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 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 18 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 24 2015

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


by Chin Peng | January 22 2015

This was awesome! However, I found the setup file created from this installer will have problem running in Windows XP.

by behzad_garossiyan | January 22 2015

It was very excellent

by Farhad Khalaj | January 21 2015

by Sean986 | January 12 2015

So glad this came back. The only problem I found is that my msi wouldn't run on POSReady 2009 and Windows XP but I resolved this by following the advice from

by JayP337 | December 17 2014

by Stefan Cuypers | December 17 2014

Great to have this back. I finally could upgrade to VS2013 (we use setup projects a lot and are using it to create .msm files which is not supported by the Installshield included).
We found one problem with it though: if we add the Project Output from an SQL CLR project Visual Studio seems to crash when building the setup.

by macaiver | December 15 2014

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  • Installer project shortcut target
    7 Posts | Last post Tue 10:42 AM
    • 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 Thu 8:42 PM
    • 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
  • MSI web installer runs slow or fails due to interruption
    1 Posts | Last post September 24, 2015
    • I have a VS2013 Web MSI installer that runs very slow and will sometimes fail indicating "interrupted, please try again".  From log:
      ERROR  : [08/17/2015 20:04:06:886] [ApplyWebFolderProperties                ]: FAILED:	-2147018096
      ERROR  : [08/17/2015 20:04:06:886] [ApplyWebFolderProperties                ]: FAILED:	-2147018096
      ERROR  : [08/17/2015 20:04:06:886] [ApplyWebFolderProperties                ]: Custom Action failed with code: '6800'
      ERROR  : [08/17/2015 20:04:06:886] [ApplyWebFolderProperties                ]: Custom Action failed with code: '6800'
      INFO   : [08/17/2015 20:04:06:886] [ApplyWebFolderProperties                ]: Custom Action completed with return code: '6800'
      CustomAction WEBCA_ApplyWebFolderProperties returned actual error code 1603 
      From research that error returns as:
      0x80071A90	-2147018096	ERROR_TRANSACTIONAL_CONFLICT
      This means that there was some type of interruption or conflict in the connection between your computer and the Microsoft Update Servers.
      I have changed .net framework launch condition value to “Any”, so not sure why installer would access Microsoft Update Server.
      Based on a suggestion I utilized Orca to remove Custom Action WEBCA_ApplyWebFolderProperties.  Removal of that action has resulted in installer taking 2 minutes to run rather than 20 minutes in test environment.  Also no longer experiencing failed interrupted installations.
      Why would this Microsoft Web Custom Action step be causing this issue?  Is there a better solution?  What is the consequence of removing this step?
      Thanks for any feedback.
  • Install Issue with KB3072630 installed
    1 Posts | Last post September 21, 2015
    • We encounter problems with the KB3072630 installed.
      We read and write registry keys in a custom action (which now fails)
      Installshield has released a hotfix for this problem.
      Is this a problem from this extension like it is a problem in Installshield?
      Thanks for your help!
  • Installer won't run on XP
    4 Posts | Last post September 16, 2015
    • I've used the Setup Project to create an installer for a simple Hello World WinForms application. The Application itself targets .NET 3.0 and runs fine on the target machine, but the Setup.exe  gives me an error that the prerequisites of .NET 4.5 can't be met. 
      I have unchecked every single box in the prerequisites window, including the 'Create setup program' one at the top, I have set the .NET version to 3.0 in the launch conditions for the .NET framework, I have even set the BackwardCompatibleIDGeneration property of the setup project to true, but nothing has helped.
      Does anybody here have an idea of why the setup project thinks it needs .NET 4.5 installed?
      Thanks for your help!
    • Same Problem here on Win7.
    • Have you checked the Launch conditions (context Menu on Setup project - View - Launch Conditions
    • I finally found the prerequisites under - "Project" - "xxxxx Properties" - then there's the Prerequisites... button.  You'll need to change those for both Debug and Release configurations.
  • Not installing correctly
    3 Posts | Last post September 04, 2015
    • 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.
  • Installing VSTO addin via Custom Action not working correctly
    2 Posts | Last post August 27, 2015
    • I am trying to run the VSTO addin for Word from the Custom Action by invoking VB Script. The custom action is invoked and I am see the VSTO installer box. But once installed, I am not seeing the installed addin in Control Panel. 
      Also when I am trying to install the addin again manually, this time I am getting it installed correctly. Is there anything to be considered when using Custom Actions?
      Thanks for any help.
    • Is there any workaroud to install an EXE from Custom Actions? The current behaviour is when running an EXE from Custom Actions not installing correctly and not showing up in Installed Programs of Control Panel.
  • VS2013 installer does not do upgrades for Win services
    2 Posts | Last post August 16, 2015
    • There doesn't seem to be a way to auto uninstall old service and install new.
      tried lots!!!!
      work around which should work but doesn't as the method name are miss leading.
      private void serviceInstaller1_BeforeInstall(object sender, InstallEventArgs e)
         //see if installed if so uninstall.
      problem is that with no pri-install...
      by time it hits serviceInstaller1_BeforeInstall it has already installed itself... from the 
      current install. 
      so it just install its current install.
      you'll see what i mean when you try and solve....
      Win service installer which is able to install never version if older version is present.
      Please MS... release an updated version of this which fixes these common issues.
    • * typo...
      so it just uninstall its current install.
  • VS2013 installer does not do upgrade installation correctly
    4 Posts | Last post August 16, 2015
    • Although the Productcode is different, RemovePreviousVersions is true, Version is higher, file versions of DLLs are higher an upgrade installation seems to run through without any errors (in UI). But if you look in the installation folder then only a new DLL is placed there, all the others that should have been replaced are deleted. Registry settings are fine. A new installation is also fine. Has someone similar experiences? The setup properties are the same as in the installer we build with VS2008. There the upgrade installation worked.
    • This is also happening with our software. RemocvePreviousVersions=true installation executes OK with no errors.
      1. the uninstall of the older product’s files runs OK
      2. COM deregister of older product fails
      3. Deployment of all files from the new setup package fails
      4. COM registration of new product is OK (although points to a non-existent file and is a duplicate)
      Setting RemoveProviousVersions=false completes the install OK - old files are overwritten and our software runs OK. Both old and new versions are displayed in "Programs and Features" list - as you'd expect I suppose.
      Has anybody come up with a workaround?
    • The problem seems still not to be solved.
      We got the same behavior: after an update installation the files in the installation path disappears.
      Only if I use the repair function the files in the installation path are correctly restored and the application can be executed.
      The Hotfix ( seems to solve the problem if the setupproject was converted from VS2008 to VS2010 (or higher) but with any further updateinstallation the files in the installation path still disappears.
      Has anybody come up with a workaround or when will this problem be solved?
    • Seems to be lots of issue... getting similar results
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