ThinApp generates the following virtual file system formats:


The setup capture process generates this format from files found directly on the physical file system.

ThinApp uses folder macros to represent Windows shell folder locations.


The build.bat file triggers a build process that embeds a read‐only file system in executable files.

The executable files provide block-based streaming to client computers. ThinApp compresses the file system.


Running the captured application generates the read-write directory structure that holds file data that the application modifies. File modifications that prompt ThinApp to extract embedded virtual files to the sandbox include the following operations:

  • Changing the time stamp or attributes of a file

  • Opening a file with write access

  • Truncating a file

  • Renaming or moving a file

The embedded and sandbox file systems use folder macros to enable file paths to dynamically expand at runtime.