How to Make a Setup.Exe File

By Laura Gittins

The IExpress tool is native to Windows operating systems. It creates a self-extracting package, for example a Setup.exe file, and contains one or more other files that users extract from it. Creating a Setup.exe file allows you to easily distribute your software applications or games to others in a single executable file rather than forcing them to download multiple files. Not all Setup.exe files contain installation commands, especially smaller programs. When you use IExpress, you designate whether the package you create will have an installation command or not.

Navigate to the "Start" menu and select "Run." Type "iexpress" (without quotes) and click "OK." The IExpress Wizard will appear.

Select the "Create new Self Extraction Directive file" radio button and click "Next." The Package Purpose dialog opens.

Select the "Extract files and run an installation command" radio button to create a package that will install a program after it extracts its files, or select "Extract files only" to create a package that simply compresses its contents. Click "Next." The "Package Title" dialog opens.

Type in a title of the package into the text box. This will display the title on every dialog box the user sees when she extracts files from your Setup file. Click "Next." The Confirmation Prompt displays.

Select "No prompt" to skip confirming with the user that she wants to install your package, or select "Prompt user with:" and enter a message into the text box, such as "Are you sure?" Click "Next."

Select "Do not display a license" to skip showing the user a license agreement she must agree to before installation, or select "Display a license" to show one and then click on "Browse" to find a text file that will display in a text window when the user installs the package. Click "Next."

Click "Add" and navigate the dialog window that appears to the files you want to include in your package. Continue doing this until you have added all of the files you want to include and then click "Next."

Select an installation program from the drop-down menu that appears if you selected to run an installation command and then click "Next." Otherwise, skip this step.

Leave the default option selected in the "Show window" screen. Click "Next."

Click the "Display message" option and type a message, such as "Extraction Complete!" to show the user when the package finishes installing her files. Click "Next."

Type "Setup.exe" into the text box to name your package and select a location to save the file to, using the "Browse" button. Click "Next."

Leave the default options selected in the "Configure restart" screen if you chose to use an installation command, then click "Next." Otherwise, skip this step.

Select "Save Self Extraction Directive (SED) file," which is a text file that contains a record of the package you are creating, or select "Don't save" to not do this. Click "Next."

Click "Next" on the "Create package" screen to create your Setup.exe file. Click "Finish" to close the IExpress Wizard.