What Is an MSI File? How to Create, Edit, or Open file extensions?

An MSI file is an installer file that stands for “Microsoft Windows Installer.” It is a file type used by the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is for installing, updating, and configuring software on a computer. 

The MSI file format is an installer package that contains an executable program. It also includes files, registry entries, and other components needed for installation. 

You need the Microsoft Windows Installer included with your windows operating system. After this, one can create, edit, or open an MSI file. You can extract the file from the Windows installation CD. 

What is an MSI file in the windows installer?

An MSI file is a Microsoft Windows Installer File. It is an installer package used to install software on a Microsoft Windows OS

It uses the .msi file extension, an EXE file. But instead of containing only one executable program. It has several files that need to install. Windows Installer uses an MSI file to install, maintain, and remove applications. 

MSI files are usually created by developers using Microsoft’s Windows Installer technology. It is for installing software on Windows operating systems. 

MSI files are also used by Windows Update to install updates and other important updates. Users can install the software using MSI files without going through many steps.

How to Create MSI Files?

Microsoft’s IDE is the only place MSI files may create. Microsoft Visual Studio is the name of this IDE (Integrated Development Environment). To make an MSI file, you must do the following:

  1. Upgrade to the newest version of Visual Studio and set up. Microsoft Visual Studio Installer Projects.
  2. Start a new project in Visual Studio and build a simple app.
  3. Select “Solution Explorer,” right-click your project, and choose “Add,” then “New Project.”

The “Setup Project” search window will open, and you may enter your query there. Following that, click the “Setup Project” option.

Fill up a suitable “Project Name” and choose a convenient “Location” for your MSI.

An application folder, the user’s desktop, and the user’s programs menu will show in a separate tab.

application folder

Use the “Create Shortcut to” option when right-clicking the “User’s Desktop” folder.

Now In the “Properties” window, enable the “Always Create” property for the Application Folder by clicking on it. The “User’s Desktop” and “User’s Program Menu” folders should also update.

Add a new folder by right-clicking the “User’s Program Menu” directory and selecting the option. Rename the directory to reflect the name of your program.

In addition, make sure the “Always Create” attribute of this new folder is true. Select the “Create Shortcut to” option from the context menu that appears when you right-click it.

Final step: Add “Project Output” by right-clicking “Application Folder.”

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Uses of Files with this extension:

MSI files contain instructions on installing the application and other related information. MSI files are often referred to as an installer, installation file, or install file.

It uses the Windows Installer application to install the software. The Windows Installer application handles extracting all the components from the MSI file.  

MSI files can also convert into EXE (executable) files using specific applications.  And it can install without needing a Windows Installer application. This makes them more convenient to use as they can download. It installs without needing extra steps. 

In summary, MSI files are an extension used for Microsoft Installer packages, which allows users to download and install applications on their Windows operating system.

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Features of open MSI Files:

MSI files are famous as Microsoft Installer Files. The Windows Installer application serves to make these files. These files contain an installation package, which installs application programs on a computer system. 

MSI files can create with third-party tools such as Wise Installer. Which simplifies the process of creating installation packages for Windows applications. 

MSI files also allow users to customize their installations by configuring certain settings. This includes selecting specific components or features of an application. 

Such features/components should install during the setup process. MSI files can also include commands configuring system settings. Such as adding new registry entries or deleting existing ones. 

MSI files can contain scripts configuring various aspects of an application’s run. Such as setting shortcut icons and other user interface elements.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MSI Files

MSI files are an installer package used to install & manage software on Windows OS. MSI files offer the advantages of easy installation, customization, and repair. 

Additionally, they allow system administrators to control user access. And privileges for each software component. Furthermore, MSI files allow for the creation of automated installation processes. 

This process can deploy software over a network. But, MSI files are incompatible with other operating systems.  It demands users have administrative rights to install them. 

Additionally, it can be difficult to diagnose any errors during installation because of the large amount of data stored within MSI files. In conclusion, MSI files offer many advantages but also come with some drawbacks.