Outlook: Deploying an Outlook 2013 add-in (using InstallShield LE)

Today I had to create an installer for an Outlook 2013 add-in (created using Visual Studio 2013), and as the process is different to previous versions I thought I'd document it here.  I will only detail the differences from previous versions - I am assuming that you have completed the first three steps that are the same as described here.

  Add a new project to the solution, and select InstallShield Limited Edition Project (note that you will have to have installed this - the first time you select to add it, you will be guided through the process)
   Select Application Information, and enter details for your add-in.
   Select the installation requirements for your add-in.  Currently it seems that Office 2013 is not available as a pre-requisite, so the only one to include is .Net 4.5 (or whichever framework your add-in uses).
   Add the application files.  As for previous versions of VSTO, you need to add the project output, and also the manifest and vsto files from the output folder of the add-in project.
   Set the registry keys.  These also are the same as previous versions.  The screenshot here shows the keys for a 32 bit add-in (i.e. with 32 bit Outlook).  64 bit would use the 64 bit registry.
   Choose your options for the installation interface.
   Finally, check the setting for your build.  I chose a single image build, as this creates a setup.exe.  Once done, you can build the setup project and then locate the setup.exe in the output folder.  This can be deployed to users.
Comments (7)

  1. Markus Doll says:

    Hey Dave,

    thanks for outlining that process.

    I was able to build the solution and when I run setup.exe the project output, vsto and .manifest files are copied to the designated program directory. The registry keys are also created accordingly.

    Nevertheless the Addin doesn't show up in Outlook 2013. The Addin's ribbon isn't visible and the Addin itself isn't listed under Options -> Addins. Seems like the addin doesn't register as supposed.

    When I create a Clickonce setup.exe, it basically does the same but in this case, the addin registers properly.

    Any hint what I may have missed?

    Thanks in advance!



  2. Mark says:

    I have the exact same issue as Markus,

    The Outlook Addin installs but never shows up within Outlook like it is not being registered somewhere.

    ClickOnce deployment works fine, however.

  3. I've double-checked the process, and the installer works fine on my system.

    A common mistake (depending which version of English you learned, of course!) is the spelling of the registry key LoadBehavior (note it is American spelling, not UK).

    Outlook will load an add-in based on the registry keys, so first thing to check is that they are present and correct on the system to which the add-in was deployed.  If they are, then the add-in should show up in Outlook.  Note that it could still show up as disabled, but this would point to some other error (e.g. add-in load error, missing pre-requisites).

  4. Usman says:

    While setting Registry values,set the LoadBehavior value as 3.

  5. Sreehari says:

    I have the same issue but it got resolved. Please make sure that LoadBehavior type should be " New DWORD Value " and value should be 3.

  6. SteveRowlands says:


    I've developed an add-in for Outlook 2013 using VS 2013, the add-in contains a single form region which, using the wizard I chose type Separate, in compose and read modes, for both appointments and mail message.

    When I run the project in VS 2013 it installs the add-in successfully and when I open an appointment or email in outlook I get a button in the message ribbon (in the case of emails) which causes the region to be displayed and the functionality works as expected.

    I then followed the above to create an installer, made sure the add-in was removed from Outlook on my PC then ran the installer.  The add-in is added successfully and the button appears and works as expected.

    I them copied the setup.exe for the add-on to a PC with Outlook 2013 installed but no development environment, again the installer works fine and I can see the add-in is loaded in outlook but the button fails to appear in either an email or an appointment.

    Any help you anyone can offer would be appreciated.


  7. nettech says:


    I have Outlook Add-In developed in visual studio 2013.

    I am creating its setup using Install Shield Limited Edition, it works on the development machine but does not work on another PC, Add-In installed in C drive but when I check from Outlook Add-In it does not show my add-in there, but in development machine it shows. Another thing which I noticed is that my add-in files are not copied in C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice15….where as other add-in files are there

    Please help me to create setup for deployment.


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