Microsoft released the new Windows Package Manager (winget) as an open source, community driven package manager for installing, updating, configuring, and removing software application packages on any Windows 10 machine. There are other package managers used in the industry, such as Chocolatey, to install and manage software on a machine from the command-line. The new winget utility is the latest update from Microsoft in adding a new package manager for Windows created by and supported by Microsoft.

Let’s take a look at installing and using the Windows Package Manager (winget) utility.

Introducing the Windows Package Manager winget CLI

The Windows Package Manager exists within the winget command-line (CLI) utility. This enables you to install applications on any Windows 10 machine directly from the command-line. The full options available through the utility is to perform discovery, installation, upgrade, removal, and configuration of application packages that have been added to the Windows Package Manager repository.

Are we going to start calling the Windows Package Manager by the acronym WPM? Will this catch on with the community? I’m thinking the name winget will be more popular. What do you think?

Windows Gets Package Manager with winget CLI Utility 1
Using winget to install Visual Studio Code

Currently, the Windows Package Manager repository (as managed by an open source project on GitHub) contains a number of utilities that many developers use on a regular basis. As a result, there are many packages available for install today, with many more to come as the community contributes more.

Here are a few of the packages available for install with the Windows Package Manager today:

  • Visual Studio
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Azure CLI
  • Azure Cosmos Emulator
  • Azure Storage Explorer
  • Power BI
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Windows Terminal
  • 7-Zip
  • Arduino
  • GitKraken
  • Evernote
  • GIMP
  • Git
  • GitHub
  • CMake
  • LibreOffice
  • Spotify
  • Firefox
  • VNCViewer
  • WinRar
  • Ubuntu on Windows
  • vim

And, MANY more!

Installing the Windows Package Manager

There are a couple different options for installing the Windows Package Manager (winget) on your machine; giving you a little flexibility. You can install it via the Microsoft Store as the recommended approach, as well as manually. Or, you can even build the source code yourself from the microsoft/winget-cli open source project on GitHub.

Manually Install the Windows Package Manager

While you can use the Windows Store to manage installing and updating the Windows Package Manager, while it’s brand new and there are some dependencies for the Windows Store support, I’m sure most of us will be using the manual method to install the Windows Package Manager (winget) for now.

  1. Go to the releases page of the microsoft/winget-cli project on GitHub, and download the .appxbundle file.

  2. Open the .appxbundle file on Windows 10, and follow the prompts.

FYI, this .appxbundle installation will be side-loading the Windows Store app package to install winget on your machine.

After the Windows Package Manager is installed, you can go ahead and start using it!

Windows Gets Package Manager with winget CLI Utility 2
winget info at the command-line

Installing Software using winget

Once you have the Windows Package Manager (winget) instaled on your Windows 10 machine, you can start using it to install, update and configure software packages that are made available in the Windows Package Manager repository.

Here are some examples of installing some things with winget:

# install Visual Studio Code using winget
winget install Microsoft.VisualStudioCode

# install vim for Windows
winget install vim.vim

If you don’t know what software is available with winget to install, you can use the search function to find what packages and versions are available.

Here’s an example of using the winget search command to look for app packages using a keyword:

winget search "code"

Overview Video of Windows Package Manager

Here’s an overview video that I recorded over on the Build5Nines YouTube channel that discusses and walks you through using the new Windows Package Manager ‘winget’ on Windows 10:

Happy installing app packages using the Windows Package Manager!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect