How to create an installation for a VB.NET application

The Visual Installer installation tool can be used to create an installation package for a VB.NET application (Visual Basic .NET application). Visual Installer can import a Visual Basic .NET project file (.VBPROJ file) or a Visual Basic solution file (.SLN file) and create an installer for it. All versions of VB.NET are supported; from the first Visual Basic 2002 (Visual Studio 2002) to the latest Visual Basic 2019 (Visual Studio 2019).

In the tip below we will show how to import a VB.NET project file (VB.NET 2005 or above) to Visual Installer by using Visual Installer's import wizard.
To create a self-extracting setup file:
1. Start Visual Installer and create a new project.
2. Select the File - Import Visual Basic project - Visual Basic .NET 2005-2019 project menu item:
File - Import Visual Basic project - Visual Basic .NET 2005-2019 project

3. The following dialog box is now shown:
The 'Import Visual Basic .NET 2005-2019 project' dialog box

4. Click the Select project file button and browse for a Visual Basic .NET project file (.VBPROJ).
    You can also choose a solution file (.SLN) if your application uses many project files.
5. Click the Select program file button and browse for the program file (.EXE) of the project. This is the executable file a user starts to run your application.
6. If your VB.NET application requires a minimum version of .NET Framework you can click on the .NET Framework - setting button. The following dialog box will now be shown:

The 'Microsoft .NET Framework - Check if installed' dialog box
7. In the dialog box, select the minimum .NET version for your application; for example the Version 2.0 of .NET Framework option.
8. You can choose if you want to stop the installation or just warn the user if the minimum system requirements is not met. Select the Show warning box or Stop the installation option.
9. Click OK to close the dialog box.
10. Now click on the Import project button in the Import Visual Basic .NET 2005-2019 project dialog box.
11. In the dialog box that appears, choose a main destination folder for your application. You can usually use the default folder that is suggested in the dialog box, so you should only click OK.
12. Enter a description for the shortcut for your application, in the new dialog box that is shown.
13. Press OK to continue.
14. The file list in Visual Installer will now be filled with all files that your application consists of. If it is a small project there will probably only be one EXE file in the file list:
The 'File list' tab with the VB.NET application in the file list

15. Give your project a name by entering a project name in the Project name text field.
      For example "My Test Project".
16. Specify a main destination folder in the Main folder text field.
      For example "%PROGRAMFILES\MyTestApp".

17. Now create a setup package by choosing the File - Create setup package menu item.

You have now created an installation package that installs a VB.NET application. The setup program checks first that the required .NET version is installed in the computer, and if the system requirements are met, the application will be installed.
Related tips
Visual Installer can also import a VB6 project and create an installation of it. This tip shows how:
How to create an installation for a VB6 application
With Visual Installer you can code sign your setup package. This tip shows how to achieve this:
How to code sign a setup package

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