Files with application extension are special app installers deployed with Microsoft’s ClickOnce technology. ClickOnce is similar technology to the Java Web Start for the Java Platform. ClickOnce applications can be developed in the Microsoft Visual Studio.

Detailed description

Software that open application file

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APPLICATION file extension - ClickOnce deployment manifest

What is application file? How to open application files?

The application file extension is mainly associated with ClickOnce, a Microsoft's technology for deploying Windows Forms or Windows Presentation Foundation-based software, which is also called Smart clients. It is similar to Java Web Start for the Java Platform. ClickOnce is only available in .NET 2.0 and its later versions.

The application files contain a deployment manifest, a XML file that describes a ClickOnce deployment, including the identification of the current ClickOnce application version to deploy.

The application files were designed to provide easy "one click" deployments of user-level Windows applications. They have a corresponding .appref-ms file that activates the ClickOne for a program, which subsequently executes within the .NET framework in Windows.

The default software associated to open application file:

Microsoft Windows icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

A family of operating systems developed by the Microsoft Corp. The first Windows was released in 1985 as a GUI add-on to MS-DOS. MS-DOS based Windows versions were developed to 2000, when was released the last version called Windows ME. Windows based on NT core started in 1993. Windows NT family are developed to these days, the latest version is called Microsoft Windows 11.

Microsoft Visual Studio icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Visual Studio  Multiplatform software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) used to create applications for Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, .NET Framework, Silverlight as well as dynamic websites and web applications. Visual Studio is available for Windows and Mac.

Help how to open:

The *.application file (ClickOnce deployment manifest) is in simple text format. You can use any text editor or IDE to open *.application files.

How to convert:

There is no way how to convert *.application file (ClickOnce deployment manifest) to other file format.

Find conversions from application file:

application to exe

Find converter to application file type:

apk to application

vdp to application

File identification strings:

HEX code: EF BB BF 3C 3F 78 6D 6C 20 76 65 72 73 69 6F 6E 3D
ASCII code: ?xml version=

Related links:

ClickOnce Deployment for Windows Forms Applications

List of software applications associated to the .application file extension

Recommended software programs are sorted by OS platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android etc.)
and possible program actions that can be done with the file: like open application file, edit application file, convert application file, view application file, play application file etc. (if exist software for corresponding action in's database).

Click on the tab below to simply browse between the application actions, to quickly get a list of recommended software, which is able to perform the specified software action, such as opening, editing or converting application files.

Software that open application file - ClickOnce deployment manifest

Programs supporting the exension application on the main platforms Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile. Click on the link to get more information about listed programs for open application file action.

Microsoft Windows:

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APP file extension > Program executable file types

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file extension APPREF-MS


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