MSIX: Get Signtool.exe and MakeAppx.exe the easy way

If you are just starting to work with MSIX you will soon hear about the Package Support Framework (PSF)

If you haven’t heard of it yet I recommend you read the following blog series:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Core-Infrastructure-and-Security/MSIX-Package-Support-Framework-Part-One-The-Blueprint/ba-p/363594

When you want to use the PSF you need to extract you MSIX Package, add the PSF files and then you need to put that all back into an MSIX. That’s the time when you need the tool makeappx.exe. After everything is packaged in your MSIX again you will need to sign it and you will need yet another tool – the signtool.exe. Both these tools are executables and part of the Microsoft SDK.

When installing the SDK you have to know what parts you need to install to just get these two small tools. For me that was always pretty flimsy and I ended up installing a lot of other stuff I never needed.

So, I found an easier way to get these tools with a lot less hassle.

Since you are into MSIX you will also know about the MSIX Packaging Tool from Microsoft that you can easily download from the MS Store. Surprise, surprise, the MSIX Packaging Tool also contains the latest SDK Tools you need for your work with MSIX files.

Once you have installed the MSIX Packaging Tool you could either use this powershell command to jump to its install location:

$SelectedPackage = Get-AppxPackage | Where Name -Contains "Microsoft.MsixPackagingTool"
start-process explorer.exe -argumentlist $SelectedPackage.InstallLocation 

Or you could use my free tool MSIX Commander to open it like this:

Either way if the install location opened, you will see something like this:

When you now open the SDK folder you will get the following:

And there you go; all the nice tools from the SDK that you need for your work with MSIX , all in one place.

I hope these insights make your life a bit easier, like it did mine.

Pascal Berger

Pascal Berger

I work since 1998 in IT. Since then I have worked in numerous Deployment Projects. My specialties are SCCM, MDT, Hardware Integration, the Windows Client OS, PowerShell and mainly Software Packaging with MSI, App-V and MSIX. I’m also the Service Owner of WimAsAService

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