Build Standalone Qt Application for Windows

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The goal of this article is to show how to build a standalone executable file of a Qt application for Microsoft Windows. This is an executable file that has no dependencies (aka does not require any dynamic linking to libraries). To create such a standalone version of a Qt application all required libraries should be embedded into the application using static linking. Please note that the size of the executable file will be larger.

Build a static version of Qt

The first step is to build a static version of Qt. The commands that should be executed depend on the desired platform MinGW (win32-g++) or Microsoft Visual Studio (win32-msvc).

Using MinGW

> configure -static -release -no-exceptions
> mingw32-make sub-src

More information on static builds with mingw can be found here

Using Microsoft Visual Studio

Make sure that Microsoft Visual Studio is installed. Start the Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt. Otherwise you may get errors due to wrong or missing paths. Execute the following commands in the directory where Qt is installed (for example: C:\6.3\):

> configure -static -release -platform win32-msvc
> nmake sub-src

Please note that reconfiguring and building Qt is a time consuming procedure. The duration may vary depending on the hardware of your computer.

Build a static application

Modify the .pro file of the project by adding an option for static linking. CONFIG+= static

Using MinGW

To build the application run consecutively qmake and mingw32-make.

> qmake
> mingw32-make

Using Microsoft Tools

To build the Qt project as a standalone executable file run qmake and nmake. After that you should execute mt.exe to embed a manifest inside the application to avoid error such as missing MSVCP90.dll when the application is started on other computers.

> qmake
> nmake release
> cd release
> mt.exe -manifest Hello.exe.manifest -outputresource:Hello.exe

Please note that the names of the manifest and the executable file depend on the name of your project.

See also