What you need to know
- Windows Package Manager is now available in version 1.0.
- The tool makes it easy to install and uninstall apps and packages on Windows 10.
- Microsoft has tested Windows Package Manager in preview since May 2020.
At Microsoft Build 2021, the company released Windows Package Manager 1.0 (opens in new tab). First announced in preview at Build 2020, Windows Package Manager makes it easy to install software onto Windows 10. The tool is especially handy for IT admins that manage multiple PCs but can also be useful for individual users.
Windows Package Manager is a winget client that facilitates streamlines installations using the command line. There are third-party package managers, such as Chocolatey, that were already available for Windows, but it's nice to have another option from Microsoft.
Windows Insiders and people that have signed up for the Windows Package Manager Insider group may already have the tool. If you don't have it already, you can grab it from the Windows Package Manager GitHub page. Microsoft also has a direct link to install it in the devblog post (opens in new tab) announcing its availability.
Soon, Windows Package Manager 1.0 will ship as an automatic update through the Microsoft Store for PCs running Windows 10 version 1809 or later.
Over 1,400 unique packages have been contributed to the Microsoft Community repository already. That number should only go up now that Windows Package Manager is generally available.
Microsoft also announced a new tool in preview to help submit packages to the Microsoft Community repository. The tool is called Windows Package Manager Manifest Creator.
If you've never used the tool before, or just need a refresher, we have a complete guide on how to use Windows Package Manager to install apps and programs.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Just tested it, it downloads the installer but doesn't directly install the program from the terminal as Linux does. It's a neat way to download applications without using a web browser though, I like it!
Depends what you download. Some will just get installed silently with that single command in terminal, but other software will prompt its own installer to run. Not much anyone can do about that I don't think. The difference with winget is that it isn't actually hosting the packages, it only hosts a manifest to fetch them from their normal home on the internet. Razer Synapse, for example, can be downloaded now with winget. But the actual download comes from Razer, not a Microsoft repository.
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