Intune Win32 App – The preparation

In this post we will discuss about win32 applications and prepare one for Intune.

We can deploy several types of applications with Intune (shown in the table below).

App typesInstallationUpdates
Apps from the store (store apps)Intune installs the app on the device.App updates are automatic.
Apps written in-house or as a custom app (line-of-business)Intune installs the app on the device (you supply the installation file).We must update the app.
Apps that are built-in (built-in apps)Intune installs the app on the device.App updates are automatic.
Apps on the web (web link)Intune creates a shortcut to the web app on the device home screen.App updates are automatic.
Apps from other Microsoft servicesIntune creates a shortcut to the app in the Company Portal. App updates are automatic.

The tool to convert an application into a win32 package (.intunewin file) is called Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool and basically converts the application installation files into the .intunewin format. The tool also detects some of the attributes that Intune requires to determine the application installation state.

In this guide, the Zoom application will be packaged.

First we have to download the application files, in our case the ZoomInstallerFull.exe, and place it in a folder.

After that we must download the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool and save it. To do this, navigate to the GitHub page of the tool, select the Code button, and Download Zip. We extract the .zip file to a location and continue.

We now have all the tools available to prepare our .intunewin package.

Before moving to the practical part, I would like to mention here a good practice for this process. I always create two folders when packaging an application, one containing only the installation files (folder name: InstallationFiles) and one containing only the output .intunewin file (folder name: OutputIntunewin). I am doing this in order to avoid the inclusion of unnecessary files in the output file.

We navigate to the unzipped files and run the IntuneWinAppUtil.exe as Administrator. I came across a case in the past where an installation file wasn’t being packaged because the user hadn’t run the tool with administrative privileges.

When running the tool we have to define three parameters in order to prepare the package:

  1. The source folder: the folder containing the installation files (InstallationFiles)
  2. The setup file: the file that will initiate the installation (InstallationFiles\executable.exe)
  3. The output folder: the folder in which the tool will create the .intunewin file (OutputIntunewin)
  4. Catalog folder: Catalog files are used to enable Win32 apps in Windows 10 S mode. We select No here.

After entering the above into every step we get the following:

Pressing enter will start the preparation process, which may need a few seconds for a small application and a couple of minutes for larger ones. Just to remember here that with the content prep tool, we have a maximum size limit of 8GB per app.

If we check in the output folder now, a .intunewin file has been created. The package is now ready!!!

The next step after preparing the application is to upload it to Intune and deploy it to our endpoints (will be discussed in a next post).

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