The IEXPRESS command in Windows CMD is a tool that creates self-extracting executable (.exe) packages or Installers. Originally designed for the creation of distribution packages for software installation, updates, and configuration scripts, it can also be used effectively for bundling and automating the installation of multiple files.


The general syntax of the IEXPRESS command is as follows:

IEXPRESS [/N] [/Q] [/M:<FileName>] [/R:N]


  • /N: Suppresses the ‘Create Package’ wizard and uses the self-extraction directives file specified by /M.
  • /Q: Specifies quiet mode; no user interaction required.
  • /M:: Specifies the self-extraction directive file (SED file) to use.
  • /R:N: When used, does not restart the system after installation.


  • /N – This flag is useful for automated environments where user interaction needs to be minimized or avoided.
  • /Q – Enables a silent operation mode. Use this when no UI presence is desired during the package extraction.
  • /M: – Permits specific directive files to be set, enabling customized configurations for packaging.
  • /R:N – Helps in controlling system reboots, particularly after installations involving system updates or software that normally requests a reboot.


  1. Creating an Installer:

    Run IEXPRESS with no options to start the wizard:

  2. Using a Directive File:

    Execute an installation using a pre-configured directive file without user interaction:

    IEXPRESS /N /Q /M:C:\path\to\your\file.SED
  3. Suppressing System Reboot:

    Create a package that installs software but does not restart the system:

    IEXPRESS /N /M:C:\install\setup.SED /R:N

Common Issues

  • Missing SED File: If the specified SED file in /M does not exist or is inaccessible, IEXPRESS will fail to start. Ensure the file path is correct and accessible.
  • User Permissions: Running IEXPRESS might require administrative privileges, especially when working in directories regulated by UAC (User Account Control).


IEXPRESS can be combined with batch scripts to automate installations of multiple applications. Here’s an example of a batch script that checks if a software package exists and updates it if necessary:

if not exist "C:\Program Files\Example\app.exe" (
    IEXPRESS /N /Q /M:C:\downloads\setup.SED

This approach can be useful for system administrators managing multiple workstations.

  • MAKECAB: Compresses files into a cabinet (.cab) file format which can also be used for software distribution.
  • SETUP: Often used for running setup applications, SETUP can be called by executables created by IEXPRESS.

For further reading and more detailed information on IEXPRESS and related tools, refer to the Microsoft Documentation.