There are no shortage of methods to get applications installed on Windows 10 but one of the latest, and as yet still in development, is the Windows Package Manager. Similar to Linux, it’s a tool that allows for streamlined installations using the command line.
If you’re interested in taking it for a spin, here’s how you do it.
Installing Windows Package Manager
For this guide, we’re going to assume you have it installed and ready to go, but if you need assistance getting set up our full guide can help.
How to use Windows Package Manager to install apps
Once installed, you can use Windows Package Manager from within Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell or PowerShell 7, and also using any of these shells from the Windows Terminal application.
When you install software though there will be times you’ll require elevated permissions and this can break up the silent install process. The easiest way around it is to ensure you’re running your chosen shell with administrator rights, by choosing run as administrator from the right click menu.
winget install <nameofpackage>
All you need to know is the name of the package. In the image below I’ve installed PowerToys simply by entering
winget install powertoys into PowerShell.
But how do you actually find packages to install? The best places to start are the winget-pkgs GitHub repository, where there’s a pretty hefty catalog of things you can install, as well as the excellent third-party resource, winstall.app.
The added power of using Windows Package Manager to install applications over just downloading an executable from a website is that you can install many apps at once with a single command. This sort of thing is particularly useful in enterprise for deploying to a number of machines at once, but it’s still pretty handy for the home user.
This example snippet from winstall.app illustrates this perfectly:
winget install – id=Microsoft.Teams -e ; winget install – id=Zoom.Zoom -e ; winget install – id=Notion.Notion -e ; winget install – id=SlackTechnologies.Slack -e ; winget install – id=Toggl.TogglDesktop -e ; winget install – id=ShareX.ShareX -e ; winget install – id=Loom.Loom -e ; winget install – id=LogMeIn.LastPass -e ; winget install – id=Spotify.Spotify -e ; winget install – id=Discord.Discord -e ; winget install – id=TeamViewer.TeamViewer -e ; winget install – id=Microsoft.Skype -e ; winget install – id=Microsoft.Edge -e ; winget install – id=Mozilla.Firefox -e ; winget install – id=Google.Chrome -e ; winget install – id=Microsoft.OneDrive -e ; winget install – id=Google.DriveFileStream -e
Admittedly that’s a pretty large command, but it will also fetch and install 17 apps. The time saved over going out to each of those 17 download locations, downloading the installers and then running them is incredible.
If you’re interested in seeing more details about the package you’re downloading, too, there’s a simple command that will bring up a complete dossier on what it is and where it’s from:
winget show <nameofpackage>
And if you’re interested in poking around a little more with the Windows Package Manager, enter this in the terminal to bring up a list of all current commands.
winget – help
Even as a work in progress it’s a really impressive tool that will only continue to get better and it’s fantastic to see such a tool being worked on by Microsoft.
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