First look at deployment in Visual Studio

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio Code

By deploying an application, service, or component, you distribute it for installation on other computers, devices, or servers, or in the cloud. You choose the appropriate method in Visual Studio for the type of deployment that you need. (Many app types support other deployment tools, such as command-line deployment or NuGet, that aren't described here.)

See the quickstarts and tutorials for step-by-step deployment instructions. For an overview of deployment options, see What publishing options are right for me?.

Deploy to a local folder

Deployment to a local folder is typically used for testing or to begin a staged deployment in which another tool is used for final deployment.

Publish to Azure

  • ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, Python, and Node.js: Publish to Azure App Service or Azure App Service on Linux by using one of the following methods:

    To use the Publish tool, right-click the project in Solution Explorer and select Publish. (If you've previously configured any publishing profiles, you must then select Create new profile.) In the Publish dialog box, choose Azure, and then choose the desired Azure service to continue.

    Screenshot that shows selecting Azure App Service.


    If you don't already have an Azure account, you can sign up here.

Publish to the web or deploy to a network share

Create an installer package (Windows desktop)

If you require a more complex installation of a desktop application than ClickOnce can provide, you can create a Windows Installer package (MSI or EXE installation file) or a custom bootstrapper.

  • An MSI-based installer package can be created by using the WiX Toolset Visual Studio 2017 Extension. This is a command-line toolset.

  • An MSI or EXE installer package can be created by using a Setup project (vdproj). To use this option, see Visual Studio Installer Projects Extension and .NET 6.0 or, go directly to the Visual Studio Installer Projects extension.

  • An MSI or EXE installer package can be created by using InstallShield from Flexera Software. InstallShield may be used with Visual Studio 2017 and later versions. Community Edition isn't supported.


    InstallShield Limited Edition is no longer included with Visual Studio and isn't supported in Visual Studio 2017 and later versions. Check with Flexera Software about future availability.

  • You can also install prerequisite components for desktop applications by configuring a generic installer package, which is known as a bootstrapper. For more information, see Application deployment prerequisites.

Publish to Microsoft Store

From Visual Studio, you can create app packages for deployment to Microsoft Store.

Deploy to a device (UWP)

If you're deploying a UWP app for testing on a device, see Run UWP apps on a remote machine in Visual Studio.

Deploy to a test lab

You can enable more sophisticated development and testing by deploying your applications into virtual environments. For more information, see Azure DevTest Labs.

Continuous deployment

You can use Azure Pipelines to enable continuous deployment of your app. For more information, see Azure Pipelines and Deploy to Azure.

Deploy a SQL database