WinGet: Install, Update and Uninstall Programs in Windows 10

One of the characteristics of Linux systems is its package managers. Distros typically have a number of included software repositories that allow users to download and install programs with a single terminal command, without having to search or download anything from web pages. Thanks to these package managers, it is possible to download all kinds of programs quickly and safely, in addition to ensuring that they are always updated to the latest version. Windows, in this regard, has always been behind. Although, better late than never, this will change thanks to the arrival of the new WinGet.

Installing programs with a package manager is much more comfortable and practical than doing it the classic way. The first of its advantages is that it saves us having to navigate to a website, move to the download section and download the latest installer. In addition, it guarantees that we always download the latest version safely, and prevents us from falling for scams.

WinGet: Install, Update and Uninstall Programs in Windows 10

When it comes to installing programs, package managers also save us time. Instead of having to manually follow the installation wizard, the manager (such as APT, in Linux, or this Windows WinGet) are in charge of completing the installation without having to interact with the program.

WinGet, Microsoft’s package manager for Windows 10

WinGet, Windows Package Manager, is a package manager developed by Microsoft that is part of the latest versions of the operating system. Thanks to it we will be able to download and install all kinds of programs from CMD or PowerShell with a simple command, avoiding wasting time looking for the installers of the programs on the network.

This package manager is open source, so it is open to possible audits, bug fixes and improvements. Likewise, the repositories they use are also open, so any user can review them to verify that the programs they offer are safe and up-to-date and collaborate in their expansion in order to find practically any type of software that we want.

How to use WinGet

The purpose of WinGet is very similar to that of Linux package managers, such as APT, although simpler. Its objective is to facilitate users the task of searching for programs, downloading them, installing them, updating them and deleting them. And if a particular program has some dependencies, it will automatically satisfy them to ensure that the software works correctly.

View WinGet help and information

The first thing we are going to do is access the help of this package manager. This help can be easily found by running the following command, both in CMD and in PowerShell:

winget --help

WinGet - Ayuda

Here we are going to be able to see the commands that we can use with this package manager, in addition to other useful information on the operation of the tool. In case you want to know more specific information about a specific command, we can pass the parameter “-?”.

winget install -?

WinGet - Ayuda instalar

We can also obtain information about the version of the package manager with the following command:

winget --version

And other useful information to solve problems with:

winget --info

Find programs and manage software repositories

Knowing by heart all the programs that we can find in the WinGet repositories would be very complicated. For this reason, Microsoft has included within its package manager a simple search engine that will allow us to easily search for the program that we want and know its exact name to install it.

To do this we must use the “search” parameter, followed by the name (or a part of it) that we want to search for. For example:

winget search fire

winget search chrom [code]

What interests us about this search engine is the ID that the program carries, since it will be the one that we will have to invoke to download and install the program on the PC.

Another parameter that we cannot ignore is “source”. With this parameter we will be able to manage the software sources (that is, the repositories) where the WinGet programs search. We can add new repositories, see the ones we have installed, update or delete them.

[code] winget source

winget source list

WinGet - Repositorios

Verify and install programs

Once we have found the program we want to install (remember, when using the “search” parameter we must write down the program ID), we can download it and install it on the computer. However, before doing so, let’s check that everything is correct.

The “show” parameter, followed by the package name, allows us to see all the information about it.

winget show Mozilla.FirefoxESR

WinGet - Información de paquete

If everything is correct, we can already install the program using the “install” parameter, followed by the ID of the previous program. For example, to install the ESR edition of Firefox we can do it with the following command:

winget install Mozilla.FirefoxESR

When the installation process is finished, the program is ready to use. We won’t have to do anything else.

View a list of installed programs

Feature in development not yet available.

Update installed programs

Feature in development not yet available.

Uninstall a program

Feature in development not yet available.

Manage dependencies

Feature in development not yet available.

WinInstall, the easiest way to use WinGet

Of course, it was not long before the first projects that facilitate the use of this tool have appeared. Without being a GUI as such, WinInstall is a website that allows us to select all the programs that we want to install and generates a script to install them with WinGet.

WinInstall - Web principal

All we have to do is select all the programs we want to install (we can see the most popular programs, or search for the ones we want from the search engine) until we have all the ones we want to install checked.

Once all are checked, we will choose the “Generate script” option.

WinInstall - Generar script

On the next page that will load us, we can see the script that it has generated, as well as a list of all the programs that will be installed when it is run.

WinInstall - Instalar paquetes

We can copy the script to the clipboard and paste it in CMD or PowerShell, or download a BAT file to be able to execute it by double-clicking. In this way we will be able to have our own script to install all the programs we want with a simple double click, without having to download any installer and saving us a great deal of time.