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Posted 26 May 2012


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C# Portable Exe File

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4.73/5 (23 votes)
26 May 2012CPOL1 min read
Making an exe file from C# project that runs from any Windows, without must of Net Framework instaled.


One of the disadvantages of C# is that when you want to run it, the computer must have .NET Framework installed on it. After this article, you will be able to make it runnable from any Windows without the must of .NET. 

How to do it?

  1. Make a C# project.
  2. In Solution Explorer, inside your project, there is a line "Reference". Click the plus near it. Now you can see all the dependencies of your project. Delete all references that aren't used (delete, and try to run/build. If it is possible to do it, that it is unused. If there is an error, return it by adding it (right mouse click, "Add Reference")).
  3. For each reference, go to Properties, and in the property "Copy Local" choose "True". For each Image, Icon... make like to the referenced.
  4. Rebuild you project. Now in your Build/Release folder (inside bin) you will see many dll files. Those files have the information of every resource.
  5. Copy all the files in the folder (from step number 4) into a new folder.
  6. Go to the folder: "<windows folder>\Microsoft.Net\Framework\<latest version>" and copy the file "mscorlib.dll" to the new folder from step 5.  If you don't find this file, you can always make a search in the Hard Drive which contains Windows folder.
  7. Now your app is portable (with the whole folder content).
  • All the referenced should be in the same folder as the .exe file.
  • If something is missing, there may be problems with the program.


This solution is not the best. The whole program is heavy. But it is a solution! When you search the Internet, you will find such solutions like Portable Net, publish... But this one is quick, easy and does the right result.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
flash-mmb20-May-17 2:57
Memberflash-mmb20-May-17 2:57 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Eng Mohamed Bassuny5-Aug-16 11:57
professionalEng Mohamed Bassuny5-Aug-16 11:57 
QuestionSimple! Pin
thisisthemurph7-Jul-15 21:31
Memberthisisthemurph7-Jul-15 21:31 
QuestionNot work on server 2008 machine Pin
Beniwal0129-May-14 23:18
MemberBeniwal0129-May-14 23:18 
hi use this method but not work on windows server 2008 machine and giving error dot net initialization error and tell me to install dot net 4.0.

please help me
dot net

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Thanks787215-May-13 21:15
professionalThanks787215-May-13 21:15 
QuestionNot sure if I got the point Pin
jfriedman2-Jan-13 18:23
Memberjfriedman2-Jan-13 18:23 
Questiondoesn't work Pin
arby7720-Aug-12 13:37
Memberarby7720-Aug-12 13:37 
AnswerRe: doesn't work Pin
arthur zamarin20-Aug-12 17:25
Memberarthur zamarin20-Aug-12 17:25 
GeneralRe: doesn't work Pin
arby7721-Aug-12 7:18
Memberarby7721-Aug-12 7:18 
AnswerRe: doesn't work Pin
arthur zamarin21-Aug-12 7:22
Memberarthur zamarin21-Aug-12 7:22 
GeneralRe: doesn't work Pin
Beniwal0129-May-14 23:29
MemberBeniwal0129-May-14 23:29 
Questionpfff Pin
Sergey Lapp9-Jul-12 22:48
MemberSergey Lapp9-Jul-12 22:48 
AnswerRe: pfff Pin
arthur zamarin9-Jul-12 22:50
Memberarthur zamarin9-Jul-12 22:50 
GeneralRe: pfff Pin
Sergey Lapp10-Jul-12 0:10
MemberSergey Lapp10-Jul-12 0:10 
AnswerRe: pfff Pin
arthur zamarin10-Jul-12 0:17
Memberarthur zamarin10-Jul-12 0:17 
GeneralRe: pfff Pin
Sergey Lapp10-Jul-12 0:23
MemberSergey Lapp10-Jul-12 0:23 
Question.NET EULA Pin
Ivan Ičin3-Jun-12 7:05
MemberIvan Ičin3-Jun-12 7:05 
AnswerRe: .NET EULA Pin
arthur zamarin3-Jun-12 7:26
Memberarthur zamarin3-Jun-12 7:26 
GeneralRe: .NET EULA Pin
Ivan Ičin3-Jun-12 9:12
MemberIvan Ičin3-Jun-12 9:12 
GeneralMy vote of 2 Pin
johannesnestler29-May-12 23:53
Memberjohannesnestler29-May-12 23:53 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 Pin
arthur zamarin30-May-12 1:51
Memberarthur zamarin30-May-12 1:51 
QuestionQuestion Pin
yogiCsharp29-May-12 20:12
MemberyogiCsharp29-May-12 20:12 
AnswerRe: Question Pin
arthur zamarin30-May-12 1:48
Memberarthur zamarin30-May-12 1:48 
QuestionDepends on CLR version Pin
Nicolas Dorier28-May-12 10:41
professionalNicolas Dorier28-May-12 10:41 
AnswerRe: Depends on CLR version Pin
arthur zamarin29-May-12 2:38
Memberarthur zamarin29-May-12 2:38 

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