How to create url shortcut in MSIX

Copper Contributor

"Hello MSIX support team,


We are working on MSIX POC project in which requirement is to create a shortcut which is pointing to client home page URL.

But I am unable to create MSIX  package with above requirements,

1. Application only has 1 icon file and 1 shortcut which is pointing to client home page

2. Once we complete the installation and selects "First launch task" window we are not able to find the url shortcut as entry point.


Could you please suggest is how to create entry point which is pointing to url. Let us know if you need more information on this. 



9 Replies



It is currently not possible to create a tile (shortcut) which directly points to an URL with an MSIX package. One thing you can do is create an application which opens the URL when it is launched.


If you are creating a new application it is recommended that you package it directly when you build it, for example using a Windows Application Packaging Project in Visual Studio. The MSIX Packaging Tool is intended for packaging existing applications for which you do not have access to the source.

@Chacon The Package Support Framework PsfLauncher can be used to target a URL.  You just  Add PsfLauncher64.exe and PsfRuntime64.dll in your package, point your shortcut to Psflauncher, and enter the URL in the target application field in the Config.Json file's Application section..

To update this old post, there are two possibilities these days to achieve your goal:

  • Microsoft has added an extension to the AppXManifest to support URL launches.  This would use the default browser on the end user system.  This is the most appropriate path for a developer, but can be used in repackaging if you manually edit the AppXManifest file.
  • The Package Support Framework can launch the URL using either the default FTA (e.g. the same default browser), or you can provide a path to the default browser. This is supported when repackaging via the Microsoft MSIX Packaging Tool and PsfTooling or TMEditX (although I suggest the soon to be released versions of those external tools PsfTooling 5.2 or TMEditX 2.2).  This is probably also possible through various other third party repackaging tools.

Hi Tim,
Thanks for this post.
Would it be possible to pass the port numbers as well along with URL ?
Could please share the steps and sample syntax if possible.
I don't have any shortcuts, files and icons. Just have url details and port number (to pass it as a parameter)

Thanks in Advance.

I'm unsure if arguments are permitted in the Microsoft AppXManifest extension for URL Launches.

As to using the PSF, yes this can be done. If the port is specified in the .url file, then I believe TMEditX will detect and use it. If I am wrong, you can manually edit the config.json file in the TMEditX tool, after applying the PSF fix, to add the port number.
HI Tim,
Thanks for the reply.
Is there any sample manifest file sysntax to call url using psflauncher ? could you please help me if any.
Thanks in advance.
Hey Tim,

Do you have a link to some documentation in regards of the native support for URLs that MS implemented?
The AppXManifest file application entry is really the same as any other application being handled by the PSF; you'll point the executable to a copy of PsfLauncher in the package. Here is a part of the syntax of the config.json file that has the important stuff:

"applications": [
"executable": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\Bin\\MMLicManager.exe",
"arguments": "",
"workingDirectory": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\Bin"
"executable": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\MathMechanixs.exe",
"arguments": "",
"workingDirectory": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs"
"id": "PSFLAUNCHERThree",
"executable": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\Help\\MathMechanixs.chm",
"arguments": "",
"workingDirectory": ""
"id": "PSFLAUNCHERFour",
"executable": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\Website.url",
"arguments": "",
"workingDirectory": ""
"id": "PSFLAUNCHERFive",
"executable": "VFS\\ProgramFilesX86\\Math Mechanixs\\Math Mechanixs\\Readme.txt",
"arguments": "",
"workingDirectory": ""

PsfLauncher4.exe in the AppXManifest file mapps to the entry above.