Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Installer Projects


This official Microsoft extension provides support for Visual Studio Installer Projects in Visual Studio 2013

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by Steven Owen | Wed 5:42 PM

by KerryDow | January 15 2016

I'm glad this was available.

The Flexera software installer looked slick and acted like it worked,
but the service would never show up in the Services list. Was driving me
crazier than I already am.

This worked and fixed my issue in 10 minutes.

by gurkenschneider | December 08 2015

by Claus Heimerson | November 20 2015

Heaping pile of dogshit.

There's almost no customization that can be done to the UI flow, my custom actions don't fire half the time and require me to delete them and recreate them. Now, its not actually uninstalling the main application on uninstall ( it does remove the entry from Add/Remove Programs, but the program files are still there and the application.exe still runs) - even though it reports no error.

Only reason for 2 stars is it's free.

by nkomp18 | October 28 2015

Installed fine but all existing projects stop working with an XML exception error. I had to uninstall in order to be able to continue working.

by DatPTVN | October 19 2015

Thank you

by Yatajga | October 12 2015

by tazlulu | August 04 2015

For VS2013
Why not copy the Microsoft (for vb in the 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\VisualBasic\General\1033' from vs 2010 and place it into the 2013 1033\general template area? That seems to work for me.

This trick however does not work for VS 2015

by Xian75 | July 11 2015

In win8.1 32bit
-cannot compile x32 services application.
when add two set of custom actions ( one for system\myDir1\service.exe , one for system\Mydir2\service.exe in the same project ) , no warn, no error.
Running the setup the custom action of service1 is executed twice ( I put a msgbox to check this) raising the" Error service already present" ( obviously).

in win8.1 64bit
-Cannot compile x64 service application.
Add custom actions (service install) in system64\mypp\service.exe . No warn, no error. Running the setup I get the error file "service.exe" not found

by GalayM | July 06 2015


by Antonariy | June 10 2015

Corrupts russian text in files and folders names.

by mnvlasov | April 27 2015

by Mohsen Alizadeh | April 21 2015

by Irfan Charolia | April 19 2015

I got Visual Studio Express 2013 for desktop. When I try to install Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Extension, it can't find Visual Studio and gives below error message:

"Stop Block: ProfressionalBlock : Microsoft Visual Studio is required, but it is not installed on this computer. Please install it and retry."

Means it doesn't support Visual Studio Express 2013 Edition :(.

by Steve Parrish | April 08 2015

I really missed not having installer projects in VS 2013. It worked great and as expected. Thank you!

by Ranbla | April 07 2015

by whawewong | March 24 2015

so what?

by jezBo | March 08 2015

Good if you want only to target Windows 8 (& presumably 7 is supported too), but the lack of compatibility with target XP OS meant I had to revert to VS2010.

by Robert te Kaat - Docati | February 11 2015

My first installer immediately fails. The log shows WEBCA_SetTARGETSITE. Some googling tells me I need to enable IIS6 compatibility feature. Why is that?

by JakeTanz | January 25 2015

Is there a tutorial on how to use this extension? It is my first time trying to use an installer.


1 - 20 of 104 Items   
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  • Not installing correctly
    4 Posts | Last post Thu 5:47 PM
    • I have VS 2008 2013 and 2015 installed, and when I install this addon, it runs without errors but installs nothing.
      Have another PC with VS 2008 and VS 2013 where installation worked fine.
      Do you know of a fix for this?
    • Please make sure you install the VS 2015 version of the extension if you want support for VS 2015:
    • Did you find a solution to this?  I am having the same issue.  I only have VS 2013 on my machine.  Once I ran the installer for the addon everything seemed to run fine, but it  is not installed.  I cannot add an installer to a project and an old project with the installer errors when opening.
    • In my case this extension was conflicting with the web essentials extension. Once I disabled the web essentials extension this extension started working correctly.
  • No Windows 10 manifest entries
    1 Posts | Last post December 14, 2015
    • The generated setup.exe does not contain a manifest entry for Windows 10, will this be added in the future.
  • Run after install
    2 Posts | Last post December 02, 2015
    • Most installers have an option at the end along the lines of "Run this application after setup finished". 
      Can we do that with this extension?
    • Use custom action dialog to add custom action on commit.
      Add C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe to application folder and set arguments to cmd.exe like this     /c "[TARGETDIR]register.bat"
  • Application folder default location if device not exist
    1 Posts | Last post December 02, 2015
    • I must set default location to disk E:\EVector
      I have problem with setup scenario. Installer said "E: not accessible. Choose another device". But I have no dialog to make this choice. Installation finished.
  • Cannot find resource dlls
    2 Posts | Last post November 14, 2015
    • I have a VC++ project that is localized and the setup project always fails finding the resource dlls.
      Compile build options are:
      Output directory: $(ProjectDir)$(Configuration)\
      Intermediate directory: obj\$(Configuration)\
      Setup fails looking for the resource dll in this (wrong) directory:
      ERROR: Could not find file 'C:\Users\bme\Documents\Visual Studio 2013\Projects\NemmereID\NemmereID\obj\Debug\da-DK\NemmereID.resources.dll' 'The system cannot find the path specified.'
      This maps to "$(ProjectDir)\<Intermediate directory>\da-DK\NemmereID.resources.dll" which is not where the file is put by VS2013. It is put here:
      C:\Users\bme\Documents\Visual Studio 2013\Projects\NemmereID\NemmereID\Debug\da-DK\NemmereID.resources.dll
      Could you please fix this so I do not have to use post build events to copy those dlls to the wrong place just for the setup project to build properly?
    • I solved it using this post-build event:
      xcopy /i "$(OutDir)da-DK" "$(ProjectDir)$(IntermediateOutputPath)da-DK"
      Annoying that this simple bug isn't fixed yet.
  • failed installation
    1 Posts | Last post November 13, 2015
    • The installation failed saying that Visual Studio is not installed.
      I am running VS professional on 2012 Win 10.
      Visual Studio version 11.0.61219.00 Update 5
      these messages were in the log file
      [0CDC:2D90][2015-11-13T13:34:36]i000: Registry key not found. Key = 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\vs\Servicing\12.0\professional'; variable = 'ProCheck_ProfessionalCore_DetectKey'
      [0CDC:2D90][2015-11-13T13:34:36]i000: Registry key not found. Key = 'SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DevDiv\vs\Servicing\12.0\vscore'; variable = 'ProCheck_VSCore_DetectKey'
      [0CDC:2D90][2015-11-13T13:34:36]i052: Condition '(NOT(RelationType = "Patch") AND NOT (CurrentOperation = "Install"))' evaluates to false.
      [0CDC:2D90][2015-11-13T13:34:36]i000: MUX:  Adding package: Preparation_Uninstall to package detect list
      Is there another work around for deployment of a Windows Service application?
  • Associating program with file extension
    1 Posts | Last post October 23, 2015
    • In the setup I have set the extension cws to have the verb open to point at my program.
      But if I double click files with this extension it does not link to my program.
      What am I doing wrong?
  • Installer project shortcut target
    7 Posts | Last post October 06, 2015
    • I am trying to allocate a target to the File System\User Desktop shortcut in a VS2013 installer project. In the shortcut's properties the Target dropdown only shows folder names and does not show individual files so I cannot select the .exe file as the target. Does anybody know how to get around this problem? I have just checked to confirm that in VS2008 the target dropdown allowed the selection of individual files.
    • Hello, I do it like this:
      1) Click in Application-Folder on "primary output" and choose "create shortcut... "
      2) Drag and drop this on folder "user's Desktop"
      3) click on it and give name and add icon
      ready !
    • When the generated msi is installed on windows 8.1, the shortcut in the Startup folder does not point to:"C:\Program Files (x86)\<Company>\<ProgramName>\<Program>.exe>" but to: C:\User\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Installer\{608DAF40-B4AC-48BC-B9B6-07903C4EFA7D}\_520D061252E48F3CC51E73.exe
      Howto solve this? This is very anoying, because it seems to work for the user that installed the application, but when a second person logs-in windows asks for an installation file (msi).
    • Thanks spend01 but that is exactly what I did. However, when I click on the properties of the shortcut and then click "Target", I cannot point to the .exe file - it only seems to allow me to point to the folder containing the .exe, that is, the Application folder - it will not expand that folder to show the file contents.
      What am I doing wrong or is this a bug?
    • Sorry spend01 - I've got it now - I had misunderstood your instructions. Thanks again.
    • Hi Daanvis. I am facing the same problem as you have listed. A application upgraded using msi by a user is not accessible to another user through the shortcuts. Did you find any solution for this problem
    • You'll have to run a post build transform to hack your shortcuts to point to the executables rather than be advertised shortcuts. See  
  • Duplicated Packaging Messages
    1 Posts | Last post October 01, 2015
    • Every time I build, I get a ridiculous number of duplicate 
      "packaging file [X]..." messages. I can't tell if the duplicates are just fluf, or actually being packaged into the installer multiple times.
  • VS 2013 crash when I try to create or open Setup Project
    1 Posts | Last post September 30, 2015
    • My VS 2013 (update 3) is crashing while try to create/open Setup project. I am using .Net 4.5 framework
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