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WiX Toolset v3.8

Rating:        Based on 19 ratings
Reviewed:  18 reviews
Downloads: 292608
Change Set: 3a144292ea18
Released: Nov 28, 2013
Updated: Feb 26, 2016 by bobarnso
Dev status: Stable Help Icon

Recommended Download

Application wix38.exe
application, 22237K, uploaded Nov 28, 2013 - 250333 downloads

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application, 25873K, uploaded Nov 28, 2013 - 27207 downloads
Source Code
source code, 38561K, uploaded Nov 28, 2013 - 7801 downloads
application, 21999K, uploaded Jan 9, 2014 - 7267 downloads

Release Notes

This version of WiX has been replaced by WiX v3.10.2 because it contains mitigations for Windows vulnerabilities.

The v3.8 RTM build is v3.8.1128.0.

For more information see: and

  • wix38.exe is the installer for the WiX Toolset and is required for integration into Visual Studio.
  • contains the files that make up the WiX Toolset and is useful if you don't need Visual Studio integration -- for example, if you're just checking WiX into source control.
  • contains a reference copy of the WiX source code and symbol (.pdb) files, both of which are useful when debugging problems with WiX.
  • contains the wix38.exe installer inside a .zip file, useful if your IT department prevents direct downloading of .exe files.

Major features of WiX v3.8 are:
  • Support for Visual Studio 2013 in Votive and the WiX native libraries. (Bob Arnson and Rob Mensching)
  • Bootstrapper application functions to extend WixStandardBootstrapperApplication. (Neil Sleightholm)

Minor features include:
  • Properly detect Windows 8.1 version in Burn. (Blair Murri)
  • Visual Studio 2013 detection properties in WixVSExtension. (Bob Arnson)
  • fun.AutoVersion preprocessor function to provide automatic version numbers. (Neil Sleightholm)
  • New WixStandardBootstrapperApplication themes. (Neil Sleightholm)
  • Options in CloseApplication to send end-session messages, to be prompted if programs are still running, and to terminate the process if gentler requests are ignored. (Rob Mensching)
  • ThmUtil (and therefore WixStandardBootstrapperApplication) supports hidden controls and transparent images. (Neil Sleightholm and Rob Mensching)
  • LocUtil (and therefore WixStandardBootstrapperApplication) supports probing for default language resources rather than requiring region-specific language resources. (Neil Sleightholm)

The following issues were fixed in WiX v3.8:
  • Feature 2912 | IIS extension scheme should support ApplicationPoolIdentity (“ursoft”)
  • Bug 3101 | Publish@Property doesn’t accept WixVariables
  • Feature 3149 | Digitally sign or hash WiX binaries (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3165 | AssemblyFolders missing when running x64 MSBuild (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3667 | Unclear if “Name” attribute is required in RemoveFile tag (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3714 | Version number in registry key makes it detection difficult (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3733 | The bootstrapper’s variables are not determined after reboot
  • Bug 3737 | Can’t define RemotePayload for Payload (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3757 | Harvesting project from VS2010 generate errors for .resx (Stefan Agner)
  • Feature 3778 | Utils::CloseApplication should send WMQUERYENDSESSION and WMENDSESSION (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3783 | Wix install kicked off from BootStrapper doesn’t show progress bar progress.. (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3786 | Localization: Installer ES/ IT: Duplicate hotkey ‘A’ in the EULA page. (Christopher Painter)
  • Bug 3807 | VS Add Reference dialog doesn’t show BootstrapperCore assembly (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3822 | ParallelCache causes wrong status in UI (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3828 | Solution Will Not Build and Test Projects Will Not Load (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3830 | PreProcExampleExtension old format (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3837 | Cannot install toolset under Windows 7 Enterprise (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3839 | VS2012 path macro points to VS2010 in example ‘CustomAction’ (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3854 | Cannot Print twice with PrintEULA (FireGiant)
  • Bug 3856 | Burn Can’t Handle Files-In-Use Messages
  • Bug 3857 | Build fails (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3864 | NetFxExtension doc page not mentioning .NET 4.5 properties (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3870 | Documentation bug regarding Directory/@ComponentGuidGenerationSeed (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3872 | WiX 3.6 Requires .NET 2.0 (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3874 | Cannot install Wix37.exe to Windows 7 64-bit platform without seeing error.
  • Bug 3875 | VS2008 build crash
  • Bug 3891 | .NET Framework 4.5 properties not documented (Neil Sleightholm)
  • Bug 3905 | No way to pass arguments to LaunchTarget (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3917 | WiX 3.8 build fails (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3922 | Incorrect language detection in burn (Neil Sleightholm)
  • Bug 3923 | wix38.exe claims copyright Microsoft Corporation (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3938 | There is no more Lux in WiX binaries since v3.7
  • Bug 3943 | Support for XP broken when WiX is built using VS2012 (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3950 | WXL schema recognized by WixStdBA (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3953 | heat.exe hangs with 100% cpu (Mike Carlson)
  • Bug 3958 | Version attributes only allow to have a single binder variable to replace the whole string
  • Bug 3965 | MediaTemplate ignores CompressionLevel attribute (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 3970 | Cannot install 3.8.4xx (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 3975 | Wixca.dll is linked against wrong version of kernel32.dll (Rob Mensching)
  • Feature 3983 | WixStdBA: Action Data Messages (Jacob Hoover)
  • Bug 3988 | Enable Remote WiX Extensions and other assemblies
  • Bug 3990 | Creating Application Pool sets “Enable 32-Bit Applications” to true despite Win64=”yes”
  • Bug 3994 | Un-handled Exception (Mike Carlson)
  • Bug 3995 | ‘heat reg’ causes candle CNDL1138 warnings (Neil Sleightholm)
  • Bug 4028 | ComPlusApplication CustomAction and related properties should be secure (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4032 | heat.exe produces uncompilable output (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4036 | pyro ArgumentOutOfRangeException in PatchAPIMarshaller.CreateArrayOfStringA (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4037 | Broken link on page CustomAction Element (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4042 | CNDL0004 with Msmq inside Foreach Preprocessor (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4055 | Insignia removes all other certificates from the MsiDigitalCertificate table (Jacob Hoover)
  • Bug 4056 | Insignia uses invalid identifiers for digital certificates (Jacob Hoover)
  • Bug 4057 | Null Reference exception in Unbinder:UnbindTransform processing MSPs (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4061 | Call RtlGetVersion out of ntdll.dll to get OS version (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4062 | Heat harvesting is URL Encoding parenthesis in “Content” filenames resulting in LGHT0103 errors. (Blair Murri)
  • Bug 4068 | MsiPackage/@bal:Overridable=”yes” results in misleading error message. (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4072 | NullReferenceException in pyro.exe (Blair Murri)
  • Feature 4073 | Write WIX current version in registry (Bob Arnson)
  • Feature 4080 | Source Zip File from Codeplex (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 4082 | Wix Manul URL broken (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 4083 | Website manual cannot be navigated. (Rob Mensching)
  • Feature 4091 | VS2013 versions of libraries should be included in the native SDK (Rob Mensching)
  • Feature 4092 | Votive should support VS2013 (Bob Arnson)
  • Feature 4093 | Project and item templates should be provided for VS2013 (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4104 | Wrong language ID for Slovenian specified on site (Blair Murri)
  • Feature 4120 | Remove SetupBld and friends from WiX v3.8 (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4128 | Manifest Burn stub for Windows 8.1 (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4142 | WXL File without correct namespace throws incorrect error (Bob Arnson)
  • Feature 4144 | Icons for WiX Visual Studio 2012/2013 templates (Aleksandr Vishnyakov and Blair Murri)
  • Feature 4146 | Verify all VS2013 SKUs are detected in WixVSExtension (Bob Arnson)
  • Feature 4152 | WixPdbPath should be removed (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4155 | Media vs MediaTemplate Compression (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4158 | Exception thrown without Media* and with Tag (Bob Arnson)
  • Feature 4160 | Prepare for RTM (Rob Mensching)
  • Bug 4168 | Melt.exe exception when decompiling MSI and WIXPDB files (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4175 | Support VS2013 in VSIX Extension (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4185 | Vs extension not Visual Studio 2013 aware (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4197 | VS2013 WixVSExtension properties not documented (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4198 | Detect condition for NetFx 4.51 (Bob Arnson)
  • Bug 4201 | wix.chm – invalid value for <BoostrapperApplicationRef> (Bob Arnson)

Reviews for this release

XML files aren't the most intuitive way to describe a setup but, once you get your head around the skeleton of a setup, WiX delivers effortless high-quality setup generation that's fully integrated with Visual Studio. We've developed MSIs and setup.exes with it, and it's completely replaced InstallShield in our organisation. "Free with free upgrades" also has to be an excellent price point!
by Ozzard on Dec 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Excellent tool. Thank you for giving us a free alternative to InstallShield and other expensive tools.
by dzmuh on Dec 6, 2013 at 2:41 AM
I am looking for a standalone version , I do not have VS installedd on my computer.
by AtillaMalas on Mar 1, 2014 at 7:11 PM
The installer is completely standalone. Visual Studio WiX toolset integration will only be installed if you have a supported version of Visual Studio installed.
Reply by robmen (N/A) on Mar 9, 2014 at 9:58 AM
good it helps a lot with fram rate 3
by bigemachine on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM
WiX is the excellent tool. It has a learning curve, but once established it serves super reliably for your business. MSI may look broken but actually it is a masterpiece. The only problem is the entry point that keeps amateurs outside. Yes, you have to know the basic concepts (Features/Components etc). So don't look on 3-starers here, they don't know what they say. TL;DR approach just doesn't work here and this is probably for better. Nobody wants the installs cracked by rookies, right? Everybody loves the quality. If you are ok to deliver the quality products then WiX is your best friend.
by ogggre on Jan 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Looks awesome, I am excited that Neil's Extended Bootstrapper and theme's were portered over. The action data text being displayed in the Bootstrapper is an awesome feature, lets the user know something is going on :) The bug I logged in 3.6 regarding the progress bar in MSI not displaying when kicked off from Bootstrapper is fixed :) GREAT product guys, I wouldn't think of using anything else for creating MSI's and installations!
by sogilvie on Jan 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM
The best installer, WiX FTW !
by sirait10 on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:50 PM
I see XML as a strength rather than something to be bothered. I remember years ago before XML and I am glad people find that XML can be used as the standard it has become rather than feeling the need to invent another standard for passing data to programs and such.
by ted6095 on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:34 AM
Seems to work well. My only complaint is the lack of intellisense with header files.
by gmatzen on May 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM
As Visual Studion setup projects have been replaced by a light version of InstallShield since VS 2012, WiX has become THE full featured alternative. To use WiX to its full extent make sure you do not have an XML allergy ;-)
by WetHat on Apr 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM
Definitely comes with a large learning curve, but best Windows installation framework around.
by aplocher on Apr 9, 2014 at 5:00 AM
I wan't to thank you guys for creating a project like that. It's well designed, generic, stable, etc. Microsoft should include it as a default Visual Studio tool. Like they did with NuGet. Congrats and keep this tool updated. Nowadays, my company deploy process depends of WiX and I am one of the enthusiastic. Thank you guys!
by rodrigobelo1 on Feb 12, 2014 at 3:19 AM
The most basic thing required is for the Wix project templates to be installed and it doesn't install correctly. I think this was because I also had VS 2013 installed when the Wix installer was running. I ended up having to use VS 2013 and couldn't use VS 2012.
by braindon on Sep 1, 2014 at 6:18 PM
Thank you for noting the issue. Unfortunately, we don't track bugs or feature requests here. Please go to and file your issue there. We'll see it there.
Reply by robmen (N/A) on Sep 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM
��I like the struture
by calvic55 on Mar 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM
by RanaTabish on Dec 25, 2013 at 6:55 AM
Can you please start providing zipped version of the installer. Exes downloads are blocked in our corp
by Wamra on Dec 11, 2013 at 2:36 PM
Thank you for your feature request. Unfortunately, we don't track bugs or feature requests here. Please go to and file your feature request there. We'll see it there.
Reply by robmen (N/A) on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM
I appreciate the effort for trying hard to make the underlying MSI system as usable as possible while staying as flexible as possible. Unfortunately MSI is completely and utterly broken, and no tool can ever compensate for that.
by aegon on Dec 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM
This version install is being blocked by Eset NOD32 AV 7 (Blocked Object). Probably should be submitted to Eset as a "false positive".
by rfluegge on Nov 30, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Thank you for noting the issue. Unfortunately, we don't track bugs or feature requests here. Please go to and file your issue there. We'll see it there.
Reply by robmen (N/A) on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM