How to publish your MSI and EXE setup applications in the Microsoft Store

Written by Radu Popescu · March 18th, 2022


Microsoft pre-released the possibility to directly upload MSI and EXE applications to the Microsoft Store.

However, at the time we're writing this article, this option is only available to a limited number of users registered on Microsoft Partner Center review program.

If you want to get early access to this feature and see how it works, stay tuned.

In this article, I will go through the steps needed to join the Microsoft Partner Center program, and then show you how to prepare and publish the MSI or EXE application.

NoteWe have an article explaining how to publish your MSIX application to the Microsoft Store - check it out.

What you should know about publishing an E0 or MSI application to the Microsoft Store

Before getting started, we need to make sure our EXE or MSI application meets the following conditions -- as they are needed to be accepted into the Microsoft Store:

  1. It must have the ability to be silently installed by default or with silent switches. Learn more about silent installers on our How do I create a silent install article.
  2. It must have the ability to be installed as standalone/offline - meaning that after the setup is downloaded, it will not require an internet connection to be installed.
  3. It must be available in one of the approx. 100 languages mentioned by Microsoft.

NoteFor this article, we will use Hover as our MSI application. Hover is a free tool developed by Advanced Installer’s team that allows you to run natively installed applications inside an MSIX/App-V container. Download it here!

Now that we know what characteristics our MSI must have, let's look at how to register with Microsoft's Partner Center to publish your MSI or EXE to the Microsoft Store.

How to Register to Microsoft's Partner Center?

The first step in publishing an application to the Microsoft Store is to register a developer account. Go to Microsoft Partner Center and sign up.

A standard Microsoft account is required to create the developer account. The login will be made using the same email address.

NoteDepending on which type of account you are creating, you will need to pay a one-time fee (19$ for an individual account and 99$ for a company account).
Find out more information related to account differences and exact prices based on your location, here.

Create Account on Microsoft Partner Center

The sign-up process is straightforward:

  1. Select Account country/region.
  2. Choose Account type.

Enter your Publisher display name (Company Name).

  1. Fill in your Contact info.
  2. Proceed to payment, review, and finalize the sign-up process.

Now that you have your accounts created, it is time to log in to the Partner Center. You will need some information from here for the next step, so keep it handy.


Join the Preview Program

To have access to the preview program, you must fill up this form and wait until Microsoft processes your request. This form also requires you to enter information for the MSI or EXE application that you plan to publish.

Let’s go through the steps you need to follow and what you need to input to make sure you get accepted into the program.

1. Enter the Seller ID found in the partner Center dashboard as shown below.

Seller ID
Legal Info - Seller ID

2. Fill in your application name. This name must be unique, easy to read, and relevant to your application. It is best to follow Microsoft's naming best practices.

Application Name

3. Select No when it asks you if this app will replace an existing app in the Store. Since this is your first application, it will not replace any existing version.

Existing App

4. Type in your email address.

Provide Email Adress

5. Select your app type: MSI or EXE.

Select App Type

6/7/8. Add and configure the URL to the downloadable application

Once you get to the 6th step, add the download link for your application.

Make sure the link meets the requirements of the 7th and 8th steps:

  • It should end with the versioning and the application file /1.0/Hover.msi.
  • It can be downloaded without any authentication.
Add and Configure URL to App

9. Even if Digital Signing is not mandatory for MSI or EXE apps, to have credibility it’s best to sign them. Signing your MSI or EXE apps will also ease the process of getting accepted into the preview program.

App Binary Signed

10. Remember, your application must be able to install standalone/offline - so make sure to select Yes.

Standalone Installer

11. By default, MSI applications support silent install parameters. So, you can choose that option.

Silent Installation Support

12/13. If you have any dependencies, don’t forget to declare them. For each dependency, you must document why you need them in detail. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted into the store.

Dependencies Declaration

14. Specify whether your package has any bundleware.


15. Type the rounded value of your application MB size.

App Size

16. Submit the form.

After you submit the form, wait for Microsoft's confirmation. Then, you can move along to the next steps.

How to create your MSI or EXE app in the Microsoft Partner Center (Name Reservation)

When you're accepted into the preview program, it is time to log in again to Partner Center and navigate to Dashboard to start creating your app.

Dashboard Overview

In the Overview section, click on New Product and select EXE or MSI app from the drop-down.

Type the name of your application. It’s best to go with the same name from the subscription form. This step reserves your app name.

Reserve Name

ImportantYou have three months to submit your app to the Microsoft Store. Otherwise, you will lose your name reservation.

Starting your Submission

Once the name reservation is completed, you are automatically redirected to the application submission page. When you click on “Start your submission”, a submission page is generated.

Here are five subsections you need to go through before you can submit your app to the Microsoft Store.


As the title suggests, this is the page where we set up in which zones the application will be available, as well as the price.


We left Markets, as default.

As for the Pricing of our app, we have set it to Free. There are other options such as Free, Freemium, Subscription, and Paid.

NoteRemember to save the draft before proceeding to the next steps.



The Properties configuration page contains the following subsections:

  1. Category: We have set it as a Developer tools with no subcategory.
  2. Support info: Our company information.
  3. Product declaration: It should be On if applicable for your app.
  4. Notes for certification: This is a good text box where you can add additional information that could help the validation process. Feel free to note any information that you might find useful (maybe user and password for test accounts, dependencies, etc).
  5. System requirements: We marked Keyboard and Mouse since this is a simple non-demanding app. Feel free to complete any requirements you know your app needs.

Age rating

Age Ratings

This page requires you to complete a questionnaire on the IARC (International Age Rating Coalition). Since our application is not a Game, Social, or Communication, we chose the All Other App Types category for the Rating questionnaire.

Proceed with the rest of the questionnaire and answer the questions based on your application time. Once completed you will get a confirmation page as below:

Age Ratings Confirmation Page


In the Packages section you declare the Package URL (the link from where your application can be downloaded), the architecture (x86 or x64 bits), install parameters (remember your app needs to support the silent install switches as discussed previously), and supported languages.


Store listings. Manage Store listing languages.

Store Listings Languages

Click on Add languages to add your preferred language as well as the description of your application. After this step, you will see the status is Incomplete in the English section, as seen in the above image.

For the next step, click on English and start completing the “Store listing details for English”.

Store Listings Details for English

There are three mandatory fields: Description, Screenshots, Store Logo, and Applicable license terms. Feel free to complete the rest of the information for a more detailed description.

TipYou need to go through these steps each time you want to add a new language.

When you're done, just save the draft and close. You should get the completed status as below.

Language - Completed status

Final thoughts

Now that we've completed our final step of hitting the publishing button, all we have to do is wait for Microsoft to evaluate our app.

After that, our app gets released, based on the publication options we edited before.

App Status

Now you know how to publish your MSI and EXE setup applications in Microsoft Store. Let us know how it goes and if you have any specific questions about it, we're happy to help!

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