An Idiot’s Guide To VMware ThinApp

This post details a straightforward simple approach to creating your first virtualised application with VMware ThinApp. In this guide VMware ThinApp v4.7 is being used to virtualise Firefox v9.0.

Step 1. Load the ThinApp application and click next.

Step 2. When ready, click prescan to create a capture of your systems current state.

During the capture you can monitor the directories being scanned.

Step 3. Once the prescan has completed, install the application you wish to virtualise. In my case, Firefox.

Step 4. Once the application is installed and configured click postscan.

Step 5. After the post scan has completed you will be presented with a number of possible entry points for loading the application. Use the default selection and click next.

Step 6. Use the default setting of everyone and click next.

Step 7. Use the default setting of full write access and click next.

Step 8. On this step you can choose to have the application USB portable, or for desktop use by selecting where the application user data is written to. For this guide we will be using the default selection of writing application data to the users local profile and clicking next.

Step 9. In this step you have the option to specify a name for you application.

Step 10. Here you can select to use a single file to access your application or split it out into a data file and entry point. Splitting out the application is used when the application is particularly large or consists of multiple entry points. For this example I will stick with the default option and click save.

Step 11. Once the project has been saved, click build to start the application build process.

Step 12. Once the application has been build it will be visible withing the capture directory.

Step 13. Run the application.

Thanks for reading and look out for my future posts on advanced ThinApp configuration.


  1. Felipe says:

    Thanks for this great post!

    You seem to be rather knowledgeable in Thinapp, so maybe you know what needs to be changed in order for the thinapped Firefox to be updatable. Whenever Firefox has a new version, it downloads it as usual but when trying to update the program, also as usual at restart of the application, an error message pops up indicating that it was not possible to update. I have even tried to do it manually within a command prompt created as an entry point to the virtualized Firefox without success. Any help will be most appreciated.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    • administrator says:

      Hi Felipe

      Thanks for your comment, I imagine your having a problem updating the ThinApp because it is writing the updates the application data and not into the build of the ThinApp itself. Unfortunately the only official way to update your ThinApps is to use AppSync.

      AppSync is more suited if a ThinApp is used by many users and you want to rollout an updated version of that ThinApp, so this may not be what you’re looking for.

      Either way take a look at for details on how to use AppSync for your ThinApps.

      Many Thanks

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