Windows App Package
4.3 | 472 Votes
What is an APPX file?
An APPX file is a Windows application package file. It contains all the metadata, files, and credentials needed to install a Windows application.
When developers submit Windows applications to the Microsoft Store, they do so by packaging all the files and information needed to install the app within an APPX or .MSIX file. Then they submit the file to the Microsoft Store. Whenever you download and install an app from the Microsoft Store, you are actually downloading and installing the APPX or MSIX file (which, when opened, installs the app itself).
NOTE: Microsoft introduced the APPX file format with Windows 8, when the Microsoft Store was called the Windows Store. While the APPX format is still supported, the newer MSIX format is more common.
How do I create an APPX file?
Developers typically create APPX files within Microsoft Visual Studio. To create an APPX file in Visual Studio, open the Create App Packages wizard by right-clicking your project and selecting Publish → Create App Packages.
When building an app for multiple processor architectures (x86, x64, ARM, etc), developers can bundle multiple variants in a single .APPXUPLOAD or .APPXBUNDLE package. Alternatively, developers may submit individual APPX or MSIX files to the Store for each architecture.
How to open an APPX file
You can install any APPX file on a Windows PC by double-clicking it. Since APPX files install software, do not double-click any APPX file before verifying its legitimacy and source.
How do I view the files an APPX file contains?
If you want to view the constituent files an APPX file contains, you can attempt to extract the files using a Zip decompression utility. APPX files are Zip-compressed files, so tools like 7-Zip (Windows), Corel WinZip (Windows, Mac), and B1 Free Archiver (cross-platform) can extract the files APPX files contain. However, because APPX files are formatted slightly differently than normal Zip files, you may a) have to change your APPX file's extension to .zip to expand it and b) encounter some errors when extracting files.