Using the MSIXMGR tool

The MSIXMGR tool is for expanding MSIX-packaged applications into MSIX images. The tool takes an MSIX-packaged application (.MSIX) and expands it into a VHD, VHDx, or CIM file. The resulting MSIX image is stored in the Azure Storage account that your Azure Virtual Desktop deployment uses.This article will show you how to use the MSIXMGR tool.


To guarantee compatibility, make sure the CIMs storing your MSIX images are generated on the OS version you're running in your Azure Virtual Desktop host pools. MSIXMGR can create CIM files, but you can only use those files with a host pool running Windows 10 20H2.


Before you can follow the instructions in this article, you'll need to do the following things:

  • Download the MSIXMGR tool
  • Get an MSIX-packaged application (.MSIX file)
  • Get administrative permissions on the machine where you'll create the MSIX image

Create an MSIX image

Expansion is the process of taking an MSIX packaged application (.MSIX) and unzipping it into a MSIX image (.VHD(x) or .CIM file).

To expand an MSIX file:

  1. Download the MSIXMGR tool if you haven't already.

  2. Unzip into a local folder.

  3. Open a command prompt in elevated mode.

  4. Find the local folder from step 2.

  5. Run the following command in the command prompt to create an MSIX image.

    msixmgr.exe -Unpack -packagePath <path to package> -destination <output folder> [-applyacls] [-create] [-vhdSize <size in MB>] [-filetype <CIM | VHD | VHDX>] [-rootDirectory <rootDirectory>]

    Remember to replace the placeholder values with the relevant values. For example:

    msixmgr.exe -Unpack -packagePath "C:\Users\%username%\Desktop\packageName_3.51.1.0_x64__81q6ced8g4aa0.msix" -destination "c:\temp\packageName.vhdx" -applyacls -create -vhdSize 200 -filetype "vhdx" -rootDirectory apps
  6. Now that you've created the image, go to the destination folder and make sure you successfully created the MSIX image (.VHDX).

Create an MSIX image in a CIM file

You can also use the command in step 5 to create CIM and VHDX files by replacing the file type and destination path.

For example, here's how you'd use that command to make a CIM file:

msixmgr.exe -Unpack -packagePath "C:\Users\ssa\Desktop\packageName_3.51.1.0_x64__81q6ced8g4aa0.msix" -destination "c:\temp\packageName.cim" -applyacls -create -vhdSize 200 -filetype "cim" -rootDirectory apps

Here's how you'd use that command to make a VHDX:

msixmgr.exe -Unpack -packagePath "C:\Users\ssa\Desktop\packageName_3.51.1.0_x64__81q6ced8g4aa0.msix" -destination "c:\temp\packageName.vhdx" -applyacls -create -vhdSize 200 -filetype "vhdx" -rootDirectory apps

Next steps

Learn more about MSIX app attach at What is MSIX app attach?

To learn how to set up app attach, check out these articles:

If you have questions about MSIX app attach, see our App attach FAQ and App attach glossary.