Add Context Menu Option to Extract / Unpack Files from MSI (Microsoft Installer) Package

A Microsoft Installer (MSI) package contains various files which are extracted and installed in your system once you run the MSI file.

If you don't want to run MSI file but want to view its content, this tutorial will help you.

This tutorial will help you in adding "Unpack" option to MSI file context menu so that you can extract / unpack MSI package files quickly and easily.


Once you select "Unpack" option from an MSI file context menu, it'll extract the MSI package and will put all the files in a new folder with the name "MSI_file_name Content".

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. Under "classes" key, create a new key Msi.Package

4. Under "Msi.Package" key, create a new key shell

5. Under "shell" key, create a new key Unpack

6. Under "Unpack" key, create a new key command

So the final registry path would be:


7. Select command key and in right-side pane, change value of default to:

msiexec.exe /a "%1" /qb TARGETDIR="%1 Content"


That's it. Now you can access the option in MSI file context menu.

PS: If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, simply download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Can't we use 7zip?

  • i usually use 7zip...
    btw nice info...:)

  • can be used for MSU as well?

  • VG

    ^^ Not tried. You can try it. Change msi.package to msu.package but most probably it won't work.

    7-zip can extract msi files but you'll find difference between both results.

  • Even easier, just download Universal Extractor...

  • @Doc
    Yeah you could, but this method saves hard disk space and does not require a third party app to run. The download and install of the registry script is both quicker than UE.

  • Hi VG

    Awesome man... I used to do all this on Command Prompt... You just made it so easier.

  • VG

    ^^ Welcome. :)


  • Can you add an icon to this? So at least it looks pretty. :)
    Like the take ownership key with the shield icon.

  • VG

    ^^ When you create Unpack key in Step 5, in right-side pane create a new String "HasLUAShield" and leave its value blank.

  • The difference between using registry method and the 7-zip is; 7-zip extracts all files in the msi file to the same folder. However, if you use registry method, it extacts files to folders where they actually copied during installation. This is a huge difference, at least for me.

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