XAP (file format)

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Filename extension
Internet media type
Type of formatPackage management system, file archive
Container forSoftware package
Extended fromZIP
Extended toAPPX

XAP is the file format used to distribute and install application software and middleware onto Microsoft's Windows Phone 7/8/8.1/10 operating system, and is the file format for Silverlight applications. Beginning with Windows Phone 8.1, XAP was replaced by APPX as the file format used to install WinRT apps on the Windows Phone platform, a move which was done by Microsoft in order to unify the app development platforms for Windows Store apps and Windows Phone apps. [1]

XAP files are ZIP file formatted packages, however Microsoft has enabled XAP file encryption, meaning the file can no longer be opened with a standard ZIP extractor. The MIME type associated with XAP files is application/x-silverlight-app.[2]

The Windows Phone Marketplace allows users to download XAP files to an SD card and install them manually.[3]

XAP is also the extension for XACT Audio Projects, openable with the Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool. Silverlight XAP Files are not openable with the Audio Creation Tool, and XACT XAP files are not archives.


An XAP file is a ZIP archive that usually contains the following files:[4]

  • AppManifest.xaml file
  • DLLs required

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.theverge.com/2014/2/11/5400660/windows-phone-8-1-features-leaked
  2. ^ "File Extension .XAP Details". File-Extensions.org. Retrieved 2015-06-16.
  3. ^ "How do I install apps from an SD card? | Windows Phone How-to (United Kingdom)". Windowsphone.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
  4. ^ "Silverlight: Anatomy of an .XAP file". Pietschsoft.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.