The top-level nsis key contains set of options instructing electron-builder on how it should build NSIS target (default target for Windows).

These options also applicable for Web installer, use top-level nsisWeb key.

  • oneClick = true Boolean - Whether to create one-click installer or assisted.
  • perMachine = false Boolean - If oneClick is true (default): Whether to install per all users (per-machine).

    If oneClick is false: no install mode installer page (choice per-machine or per-user), always install per-machine.

  • allowElevation = true Boolean - assisted installer only. Allow requesting for elevation. If false, user will have to restart installer with elevated permissions.
  • allowToChangeInstallationDirectory = false Boolean - assisted installer only. Whether to allow user to change installation directory.

  • installerIcon String - The path to installer icon, relative to the build resources or to the project directory. Defaults to build/installerIcon.ico or application icon.
  • uninstallerIcon String - The path to uninstaller icon, relative to the build resources or to the project directory. Defaults to build/uninstallerIcon.ico or application icon.
  • installerHeader = build/installerHeader.bmp String - assisted installer only. MUI_HEADERIMAGE, relative to the build resources or to the project directory.
  • installerHeaderIcon String - one-click installer only. The path to header icon (above the progress bar), relative to the build resources or to the project directory. Defaults to build/installerHeaderIcon.ico or application icon.
  • installerSidebar String - assisted installer only. MUI_WELCOMEFINISHPAGE_BITMAP, relative to the build resources or to the project directory. Defaults to build/installerSidebar.bmp or ${NSISDIR}\\Contrib\\Graphics\\Wizard\\nsis3-metro.bmp. Image size 164 × 314 pixels.
  • uninstallerSidebar String - assisted installer only. MUI_UNWELCOMEFINISHPAGE_BITMAP, relative to the build resources or to the project directory. Defaults to installerSidebar option or build/uninstallerSidebar.bmp or build/installerSidebar.bmp or ${NSISDIR}\\Contrib\\Graphics\\Wizard\\nsis3-metro.bmp
  • uninstallDisplayName = ${productName} ${version} String - The uninstaller display name in the control panel.

  • include String - The path to NSIS include script to customize installer. Defaults to build/installer.nsh. See Custom NSIS script.
  • script String - The path to NSIS script to customize installer. Defaults to build/installer.nsi. See Custom NSIS script.
  • license String - The path to EULA license file. Defaults to license.txt or eula.txt (or uppercase variants). In addition to txt,rtfandhtmlsupported (don't forget to usetarget="_blank"` for links).

    Multiple license files in different languages are supported — use lang postfix (e.g. _de, _ru)). For example, create files license_de.txt and license_en.txt in the build resources. If OS language is german, license_de.txt will be displayed. See map of language code to name.

    Appropriate license file will be selected by user OS language.

  • artifactName String - The artifact file name template. Defaults to ${productName} Setup ${version}.${ext}.
  • deleteAppDataOnUninstall = false Boolean - one-click installer only. Whether to delete app data on uninstall.
  • differentialPackage Boolean - Defaults to true for web installer (nsis-web)

  • displayLanguageSelector = false Boolean - Whether to display a language selection dialog. Not recommended (by default will be detected using OS language).
  • installerLanguages Array<String> | String - The installer languages (e.g. en_US, de_DE). Change only if you understand what do you do and for what.
  • language String - LCID Dec, defaults to 1033(English - United States).
  • multiLanguageInstaller Boolean - Whether to create multi-language installer. Defaults to unicode option value.
  • packElevateHelper = true Boolean - Whether to pack the elevate executable (required for electron-updater if per-machine installer used or can be used in the future). Ignored if perMachine is set to true.
  • preCompressedFileExtensions = [".avi", ".mov", ".m4v", ".mp4", ".m4p", ".qt", ".mkv", ".webm", ".vmdk"] Array<String> | String - The file extension of files that will be not compressed. Applicable only for extraResources and extraFiles files.
  • unicode = true Boolean - Whether to create Unicode installer.
  • guid String - See GUID vs Application Name.
  • warningsAsErrors = true Boolean - If warningsAsErrors is true (default): NSIS will treat warnings as errors. If warningsAsErrors is false: NSIS will allow warnings.
  • runAfterFinish = true Boolean - Whether to run the installed application after finish. For assisted installer corresponding checkbox will be removed.

  • createDesktopShortcut = true Boolean | "always" - Whether to create desktop shortcut. Set to always if to recreate also on reinstall (even if removed by user).
  • createStartMenuShortcut = true Boolean - Whether to create start menu shortcut.
  • menuCategory = false Boolean | String - Whether to create submenu for start menu shortcut and program files directory. If true, company name will be used. Or string value.
  • shortcutName String - The name that will be used for all shortcuts. Defaults to the application name.

Inherited from TargetSpecificOptions:

Unicode enabled by default. Large strings are supported (maximum string length of 8192 bytes instead of the default of 1024 bytes).

32 bit + 64 bit

If you build both ia32 and x64 arch (--x64 --ia32), you in any case get one installer. Appropriate arch will be installed automatically. The same applied to web installer (nsis-web target).

Web Installer

To build web installer, set target to nsis-web. Web Installer automatically detects OS architecture and downloads corresponding package file. So, user don't need to guess what installer to download and in the same time you don't bundle package files for all architectures in the one installer (as in case of default nsis target). It doesn't matter for common Electron application (due to superb LZMA compression, size difference is acceptable), but if your application is huge, Web Installer is a solution.

To customize web installer, use the top-level nsisWeb key (not nsis).

If for some reasons web installer cannot download (antivirus, offline):

  • Download package file into the same directory where installer located. It will be detected automatically and used instead of downloading from the Internet. Please note — only original package file is allowed (checksum is checked).
  • Specify any local package file using --package-file=path_to_file.

Custom NSIS script

Two options are available — include and script. script allows you to provide completely different NSIS script. For most cases it is not required as you need only to customise some aspects, but still use well-tested and maintained default NSIS script. So, include is recommended.

Keep in mind — if you customize NSIS script, you should always state about it in the issue reports. And don't expect that your issue will be resolved.

  1. Add file build/installer.nsh.
  2. Define wanted macro to customise: customHeader, preInit, customInit, customUnInit, customInstall, customUnInstall, customRemoveFiles. Example:

     !macro customHeader
       !system "echo '' > ${BUILD_RESOURCES_DIR}/customHeader"
     !macro preInit
       ; This macro is inserted at the beginning of the NSIS .OnInit callback
       !system "echo '' > ${BUILD_RESOURCES_DIR}/preInit"
     !macro customInit
       !system "echo '' > ${BUILD_RESOURCES_DIR}/customInit"
     !macro customInstall
       !system "echo '' > ${BUILD_RESOURCES_DIR}/customInstall"

  4. build is added as addincludedir (i.e. you don't need to use BUILD_RESOURCES_DIR to include files).
  5. build/x86-unicode and build/x86-ansi are added as addplugindir.
  6. File associations macro registerFileAssociations and unregisterFileAssociations are still defined.
  7. All other electron-builder specific flags (e.g. ONE_CLICK) are still defined.

GUID vs Application Name

Windows requires to use registry keys (e.g. INSTALL/UNINSTALL info). Squirrel.Windows simply uses application name as key. But it is not robust — Google can use key Google Chrome SxS, because it is a Google.

So, it is better to use GUID. You are not forced to explicitly specify it — name-based UUID v5 will be generated from your appId or name. It means that you should not change appId once your application in use (or name if appId was not set). Application product name (title) or description can be safely changed.

You can explicitly set guid using option nsis.guid, but it is not recommended — consider using appId.

It is also important to set the Application User Model ID (AUMID) to the appId of the application, in order for notifications on Windows 8/8.1 to function and for Window 10 notifications to display the app icon within the notifications by default. The AUMID should be set within the Main process and before any BrowserWindows have been opened, it is normally the first piece of code executed: app.setAppUserModelId(appId)

Common Questions

How do change the default installation directory to custom?

It is very specific requirement. Do not do if you are not sure. Add custom macro:

!macro preInit
    SetRegView 64
    WriteRegExpandStr HKLM "${INSTALL_REGISTRY_KEY}" InstallLocation "C:\MyApp"
    WriteRegExpandStr HKCU "${INSTALL_REGISTRY_KEY}" InstallLocation "C:\MyApp"
    SetRegView 32
    WriteRegExpandStr HKLM "${INSTALL_REGISTRY_KEY}" InstallLocation "C:\MyApp"
    WriteRegExpandStr HKCU "${INSTALL_REGISTRY_KEY}" InstallLocation "C:\MyApp"

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