Do you know whether you should use Click Once or MSI?

Last updated by Igor Goldobin 10 days ago.See history

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  1. Check the following table whether ClickOnce is suit for your application.
    This table compares the features of ClickOnce deployment with Windows Installer deployment. Read ClickOnce Deployment Overview for more details
Feature ClickOnce Windows Installer
Automatic update1 Yes Yes
Post-installation rollback2 Yes No
Update from Web Yes No
Does not affect shared components or other applications Yes No
Security permissions granted Grants only permissions necessary for the application (more safe) Grants Full Trust by default (less safe)
Security permissions required Internet or Intranet Zone (Full Trust for CD-ROM installation) Administrator
Application and deployment manifest signing Yes No
Installation-time user interface Single prompt Multipart Wizard
Installation of assemblies on demand Yes No
Installation of shared files No Yes
Installation of drivers No Yes (with custom actions)
Installation to Global Assembly Cache No Yes
Installation for multiple users No Yes
Add application to Start menu Yes Yes
Add application to Startup group No Yes
Add application to Favorites menu No Yes
Register file types No Yes
Install time registry access3 Limited Yes
Binary file patching No Yes
Application installation location ClickOnce application cache Program Files folder


  1. With Windows Installer, you must implement programmatic updates in the application code.
  2. With ClickOnce, rollback is available in Add or Remove Programs.
  3. ClickOnce deployment can access HKEYLOCALMACHINE (HKLM) only with Full Trust permission.

For more information, see Choosing a Deployment Strategy.

  1. Customize the Installation of the Application, including: Publish location, installation url, install mode, publish version, Download files on demand, Prerequisites, Updates, Options.

Figure: Publish tab of the application properties

  1. Specify the code access security permissions that the application requires in order to run.

Figure: Security tab of the application properties

  1. Deploy the COM Components. Read Deploying COM Components with ClickOnce for more informations.
  2. Publish the application using Publish Wizard.

Figure: ClickOnce Publish Wizard

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