15 Best Installers for Windows Programs 2022

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Inno Setup

Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs by Jordan Russell and Martijn Laan. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability.

Features

  • Support for every Windows release since 2006, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 10 on ARM, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista. (No service packs are required.)
  • Extensive support for installation of 64-bit applications on the 64-bit editions of Windows. The x64, ARM64, and Itanium architectures are all supported.
  • Extensive support for both administrative and non-administrative installations.
  • Supports the creation of a single EXE to install your program for easy online distribution. Disk spanning is also supported.
  • Standard Windows wizard interface.
  • Customizable setup types, e.g. Full, Minimal, Custom.
  • Complete uninstall capabilities.
  • Installation of files:
    Includes integrated support for “deflate”, bzip2, and 7-Zip LZMA/LZMA2 file compression. The installer has the ability to compare file version info, replace in-use files, use shared file counting, register DLL/OCX’s and type libraries, and install fonts.
  • Creation of shortcuts anywhere, including in the Start Menu and on the desktop.
  • Creation of registry and .INI entries.
  • Running other programs before, during, or after installation.
  • Support for multilingual installs, including right-to-left language support.
  • Support for passworded and encrypted installs.
  • Support for digitally signed installs and uninstalls, including dual signing (SHA1 & SHA256).
  • Silent install and uninstall.
  • Unicode installs.
  • Integrated preprocessor option for advanced compile-time customization.
  • Integrated Pascal scripting engine option for advanced run-time install and uninstall customization.
  • Full source code is available from GitHub.
  • Tiny footprint: only about 1.5 MB overhead with all features included.
  • All features are fully documented.
  • Used by Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Embarcardero Delphi.

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Advanced Installer

Advanced Installer is a Windows installer authoring tool for installing, updating, and configuring your products safely, securely, and reliably. It is a Windows installer packaging tool that is specifically built for developers, ISVs & enterprises. Building MSI installers for 20+ years. Unmatched support for MSIX technology.

Features

  • Powerful and easy-to-use
  • Available for Windows 11
  • Updater: Advanced Installer includes an automatic updater that can check for, download, and install updates for your software.
  • MSI & MSIX Software Repackager: Advanced Installer functionality for converting legacy installations into MSIX, MSI, APP-V. All from one single project.
  • Office Add-ins: Package and Deploy Office VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) Add-ins
  • Internet Information Services (IIS): Advanced Installer offers a fast and uniform installation of your web applications on multiple servers without the need to manually configure IIS on every machine.
  • MSIX Packaging: Package once, deploy anywhere. Package and deliver applications for the entire Windows 10 platform using the latest version of Advanced Installer. Get your app in front of the biggest user base an OS ever had through the Windows Store and the MSIX support.

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Windows Remix

Finding and installing software from different sources is a tedious task. Not anymore!

Windows Remix automates everything you’d do after a fresh installation of Windows.

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SetupBuilder

SetupBuilder is a powerful and easy-to-use software installation authoring and configuration management environment for developers and organizations deploying applications to the Microsoft Windows platform, including Windows 10 and Server 2016-2019.

SetupBuilder is an intelligent setup builder and remote deploy solution for Microsoft Windows. It is the software installation solution that you need.

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Actual Installer

If you are looking for a powerful and easy-to-use software installer tool for your Windows-based programs, then Actual Installer is all that you need! This professional tool allows you to create reliable installation programs, ready for distribution, with extreme ease. Now you can forget about time-consuming scripting and manual learning. All you need to do is to fill out the necessary forms and attach the program’s files.

Features

  • Create Installer Packages in Minutes
  • Basic Features: Copying files into any directories, creating shortcuts on Desktop and Start Menu, showing License Agreement and ReadMe files, modification of Registry and INI files, has complete uninstallation feature with support of Add/Remove Programs (Control Panel – Programs and Features) applet.
  • Advanced Features: Registration of File Associations, Environment Variables, Fonts, COM (DLL In-Proc servers, Type Libraries), .Net Assemblies, and even ScreenSavers.
  • Support for 64-bit Applications
  • Allows checking system requirements
  • Specify software prerequisites
  • Standalone Installer and Web Installer
  • Multilanguage Installation (12 languages available): Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Vietnamese
  • Custom Setup Interface
  • Custom Commands & Data Reading
  • Auto Updater
  • Installer packages created with Actual Installer work fine on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11.
  • Award-winning & Reliable Installer

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Setup Factory

Trusted since 1991, Setup Factory is a rock-solid, reliable install creator for Windows applications. Unlike other Windows installer builder tools like InstallShield which require lengthy training courses just to get up to speed, Setup Factory was designed to be fast and easy to use.

Features

  • Easy To Use. No Training Needed
  • Trusted Since Windows 3!
  • Smaller, Faster Installer Files
  • Advanced Installer Features: Users without any coding experience can simply click to add actions from the library to build up functionality, from basic screen controls to advanced operating system commands.
  • Target Any Version of Windows
  • Licensing That Makes Sense

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ClickOnce

Deploy a .NET Framework desktop application using the ClickOnce Publish wizard.

To make a ClickOnce application available to users, you must publish it to a file share or path, FTP server, or removable media. You can publish the application by using the Publish Wizard; additional properties related to publishing are available on the Publish page of the Project Designer.

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InstallAware

InstallAware has 5 different product varieties that you can use as Windows installer.

InstallAware Extension for Visual Studio (Free)

InstallAware includes a Visual Studio Extension which integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio versions 2022, 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2005, and 2003. The InstallAware Extension for Visual Studio is completely free, and you may download it and enjoy it immediately.

InstallAware Express

InstallAware Express provides an unsurpassed feature set, enabling you to build sophisticated installations in record time without any programming or scripting skills.

InstallAware Developer

InstallAware Developer is a powerful software installation solution for Windows Installer that enables MSIcode scripting for rapid setup development without the high cost and steep learning curve of other setup solutions.

InstallAware Studio

InstallAware Studio is the only software installation solution for Windows that provides you with the latest features and technology support, with the advantages of true rapid-Windows Installer development productivity.

InstallAware Studio Admin

InstallAware Studio Admin is the premier software installation solution for Windows Installer that provides you with true Windows Installer rapid development productivity.

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ClickTeam Install Creator

Spend your time developing your creations not building the installers. Download the fully functional freeware version of Install Creator and create your first installation in less than one minute! Then you decide which way is better!

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NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System)

NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) is a professional open source system to create Windows installers. It is designed to be as small and flexible as possible and is therefore very suitable for internet distribution.

Being a user’s first experience with your product, a stable and reliable installer is an important component of successful software. With NSIS you can create such installers that are capable of doing everything that is needed to set up your software.

NSIS is script-based and allows you to create the logic to handle even the most complex installation tasks. Many plug-ins and scripts are already available: you can create web installers, communicate with Windows and other software components, install or update shared components, and more.

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DCP Setup Maker

Powerful simple-to-use application to generate stable and multi-platform installers.

Its intuitive user interface and exceptional ease of use make it very easy to build complex desktop or web installers with large amounts of files. The whole process is done step by step through a wizard-like interface, filling in fields and setting up files to finally build your package without any required knowledge.

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PACE Suite (MSI Generator)

PACE Suite is an advanced application packaging tool with an intuitive user interface and set of features providing successful (re)packaging in Windows Installer (MSI), MSIX, APPX (Universal Windows Platform) and various virtualization formats.

Features

  • Repackaging
  • Windows Installer Authoring
  • Application Virtualization
  • MSIX & APPX Packaging
  • Reporting & Documentation
  • Automation
  • Validation & Testing
  • Use the portable version of PACE Suite wherever you are
  • Share packaging settings with your team

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InstallShield

Create native MSIX packages, build clean installs, and build installations in the cloud with InstallShield from Revenera. With InstallShield, you’ll adapt to industry changes quickly, get to market faster and deliver an engaging customer experience.

Features

  • The standard for Windows Installer (MSI) and InstallScript Installations
  • Effortless Creation of native MSIX Packages or Build MSIX from Existing Projects
  • Provides a Fresh, Modern Designer Interface
  • Build installation suites to install multiple products for Windows, MSIX and more
  • Converts MSIs to Microsoft® App-V™ 5.1
  • Installs Web Applications to Microsoft® Azure™ and Microsoft IIS using Microsoft Web Deploy
  • Automatically Provisions Virtual Machines for Simple Installation Testing
  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server Integration

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InstallAnywhere

Don’t risk an installation error and poor customer experience. InstallAnywhere is the leading multi-platform solution for developers creating installers for physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

InstallAnywhere makes it easy for developers to create professional installation software that performs the same – no matter what the platform. You’ll be able to create reliable installations for on-premises platforms like Windows, Linux, Apple, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and IBM, and then deploy them physically, virtually, or to the cloud (you can even package it up into a Docker container) all from a single project file.

Whether for standalone instances or integrated into your current systems, with InstallAnywhere, you’ll be able to adapt to industry changes quickly, get to market faster and deliver an engaging customer experience.

Features

  • Creates Java™-based installations for multiplatform applications, including Windows® 10/11
  • Manages rules and dependencies. Automates processes.
  • Installs dependencies from Linux® package managers
  • Supports the latest Microsoft® certificate requirements
  • Installs web apps to Tomcat™ and WebSphere®
  • Creates installs that connect to IBM DB2, Microsoft® SQL, MySQL™, and Oracle
  • Includes silent, console, and GUI installations

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WiX Toolset

The most powerful set of tools available to create your Windows installation experience.

The WiX Toolset integrates seamlessly into build processes to create Windows installation packages.

The WiX toolset lets developers create installers for Windows Installer, the Windows installation engine.

The core of WiX is a set of build tools that build Windows Installer packages using the same build concepts as the rest of your product: source code is compiled and then linked to create executables; in this case .exe setup bundles, .msi installation packages, .msm merge modules, and .msp patches. The WiX command-line build tools work with any automated build system. Also, MSBuild is supported from the command line, Visual Studio, and Team Build.

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