How to deploy Win32 applications with Microsoft Intune

One of the most frequently asked questions from customers is whether it is possible to publish Win32 applications with Microsoft Intune. The answer is Yes. It is possible to deploy Windows 10 Store Apps, MSI files and even .EXE files. Although .EXE files cannot be published directly. You need to “wrap” the .EXE file (and other required source files if applicable) to an .INTUNEWIN file.

In this blog I will show you step-by-step how to do this. In the following example I will publish the FileZilla FTP client with Microsoft Intune.

Prerequisites

There are some requirements for publishing Win32 applications to a client. Be aware that you must meet the following criteria;

  • Windows 10 – build 1607 or higher (Education, Pro and Enterprise)
  • The Windows 10 client must be joined to Azure AD or Hybrid domain joined
  • The Windows 10 must be under MDM management with Microsoft Intune
  • The application (including all sources files) may not exceed 8 GB in size

Custom installation script

When adding a Win32 application within Microsoft Intune you need to fill in the install command. For example, this can be the .EXE with the “/S” parameter for the silent installation.

However, if customizations are needed during or after the installation (for example config files needs to be copied or registry settings needs to be applied) you can do this by using a PowerShell (or other) script. Make sure that in that case you need to put the script within the source folder before running the Intune Content Prep tool (described it step 2 of this blog).

In this blog

In this blog I will cover the following topics;

  • Step 1 – Preparation
  • Step 2 – Create the Intunewin file
  • Step 3 – Publish the win32 application with Microsoft Intune
  • Step 4 – Test the results

Step 1 : Preparation

Before we can create and publish a Win32 application (.EXE file) with Microsoft Intune we need to do some preparations as described in the following steps;

On a Windows 10 device I have created 3 folders;

  • C:\FileZilla : Place all the source files needed for the installation in here (including custom installation scrips if you use it). In this case I will prepare the FileZilla application.
  • C:\IntuneApps : For the output file (.Intunewin file)
  • C:\IntuneWinAppUtil : For the Intune Win32 Content prep tool

This is just the way I do this, you can create your own folder structure with your own names, just what best works for you.

Secondly we need to download the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep tool, go to this GitHub page to do so.

Extract the downloaded zip file and copy the IntuneWinAppUtil.exe file into the c:\IntuneWinAppUtil folder (or your own named folder).

In a later step, when we publish the application within Microsoft Intune. We need the have the following information present;

  • The installation command including all the installation parameters
  • The uninstallation command including all the parameters
  • Any rule detection to check if the application is installed successfully.
  • The application logo in .jpg or .png format

 Step 2 : Create the Intunewin file

As sad before, with Microsoft Intune you cannot publish .exe files directly. We first need to “wrap” all the source files that are needed for the installation into a .Intunewin file. To do this, follow the next steps;

Open a CMD or a PowerShell prompt and navigate to the folder you copied the Intune Win32 Content prep tool in. In my case this is c:\IntuneWinAppUtil.

Run the IntuneWinAppUtil.exe command and fill in the following information;

Source folder : c:\FileZilla
Setup file : The FileZilla setup file (even if using a installation script)
Output folder : In my case this will be the c:\IntuneApps folder

Press Enter

In a few second the .intunewin file is created.

Step 3 : Publish the win32 application with Microsoft Intune

Now it’s time to publish the Win32 application within Microsoft Intune. For the following steps login to the Microsoft Azure Portal.

Navigate to: Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps and click the + Add button

Select Windows app (Win32) as App type

Open the App package file blade and browse for the just created .intunewin file.

Press OK

Open the App information page and fill in the application information like Name, Description, Publisher and Category.

Scroll down and click Logo. Browse for the logo file and click Ok twice.

Open the Program blade and fill in the Install and Uninstall command. Click Ok.

Open the Requirements blade and apply fill in the requirements of the application. Click Ok.

Open the Detection rules blade and select Manually configure detection rules.

You can select MSI, File, or Registry to check if the application is successfully installed. In this case I will do it via a File check.

Fill in the path and the correct .exe file name. In this case the correct path to filezilla.exe. Click OK

Open the Return codes blade. Here you can customize the return codes for the logging. Click OK for now.

Click Add

The application will now be uploaded to Microsoft Intune. Depending on the size of the application this can take a few minutes.

After the application is uploaded click Assignment and publish the application on the group you want. In this case I have published this application as an Available application.

Step 4 – Test the results

On a Windows 10 devices that is joined with Azure AD and is managed with Microsoft Intune I will test the results.

Open the Company Portal app.

Search for the just published Win32 application. In my case the FileZilla application. Click Install.

After a few seconds the application package will start downloading.

And a few moments later the application is installed successfully.

The application is visible in the users start menu.

Also, the application can start successfully.

8 comments

  • Thanks for the article. here some doubts i have

    is it support for MSIX pkg’s ?

    in our organization we split the exe files and call in powershell by step by step.for this how to select source while converting to .INTUNEWIN file.?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Make sure that all sources are in the same folder. Just select the setup/install.exe when creating the .INTUNEWIN file. However, when publishing the application in Intune, select the PowerShell script as by install path.

      • Hello, I am new to this and was wondering how you determine the command line argument. You have it listed in the notepad above in step one. Right before step 2. I am attempting to learn how to utilize intune as a management suite and am not able to get win32 apps to install successfully. Thank you.

        • It depends on the application itself and how it is written. It’s best to check the vendor’s website to find the silent install parameters or by typing the .exe file with the “.?” parameter.

  • Robin, thank you for all your write ups. Here is a question. What is the procedure for now removing lets say the application created above. I think i’m missing something simple.

  • Hi Robin,

    Is there a way to automatically push the apps via Intune Autopilot rather than using company portal?

About Robin Hobo

Robin Hobo

I work as a Senior Solution Architect with focus on the Modern Workspace. I am specialized in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Windows 365 and Microsoft EM+S (including Microsoft Endpoint Manager - Microsoft Intune).

For my full bio, check the About Me page. You can also join me on the following social networks:

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