Extract & view contents of an MSI Installer file with lessmsi

Ever wondered how an installer actually works and miraculously installs an application from a single file? Windows Installers are nothing but files similar to a zip file that have other files compressed into them. Apart from those files, they have some other files that help the installers in setting up their configuration and other details.

How about if you could have a sneak peek into an installer before installing an application? Or you may extract the contents of it before actually running the installer file. We have this wonderful tool called lessmsi that lets you view and extract the contents of an MSI installer file without actually running it.

Extract & view contents of an Installer file

Less MSI or lessmsi is a freeware tool to view and extract the contents of an MSI installer package. It works flawlessly well with most of the MSI files, and you can extract and run applications using this tool.

If you are looking to convert one of your favorite tools to a portable tool, lessmsi will be your perfect partner. Or if you simply want to run an application without actually associating it with your computer’s settings, you can do so by extracting its files.

Extract & view contents of an Installer file

The tool itself is pretty simple to use. It comes in a portable format and can you can use it from both command-line and GUI. There is also an option available to add a shortcut to this tool in Windows Explorer right-click menu. To add a shortcut, go to edit menu and select ‘Preferences’. Now select the first option, and the shortcut will be added. You can follow similar steps to remove the shortcut from the right-click menu. If you open up the GUI, you will face a simple and easy to understand interface with all the features neatly aligned.


To get started, you will need to select an MSI installer file and wait for the program to load the contents of it. All the files with their path will be loaded into the list. You can select which files to extract and what needs to be left aside. Also, there are buttons to select and deselect them all at once. Once you are done selecting your files, hit the ‘Extract’ button. It will shoot up another dialog where you can choose the folder where to extract the contents of the installer.

Before extracting, there are a few other details that you can look into. The table view lets you view the tables from the database on which the MSI files are based upon. The tables can reveal a lot of crucial information. And the summary tab again reveals some basic and other information about the installer and the underlying application files.

Lessmsi is a great tool for the enthusiasts who go a step ahead than the normal ones. It is a perfect tool to extract contents of an MSI package. And also, a great tool to just have a look at the inside of an installer. It can help you extract some particular files from an installer or convert your application into a portable one.

Less MSI or lessmsi download

Click here to download lessmsi.

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Lavish loves to follow up on the latest happenings in technology. He loves to try out new Windows-based software and gadgets and is currently learning JAVA. He loves to develop new software for Windows. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software is always recommended, he feels.