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How to save a Power Apps app to a local drive, and then open it
This blog shows a simple way to export a Power Apps app without creating a solution. If you've got a fairly simple app without too many resources or data sources, it describes a much easier way to back up and restore apps than the standard export/import approach.

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 September 2020

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Saving a Power App app to a local drive, and opening it

If you have a complicated app with lots of connections and resources, you'll probably want to package it and export it as a solution, as described here.  However, for simple apps this is a lot of work - there is an easier way!

Step 1 - Saving your App to your Local Drive

Start by saving a version of your app to a local drive:

Saving an app

While editing your app, choose the Save as option from the File menu to save it with a new name (and location).

 

Choose to save it to your local computer:

Save as this computer

Choose to save the app not to the cloud, but to your computer.

Click on the download button to create a copy of the app on your computer:

Download button

Click on this button to create a file with extenson .msapp.

You can now view the file in your downloads folder:

Downloaded file

You can click to copy or access the file in the normal way (this is the link you see for an app called temp in the new Edge browser).

 

Step 2 - Importing the App from your Local Folder

Having backed up or saved an app as above, you can load it (perhaps into a different environment, although see the notes on versions below):

Power Apps apps

In Power Apps, click on the Apps tab on the left-hand side to view your apps.

 

Now choose to create a new app:

Creating a new app

It's not really the obvious thing to do, but to open an app you've saved to your computer you first need to create one.

You can now choose to open an app:

Opening an app

Choose to open an app.

 

Find and double-click on the app you've saved:

Open the MSAPP file

Find the file you've saved, and open it.

 

Depending on which tables your app points to you may now need to repair your data sources.

A warning about versions

When you export an app, you can see which version it is by looking at its details:

Details of app

Click on the ellipsis button to the right of an app to see its details.

 

You can then click on the Versions tab to see which version of Power Apps each version used:

The version number

The version number is shown boxed.

The reason this matters is that if you try to load a saved app into an environment, it must have the same or later version number, otherwise you will see this message:

Wrong version message

While I'm sure it's possible to upgrade the version of your app, it's easier not to have to.

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