.APPREF-MS File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .APPREF-MS file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2023.

APPREF-MS File Recovery

What is a .APPREF-MS file?

Application reference file used by ClickOnce, a Microsoft platform used to deploy and run remote Web applications; contains a local or remote link to an application; commonly used to enable links from the Windows Start Menu.

What Are Common Causes of ".APPREF-MS" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".APPREF-MS" files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete the ".APPREF-MS" files while cleaning up their system or organizing files.
  2. Corrupt or damaged files: If the ".APPREF-MS" files get corrupted or damaged due to system errors, software conflicts, or malware infections, they may become inaccessible or fail to work properly.
  3. Software or system updates: Sometimes, when you update your operating system or software applications, it can cause compatibility issues with the ".APPREF-MS" files, leading to their failure or loss.
  4. File system errors: If there are issues with the file system, such as bad sectors on the storage device or file system corruption, it can result in the loss or failure of ".APPREF-MS" files.
  5. Hardware failure: In some cases, hardware failures like a faulty hard drive or memory corruption can lead to the loss or failure of ".APPREF-MS" files.
  6. Unintentional formatting: Accidentally formatting the storage device containing ".APPREF-MS" files can result in their loss.
  7. Virus or malware infections: Malicious software can infect and corrupt ".APPREF-MS" files, making them unusable or causing them to be deleted.
  8. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as improper handling of files, accidental overwriting, or moving files to incorrect locations, can lead to the loss or failure of ".APPREF-MS" files.

It is always recommended to regularly back up important files, including ".APPREF-MS" files, to prevent data loss in case of any unexpected events.

How to recover lost ".APPREF-MS" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".APPREF-MS" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".APPREF-MS" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".APPREF-MS" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".APPREF-MS" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".APPREF-MS" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".APPREF-MS" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo microsoft Application Reference File image file file?

Programs that open ".APPREF-MS" files

Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 Microsoft Visual Studio 2019
Microsoft ClickOnce Microsoft ClickOnce

Additional Information

  • File type: Microsoft Application Reference File

  • File extension: .APPREF-MS

  • Developer: Microsoft

  • Category: Settings Files

  • Format: Text


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 11:34 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .APPREF-MS files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is a ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file and how does it work?

    A ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file is a file used by the Microsoft ClickOnce technology for deploying and updating Windows applications. ClickOnce allows users to install and run applications from the web with minimal user intervention.

    The ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file is created when a ClickOnce application is installed on a user's machine. It contains information about the application's location, version, and other metadata. This file helps in launching the application when the user clicks on its shortcut or uses its associated file extension.

    In case the original application or its files become corrupted or deleted, the ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file can be used to recover the application. When the user tries to launch the application, ClickOnce checks for the presence of the original files. If they are missing or damaged, ClickOnce uses the recovery file to reinstall or repair the application.

    Overall, the ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file ensures that ClickOnce applications can be easily installed, updated, and recovered if necessary, providing a convenient and reliable deployment mechanism for Windows applications.

  • How can I recover a ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file if it becomes corrupted or inaccessible?

    If a ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file becomes corrupted or inaccessible, you can try the following methods to recover it:

    Repair the File Association:

    • Right-click on the corrupted file and select "Open With" from the context menu.
    • Choose the appropriate program to open the file (e.g., Microsoft ClickOnce Application Deployment Support Library).
    • If the file opens successfully, save a copy of it in a different location.

    Restore from Backup:

    • If you have a backup of the ".APPREF-MS Recovery" file, restore it from the backup location.
    • Replace the corrupted file with the backup copy.

    Use System Restore:

    • If you have enabled System Restore on your computer, you can try restoring your system to a previous point in time when the file was accessible.
    • Open the Control Panel, search for "System Restore," and follow the on-screen instructions to restore your system.

    Use File Recovery Software:

    • There are various file recovery software tools available that can help recover corrupted or inaccessible files.
    • Download and install a reliable file recovery software (e.g., Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, etc.).
    • Launch the software, select the drive or location where the file was stored, and run a scan to search for the corrupted file.
    • If the software finds the file, select it and proceed with the recovery process.

    Note: It's essential to always maintain regular backups of important files to avoid data loss.

  • Are there any specific tools or software available for recovering ".APPREF-MS Recovery" files?

    There are no specific tools or software available for recovering ".APPREF-MS Recovery" files. The ".APPREF-MS" file extension is associated with ClickOnce, a deployment technology used by Microsoft to install and run applications over the internet. If you are experiencing issues with a ClickOnce application, the best course of action would be to contact the application developer or Microsoft support for assistance in resolving the problem.

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