MakeAppx Command Line

While Advanced Installer offers automation in terms of package creation via CLI or PowerShell, some developers might prefer the use of MakeAppx executable which is included in the Windows 10 SDK and can be used from a command prompt or a script file.

In fact, Advanced Installer takes advantage of MakeAppx during the creation of appx and msix packages in some places, and MakeAppx comes with Advanced Installer as well.

NoteMakeAppx doesn’t create .appxupload and .msixupload files which are required to publish an application into the Microsoft Store. For that, you can use Advanced Installer, or Visual Studio.

1. General command line

So let’s have a look at what are the command lines which you can use with MakeAppx.

The general command line is:

MakeAppx <command> [options]

Of course, this depends on where MakeAppx is located in your case. In our example, we have it located here: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\10.0.17763.0\x64\makeappx.exe". So you can directly call it, like:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\10.0.17763.0\x64\makeappx.exe" <command< [options]

Or, you can first navigate to the folder which contains the MakeAppx with the CD command in Command Prompt.

2. Commands

The following commands can be used with MakeAppx:

packCreates a package
unpackExtracts all files from a package to a specified output directory
bundleCreates a bundle
unbundleUnpacks all packages from a bundle in a specified output directory
encryptCreates an encrypted app package or bundle from the input package/bundle at the specified output package/bundle
decryptCreates a decrypted app package or bundle from the input app package/bundle at the specified output package/bundle.

3. Options

For each of the above command lines, the following options can be used:

/dSpecifies the input, output, or content directory.
/lUsed for localized packages. The default validation trips on localized packages. This option disables only that specific validation, without requiring that all validation be disabled.
/kfEncrypts or decrypts the package or bundle using the key from the specified key file. This can't be used with /kt.
/ktEncrypts the or decrypts package or bundle using the global test key. This can't be used with /kf.
/noPrevents an overwrite of the output file if it exists. If you don't specify this option or the /o option, the user is asked whether they want to overwrite the file.
/nvSkips semantic validation. If you don't specify this option, the tool performs a full validation of the package.
/oOverwrites the output file if it exists. If you don't specify this option or the /no option, the user is asked whether they want to overwrite the file.
/pSpecifies the app package or bundle.
/vEnables verbose logging output to the console.
/?Displays help text.

4. Example

As mentioned, the options mentioned above are compatible with all the available commands for MakeAppx. For example, if we want to create a simple MSIX package using the utility, this is the command line that must be used:

makeappx.exe pack /d “your directory” /p “output path”


ImportantYour input directory must contain the appropriate necessary APPX/MSIX file structure in order for the package to be built. One example can be the package manifest (AppxManifest.xml). If this is missing from inside the input directory, the build will fail.

Once we run the command, the package should be created and the msix output should be present in the desired directory.


NoteMakeAppx does not offer the possibility to digitally sign APPX/MSIX packages. In order to digitally sign your package, the SignTool.exe must be used.

MSIX and APPX packages are basically “zip” files if you want to perceive them like this, and technically the contents can be extracted with any archiving tool like 7-zip. However, MakeAppx does provide the option to unpack. For example, we can use the following command line to extract the contents of our previous MSIX:

makeappx.exe unpack /p "package location" /d "package output directory"


The result of the command will look something like this:


One last example we need to look at is the bundle option. Bundles are similar to an app package, but bundles can reduce the size of the app that users download. To create a bundle with MakeAppx, we can use the following command line:

MakeAppx bundle /v /d "files directory" /p “output location”