.appref-ms file extension
- ClickOnce application reference file.
A .appref-ms contains a reference to an application, which is used by ClickOnce to launch the application.
As far as the end user is concerned a .appref-ms file is very similar to a regular shortcut (.lnk) file. However unlike a shortcut which references a file, a .appref-ms file references the original application URL. ClickOnce uses the original application URL to lookup where the program has been installed to on the local PC. Even though it is the URL which is referenced in the .appref-ms file, the PC does not need to be on-line in order to run the application as the application is run from the local PC. The advantage to the original application developer/distributer is that ClickOnce can also use this information to check for updates to the application.
Whilst it is not advisable to edit the file in this way, a .appref-ms file may be opened and its contents viewed using a standard text editor (such as notepad). This will allow you to see the url, culture, processor architecture for the application as well as the and key used to sign the application.
For more information see:
- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb384248.aspx - Information on Creating ClickOnce Applications, article from Microsoft.
- http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/t71a733d.aspx - ClickOnce security and deployment.
- http://everything.explained.at/ClickOnce - ClickOnce explained.
- http://guysmithferrier.com/downloads/clickonce.pdf - An overview of ClickOnce deployment
Can you add to this? Do you know of any applications not already listed which will work with .appref-ms files, view .appref-ms files or open .appref-ms files? Are you able to contribute any additional reference information or file format information about .appref-ms files or have you spotted any errors or omissions? If so please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org - Thank you.