed on. For more information on deploying enterprise apps, see Enterprise app management.

Web install experience on previous versions of Windows 10

Invoking App Installer from the browser is supported on all versions of Windows 10 where App Installer is available (starting with the Anniversary Update). However, the functionality to install directly from the web without the need to download the package first is only available on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Users of previous versions of Windows 10 (with App Installer available) can also take advantage of web install of Windows 10 apps via App Installer, but will have a different user experience. When these users click the web link, App Installer will prompt to Download the package instead of Install. After download, App Installer will initiate the launch of the downloaded package automatically. Because the app package is downloaded from the web, these files will pass through Microsoft SmartScreen for a security check. Once the user provides permission to continue and then one more click on Install, the app is ready for use!

Although this flow isn't quite as seamless as the direct install on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, users can still quickly engage with the app. Additionally, with this flow the user doesn't have to worry about app package files unnecessarily taking up space in drives. App Installer efficiently manages space by downloading the package to its app data folder and clearing packages when they are no longer needed.

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Here's a quick comparison of the Windows 10 Fall Creators update version of App Installer and the previous version of App Installer:

App Installer, Latest VersionApp Installer, Previous Version
App Installer shows app info before the download startsBrowser prompts the user to choose to download
App Installer performs the downloadUser has to manually initiate the launch of the app package
After package download, App Installer automatically launches the app packageUser must click Install and manually launch the app package
App Installer will take care of disposal of downloaded packagesUser must manually delete the downloaded files

On versions prior to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, App Installer cannot directly install an app from the web. On these versions, App Installer can only install app packages that are locally available. Instead, App Installer will download the package and require the user to double click the downloaded package to install.

Microsoft SmartScreen integration

Microsoft SmartScreen has always been part of the installation process for installing apps via App Installer. SmartScreen ensures users are safeguarded from malcontent that can make its way on to their devices. With the latest update to App Installer, SmartScreen integration is more seamless and robust, providing warnings when installing unknown apps and protecting devices from harm.


How can you install an MSIX app? ›

By using AppInstaller to install an MSIX packaged app, the user or IT Pro may select to right-click and install or double click the MSIX installer. This approach will prompt the user to select the Install button to initiate the installation and view the installation progress.

How do I install MSIX files on Windows? ›

  1. Download the MSIX packaging tool from the Windows Store on a device running Windows10, version 1809 or above.
  2. Launch the tool and select Application Package to create the MSIX app package.
  3. Browse and select the installer to be packaged.

How do I manually install apps on Windows 10? ›

Go to the Start button, and then from the apps list select Microsoft Store. Visit the Apps or Games tab in Microsoft Store. To see more of any category, select Show all at the end of the row. Select the app or game you'd like to download, and then select Get.

How do I install apps on Windows 10 without the store? ›

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on For developers on the left panel.
  4. Switch on Install apps from any source including loose files option.
  5. Click Yes to confirm the risks involved in running an app outside the Windows Store.
  6. Restart your computer if applicable to complete the task.

How to install Windows 10 apps from PowerShell? ›

Install unsigned apps using PowerShell
  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to install the unsigned app and press Enter: Add-AppxPackage -Path PATH-TO-APPXFILE\APP.appx.
Nov 24, 2022

Is Appx the same as MSIX? ›

The MSIX package has a very similar package structure, manifest, and behavior to the APPx format. In contrast to APPx, MSIX packaging has better support for Win 32 apps. MSIX is a young technology and comes with its peculiarities, some imperfections and some serious limitations.

What are the limitations of MSIX? ›

MSIX Limitations
FeaturesWindows Version
Defer registration flagStarting with version 2004
Force update from any version downgradeStarting with version 1809
Force provisioningStarting with version 2004
Identity for packaged desktop appsStarting with version 1709
10 more rows
Jan 13, 2022

How do I extract a MSIX file? ›

If you want to examine the contents of an MSIX file instead of installing the packaged app, you can extract the contents using a Zip decompression utility, such as WinZip or WinRAR. To extract the contents, change the . msix file extension to . zip, then extract the files using the file decompression program.

What is MSIX file type? ›

MSIX is a Windows app package format that provides a modern packaging experience to all Windows apps. The MSIX package format preserves the functionality of existing app packages and/or install files in addition to enabling new, modern packaging and deployment features to Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms apps.

Where do MSIX packages get installed? ›

Always installer package is created in default location C:\Program Files\WindowsApps.

How to install app without app Store? ›

APKMirror Installer supports all app file formats, including APKs, so you can safely install your apps.
  1. Grab the APKMirror Installer app and search for the apps you want to install. ...
  2. Open your downloaded app using APKMirror Installer. ...
  3. Install your downloaded app using APKMirror Installer.
Dec 28, 2022

How can I install apps on my PC without emulator? ›

The three best and easiest ways to run Android games on PC without an emulator are the MirrorTo app, Android-x86 program, or a chrome extension. First, you have to install the Amazon AppStore from the Microsoft store. Once installed, launch this program on your PC. It will install the Windows Subsystem automatically.

How do I manually install apps? ›

Method 1: Install APKs Directly on Android

Simply open a page that offers APKs and download it. You'll see a warning that the APK can harm your device; tap OK to proceed. Once it downloads, you'll see a little banner with a shortcut to open it. Tap Open and you can install the app.

How do I force an app to install from the Microsoft Store? ›

You'll need to sign into the app with your Microsoft account. To check if your PC is authorized, see Add a device to your Microsoft account.
Reset the Microsoft Store app
  1. Press the Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.
  2. Enter wsreset.exe then select OK. ...
  3. Open the Store app and search for your app or game.

How to install MSIX packaging tool driver? ›

Recommended content
  1. MSIX Packaging Tool Overview - MSIX.
  2. Create a package using the command line interface - MSIX.
  3. Create an MSIX package from any desktop installer - MSIX. ...
  4. MSIX Core - MSIX.
  5. Create an MSIX from an existing installer - MSIX. ...
  6. Remote conversion setup in MSIX Packaging Tool - MSIX.
Jan 23, 2023

What app opens MSIX file? ›

These include Microsoft Visual Studio, MSIX Packaging Tool, and Caphyon Advanced Installer.

How do I set up MSIX? ›

Select + Add to open the Add application tab. For Application source, choose the source for your application. If you're using a Desktop app group, choose MSIX package.
Publish MSIX apps to an application group
  1. Start menu.
  2. App path.
  3. MSIX package.
Jan 23, 2023

How do I run a MSIX file? ›

To install an MSIX from Powershell, run the command:
  1. Add-AppPackage -path "C:\Caphyon\MyApp.msix" Copy. ...
  2. Add-AppPackage -path “C:\Caphyon\MyBundle.msixbundle” Copy. ...
  3. Remove-AppPackage -Package "Caphyon.MyApp_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe" Copy. ...
  4. Remove-AppPackage -Package "Caphyon. ...
  5. Get-AppPackage -name “Caphyon.MyApp” Copy.
Nov 4, 2021

Where do MSIX packages install? ›

By default, all MSIX packages are installed/extracted by the OS in the following folder:
  • %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps. This is a system location, inaccessible by default, from Windows Explorer. ...
  • PublisherName.AppName_AppVersion_architecture_hash. ...
  • Microsoft.WindowsCalculator_10.1806.1821.0__x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.

Why is my msix packaging tool driver not installing? ›

MSIX Packaging Tool driver

It will fail to install if the Windows Update service is disabled on the computer or if Windows Insider flight ring settings do not match the OS build of the computer.


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