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Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Deployment Considerations

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

.NET Framework 3.5 is not included by default in Windows® 8 or Windows Server® 2012, but you can download and deploy it for legacy application compatibility. This section describes these deployment options.

In this section:


Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 include .NET Framework 4.5, which is an integral Windows component that supports building and running the next generation of applications and web services. The .NET Framework 4.5 provides a subset of managed types that you can use to create Windows Store apps for Windows by using C# or Visual Basic. For more information, see .NET Framework.

Only the metadata that is required to enable the .NET Framework 3.5 is contained in the default Windows image (\sources\install.wim) for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, but the actual binaries are not in the image; this feature state is known as disabled with payload removed.

You can get the .NET Framework 3.5 payload files from Windows Update or the installation media in the \sources\sxs folder. For more information, see Installing the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 or 8.1. After the .NET Framework 3.5 feature is enabled, the files are serviced just like other operating system files from Windows Update.

When a PC that is running Windows® 7 (which includes .NET Framework 3.5.1 by default) is upgraded to Windows 8, or a server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 (which has .NET Framework 3.5.1 feature installed) is upgraded to Windows Server 2012, .NET Framework 3.5 is automatically enabled by using the files in the \sources\sxs folder.


For Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is not supported as a source for feature installation (for example, adding .NET Framework 3.5 feature files) or feature file store repair operations.

To ensure the best user experience, we recommend that you test and validate installation and functionality of legacy applications (especially those that depend on .NET Framework) on your Windows 8 images before you deploy the images to your users.

If you have feedback about this topic, please visit the appropriate Microsoft forum:

See Also

Other Resources

Windows Server Installation Options