Deploy packaged apps that use the Windows App SDK

This article provides guidance about deploying MSIX-packaged apps that use the Windows App SDK to other computers.

Overview

Before configuring your apps for deployment, review the Windows App SDK deployment architecture to learn more about the dependencies your app takes when it uses the Windows App SDK.

By default, when you create a project using one of the WinUI project templates that are provided with the Windows App SDK extension for Visual Studio, your project includes a Windows Application Packaging Project that is configured to build the app into an MSIX package. For more information about configuring this project to build an MSIX package for your app, see Package a desktop or UWP app in Visual Studio.

After you build an MSIX package for your app, you have several options for deploying it to other computers. For more information, see Manage your MSIX deployment.

Preview versions of the Windows App SDK

When you install a preview release channel version of the Windows App SDK extension for Visual Studio or the Windows App SDK NuGet package on your development computer, the preview version of the framework package is deployed during build time as a NuGet package dependency.

Stable versions of the Windows App SDK

When you install a stable release channel version of the Windows App SDK extension or NuGet package on your development computer and you create a project using one of the provided WinUI 3 project templates, the generated package manifest contains a PackageDependency element that specifies a dependency on the framework package.

However, if you build your app package manually, you must declare PackageReference in your Application (package).wapproj. For version specific instructions, see Update existing projects to the latest release of the Windows AppSDK.

   <ItemGroup>
       <PackageReference Include="Microsoft.ProjectReunion" Version="[0.8.0]">
       <IncludeAssets>build</IncludeAssets>
       </PackageReference>
   </ItemGroup>