An error occurred while signing: SignTool.exe not found

While publishing a ClickOnce application using Visual Studio 2010, it may fail with the following error message:

Error 1 Cannot publish because a project failed to build.   
Error 2 An error occurred while signing: SignTool.exe not found.

Build output:

Building WindowsFormsApplication...
Error: Cannot publish because a project failed to build.

The signtool.exe is located at the following location:

%programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin   for x64 system

%programfiles%\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin          for x86 system

Please make sure that the file is available there. Signtool.exe is part of the windows platform SDK. If the file is not present on the system, please install/repair  windows platform SDK OR copy the file from a working system.

Now try to publish the ClickOnce application. If you still find the same issue, please check if you installed the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 Developer Preview on the system. The Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 Developer Preview is a prerelease version of the .NET Framework, and should not be used in production scenarios. It is an in-place update to the .NET Framework 4. You would need to uninstall this prerelease product from ARP. 


After uninstall please reboot the system and install the .Net Framework 4.0 RTM. It can be downloaded from the following link also: 
Then launch Visual Studio 2010 and publish the ClickOnce Application.

Comments (11)
  1. Sivakumar S says:

    This same error comes in a different way in Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition… Please see the below link for how to solve this problem in this version……/61759-visual-studio-2015-released-visual-basic-14-net-4-6-a.html

  2. Mahesh Prasath says:

    Same error to me as well. Everything was fine for a while, until I tried to create a setup file for my project landed up in this trouble. To Solve this "An error occurred while signing: SignTool.exe not found" Right click Solution explorer , go to Signing in option and uncheck the sign the clickOnce Manifest option. This solved my problem. But did not succeed in creating an installable setup.  I am using VS Express 2015.

    1. Alireza says:

      Thanks Mahesh Prasath
      Your advise was excellent and solved my problem!

    2. John George says:

      Thanks Mahech…Resolved ..

  3. Peter says:

    to Mahesh Prasath:

    Thanks man, this temporarily solved my problem as mentioned top.

  4. Craig says:

    If you're using VS Express 2015, just go to your control panel –> programs and features –> select vs 2015 –> click change, then in the VS Express installer select 'Modify' –> select Publishing tools, and finish.  Once setup completes the changes you will be able to create your installer.

    1. Anonymous says:

      (This comment has been deleted per user request)

    2. César 'doc' Vilela says:

      Thank You

  5. Peter says:

    to Craig

    I have same problem, tried to modify as you mentioned and still crashed after releasing.

  6. Tomknox says:

    Had the same problem.  The solution is to install the Click-Once Deployment Tools through the Visual Studio Setup. They are not selected in the default installation.

  7. John George says:

    Great Help…Unchecking clickOnce Manifest option worked for me. Right click on Solution Explorer ,option signing and uncheck “clickOnce Manifest “…Thanks

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