MSIX Filetype Association

Today I received a message from Richard regarding File Associations and MSIX packages. Great question, lets figure it out.

Hi Stephan,

I created an MSIX app attach for Workspace App and deployed/attached it to my WvD servers.

The Workspace app is visible/available when i login to WvD , i can launch the Citrix Workspace app so it is working. But….. if I connect to a citrix storefront server I get a .ICA file from the server but seems there is no extention relationship with the Workspace App……. and if i search for an app to my computer to open the ICA file the Workspace app does not appear in the available App list??


So its true that by default an MSIX package doesn’t have file associations by default. In this case installing Citrix workspace using my previous article won’t allow you to open .ica files. Furthermore, you wont be able to associate Workspace with any file extension.

.ica file association with Citrix workspace

So how to fix this? In order to associate your MSIX packages with file extensions you will need to edit the MSIX so called Manifest file. The Manifest file can be edited during the creation of the MSIX package, or you can edit your existing package. When you choose to edit the existing package you will see the option under Package information.

By opening the file you will see an XML file containing information about your package. In order to create file associations such as .ica association you will need to add additional information. Microsoft has created some documentation on how to do this. In our case this means adding the following config in the <Applications> section. Copy the xml code and paste it just before </Application>.

[cc lang=”xml”]



so it looks like this:

MSIX Manifest file

If you would redeploy your Citrix Workplace, you now should be able to open the .ica file.

Final result

Of course this will work for any file type associations that you would want to make in combination with any application you would want to use.

8 thoughts on “MSIX Filetype Association”

  1. Good morning Stephan,

    First of all thanks for making this new article!

    I just created a brand new MSIX package from scratch and added the above lines to the MSIX manifest file. After saving the file I ended up with folowing error in the packager.

    Unable to parse manifest. Edit the manifest file to fix errors.

    /*[local-name()=”Package” and namespace-uri()=”″]/*[local-name()=”Extensions” and namespace-uri()=”″][1]/*[local-name()=”Extension” and namespace-uri()=”″][1]
    Inhoud van element ‘{}Extension’ is onverwacht volgens inhoudmodel van bovenliggend element ‘{}Extensions’.
    Wordt verwacht: {}Extension, {}ExtensionChoice.

    Any idea? I tried several things like adding the line as mantioned in the MS article but I am only ending up with other Errors….

    Kind regards
    Richard van de Ven

    1. Hi Richard, I believe there was a typo in the xml, I’ve just updated and tested the xml and it should work.

      1. Hi Stephan,

        Thanks (bedankt) !! File association is working now.

        Kind regards

        1. Hi Simon,

          Make sure you add the XML code in exactly the right place as in Stephan’s example.XML file Then file Association should work.

          @Stephan I do have another challenge I haven’t been able to fix……
          – Workspace app is visible
          -ICA File Association is working but…….

          When I double click or open the ICA file nothing is happening 🙁
          So the Desktop/App session is not launched….. have you seen this behavour?


          1. Im not sure whats causing your problem Richard. Here is my screen capture of opening the file (its not containing any info)
            open citrix receiver

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