Getting started with App-V for Windows client

Applies to:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11


Application Virtualization will be end of life in April 2026. We recommend looking at Azure Virtual Desktop with MSIX app attach. For more information, see What is Azure Virtual Desktop? and Set up MSIX app attach with the Azure portal.

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) for Windows delivers Win32 applications to users as virtual applications. Virtual applications are installed on centrally managed servers and delivered to users as a service in real time and on an as-needed basis. Users launch virtual applications from familiar access points and interact with them as if they were installed locally.

Starting with Windows 10 version 1607, App-V is included with the Windows 10 for Enterprise edition. If you're new to Windows client and App-V, you’ll need to download, activate, and install server- and client-side components to start delivering virtual applications to users. To learn what you need to know before getting started with App-V, see the Application Virtualization (App-V) overview.

If you’re already using App-V, performing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10/11 on user devices automatically installs the App-V client and migrates users’ App-V applications and settings. For more information about how to configure an existing App-V installation after upgrading user devices to Windows 10/11, see Upgrading to App-V for Windows from an existing installation.


You can upgrade your existing App-V installation to App-V for Windows from App-V versions 5.0 SP2 and higher only. If you are using an earlier version of App-V, you’ll need to upgrade your existing App-V installation to App-V 5.0 SP2 before upgrading to App-V for Windows.

To learn more about previous versions of App-V, see MDOP information experience.

Getting started with App-V for Windows (new installations)

To start using App-V to deliver virtual applications to users, you’ll need to download, enable, and install server- and client-side components. The following table describes the App-V for Windows client components, what they do, and where to find them.

Component What it does Where to find it
App-V server components App-V offers five server components that work together to allow you to host and publish virtual applications, generate usage reports, and manage your App-V environment. For more information, see Deploying the App-V Server.

If you're already using App-V 5.x, you don't need to redeploy the App-V server components, as they haven't changed since App-V 5.0's release.
The App-V server components are included in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2015 ISO package that can be downloaded from the following locations:

If you have a Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, use the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscriptions site to download the MDOP ISO package.

If you're using Windows client for Enterprise or Education, download it from the Volume Licensing Service Center.

For more information about installing and using the server components, see Deploying the App-V Server.
App-V client and App-V Remote Desktop Services (RDS) client The App-V client is the component that runs virtualized applications on user devices, allowing users to interact with icons and file names to start virtualized applications. Starting with Windows 10 version 1607, the App-V client is automatically installed.

To learn how to enable the client, see Enable the App-V desktop client.
App-V sequencer Use the App-V sequencer to convert Win32 applications into virtual packages for deployment to user devices. Devices must run the App-V client to allow users to interact with virtual applications. Installed with the Windows Assessment and Deployment kit (ADK) for Windows client.

For more information about these components, see High Level Architecture for App-V.

If you're new to App-V, it's a good idea to read the documentation thoroughly. Before deploying App-V in a production environment, you can ensure installation goes smoothly by validating your deployment plan in a test network environment. You might also consider taking a class about relevant technologies. To get started, see the Microsoft Training Overview.

Getting started with App-V

What's new in App-V provides a high-level overview of App-V and how it can be used in your organization?

Evaluating App-V provides information about how you can best evaluate App-V for use in your organization.

High Level Architecture for App-V provides a description of the App-V features and how they work together.

Other resources for this product