VSTO & .NET & Excel

September 29, 2008

Everyone or Just Me?

Filed under: .NET & Excel, COM Add-ins, Tools, VSTO & Excel — Dennis M Wallentin @ 12:28 am

When we install new software we usually are given the options to either install it to “Everyone” or “Just Me”. Under normal conditions this is not an issue but suppose that we only want to install the software to either the person (“Just Me”) who installs it or to everyone who will be using the computer?

In the first case, i.e. “Just Me”, it’s rather easy to solve it when using the Windows Installer. What we need to do is to set the property InstallAllUsers to False in the User Interface Editor

To change this setting we first select the Setup’s root node in the Solution Explorer, right click on it and from the menu select the command View > User Interface. In the editor’s window right click on the Installation Folder under the root node Install. Right click on it and from the menu select Properties Window. The following screen shot shows that the property’s value is now set to False:


Save and rebuild the Setup project. When running the Windows Installer the output of the above actions is that the software will only be installed to the person who installs it, i.e. “Just Me”. The following screen shot shows how it looks when we have removed the “Everyone” option. In other words no visual options are available:

Of course, we need also tp update the settings accordingly in the Registry Editor so it reflect the visual design.

In the second case, install to everyone who use the computer, it’s more difficult to hide the option “Just Me”. At least, I have not yet find an easier way. The tool that comes to our rescue again is Orca (see UAC Compliant and The Orca Tool – A MSI Creator and Package Viewer). With Orca we can view the Setup package and also change the required settings.

I will not in detail describe the process as it is already documented by MSFT in their KB article 835460 – How to use the Orca database editor to remove the “Everyone” option and the “Just me” option from a Windows Installer package that you created by using Visual Studio .NET. Yes, that’s an impressive long title!

Kind regards,



  1. The hard part here is needing to be administrator to do the install but wanting “just me” to be a Limited User account.

    My standard install tedium involves elevating my LUA to be an Administrator, do the install there, specify JustMe if I can, ignoring the fact that the account name presented by the installer is incorrect, and then lower the LUA back to actual LUA after doing a run-once to catch all the nasties that still require administrator.

    This is not what I would call a wonderful user experience.

    Comment by orcmid — September 29, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  2. Hej Dennis,

    Very interesting stuff (as usual from you!).

    I have not played with this… Can we assign different InstallAllUsers settings for the various COM components that need installation, or is this a global setting for everything that gets installed by the setup package?

    (Sorry if this is a totally noobie question, I have very little experience with deployment.)

    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — September 29, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

  3. Hi Guy,

    Agreed, would it be possible for You to show us how You solve it with a Windows Installer package, i.e MSI package?

    For a basic MSI package it’s a global setting.
    However, the Orca tool offer a lot of possibilities to customize MSI packages and allows us to have several MSI packages.

    To start out download and install Windows Installer 4.5 SDK. It includes a larger helpfile and tools.

    Of course, by using dedicated installation tools like Wise gives us a more flexible and powerful platform.

    Kind regards,

    Comment by Dennis Wallentin — September 30, 2008 @ 12:58 am

  4. Ok, thanks Dennis, I will check it out…

    Comment by Mike Rosenblum — October 1, 2008 @ 12:40 am

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    Comment by nya pc spel — June 27, 2011 @ 9:32 am

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