ThinApp is a software product from VMware that allows you to create portable applications that can run on any Windows system without installation. ThinApp packages an application and its dependencies into a single executable file or a folder with an executable file and a data file. Sometimes, you may want to extract the contents of a ThinApp container to access the original files of the application or to modify some settings. In this article, we will show you two methods to do that.
Method 1: Using File-Open Dialog
This method works for any ThinApp container that has a file-open dialog, such as a text editor or a media player. The idea is to use the file-open dialog to navigate to the virtual directory of the application and copy it to another location. Here are the steps:
Run the ThinApp container and open the file-open dialog.
Navigate to the main virtual directory of the application, which is usually C:\\\\Program Files\\\\Application Name.
Select all the files and folders in the virtual directory and copy them to another location, such as your desktop.
Close the ThinApp container and go to the location where you copied the files.
You should see the original files of the application in a similar structure as the compilation folder.
Method 2: Using Universal Extractor
This method works for any ThinApp container that has a data file with a .dat extension. The idea is to rename the data file to an .exe file and use Universal Extractor to extract its contents. Here are the steps:
Rename the data file with a .dat extension to an .exe file. For example, if the data file is Application Name.dat, rename it to Application Name.exe.
Download and install Universal Extractor from https://www.legroom.net/software/uniextract.
Run Universal Extractor and select the renamed .exe file as the source file.
Select a destination folder where you want to extract the contents of the data file.
Click OK and wait for Universal Extractor to finish extracting.
Go to the destination folder and you should see the original files of the application in a similar structure as the compilation folder.
In this article, we showed you two methods to extract contents of a ThinApp container. You can use either method depending on the type of ThinApp container you have and your preference. Extracting contents of a ThinApp container can be useful for troubleshooting, customization, or backup purposes. However, please note that doing so may violate the license agreement of some applications, so please use this information at your own risk.
Advantages of ThinApp
ThinApp has many advantages over traditional installation methods. Some of the benefits of using ThinApp are:
Portability: You can run ThinApp containers on any Windows system without installation or configuration. You can also run them from removable media, such as USB drives or CDs.
Compatibility: You can run multiple versions of the same application or different applications that have conflicting dependencies on the same system without any issues.
Security: You can isolate applications from the host system and prevent them from modifying the registry or other system files. You can also encrypt the ThinApp containers to protect them from unauthorized access.
Performance: You can reduce the disk space and memory usage of applications by eliminating unnecessary files and registry entries. You can also improve the startup time and responsiveness of applications by using compression and streaming techniques.
Limitations of ThinApp
ThinApp is not a perfect solution for every scenario. There are some limitations and drawbacks of using ThinApp that you should be aware of:
License: You need to purchase a license from VMware to use ThinApp for commercial purposes. You also need to comply with the license agreement of the applications that you package with ThinApp.
Updates: You need to manually update the ThinApp containers when there are new versions or patches for the applications. You cannot use the built-in update mechanisms of the applications.
Drivers: You cannot package applications that require device drivers or kernel modules with ThinApp. You need to install them on the host system separately.
Services: You cannot package applications that run as Windows services with ThinApp. You need to install them on the host system separately.
Tips for Using ThinApp
To get the most out of ThinApp, here are some tips and best practices that you should follow:
Capture: Use a clean and minimal system to capture the applications that you want to package with ThinApp. This will reduce the size and complexity of the ThinApp containers.
Edit: Use the ThinApp Setup Capture tool to edit the properties and settings of the ThinApp containers. You can customize various aspects of the ThinApp containers, such as isolation mode, sandbox location, entry points, compression level, encryption key, etc.
Test: Test the ThinApp containers on different systems and scenarios before deploying them. Make sure they work as expected and do not cause any errors or conflicts.
Deploy: Use a suitable method to deploy the ThinApp containers to your target systems. You can use various methods, such as network share, web server, email attachment, removable media, etc. 061ffe29dd