How to Install Essential Windows Apps Using Command Line

When performing a fresh installation of Windows 10, it is also preferable that every application and utility installed is also fresh and new. However, we are already well-aware of how terrifying that is. Installing each application from scratch is a hassle! No one likes navigating through the internet and then downloading each application individually.

There is a workaround for this! You can now install all essential and required applications using a single command through the built-in Command Line Interface (CLI) in Windows 10. This approach will save you a lot of navigation as well as time.

Continue through the article to learn how you can install every basic application quickly.

Install Windows Package Manager: Winget

In May 2020, Microsoft released a package manager by the name “Winget.” The package manager is still in its testing phase. Hence only a preview version is available. Moreover, it is currently only CLI-based. Therefore it cannot be directly downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

Winget allows users to manage their Windows applications in bulk. Initially, only a few commands were supported by the package manager. However, with recent updates, more features have been added to it. To install essential Windows applications like web browsers, tools and utilities, entertainment apps, you will need to install Winget on your PC.

  1. Navigate to Winget’s GitHub page and download the latest version of the app under the name “Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller_8wekyb3d8bbwe.appxbundle.”
  2. Once downloaded, run the application bundle. A dialog box would appear, such as the one below. Click on Update.
    update
  3. Once it updates, you will see a dialog box stating “For the proper functioning of the app, try to launch a Windows app package.” You may now close this box as Winget has been installed.
    launch a windows app package

Now that the utility to download and install the applications has been installed, we may proceed to the next phase.

Install essential apps using Command Line

We must now choose what applications you need to install on your PC. For this, we shall be using a brilliant creation by Mehedi Hassan known as Winstall. Winstall.app is a website created to bridge the gap between the CLI-based Winget and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Windows package manager. You can now use this website to select applications required, and it will automatically generate a script for you to copy and paste in the Command-Line.

Here is how you can use Winstall to install all the essential applications from under one roof. Note that installing Winget is a prerequisite for this phase.

  1. Open the Winstall.app website on your browser.
  2. Now you must select the application(s) you wish to download. Click on the “+” sign beside each application to put them in your cart. You can also expand the existing Featured Packs that contain similar applications and select from those.
    select apps
  3. When you have selected all the applications you wish to install on your PC, click on Generate Script at the bottom of the page.
    generate script
  4. You will now see a script that has been automatically generated. You may copy the script and run it on Command Prompt or PowerShell, or you may click on Download .bat to download a batch file. Note that you will need to toggle the switch on top to convert the script between Command Prompt and PowerShell.
    copy
  5. Now launch Command Prompt or PowerShell as an administrator and execute the associated script.
    installing
  6. The download and installation shall now begin. Note that you may need to stick around to provide permission for installation where necessary.
    click run
    The download and installation will now continue for each app, one after the other.

You will be notified when all the selected applications have been installed successfully, and you may then close the CLI.

everything installed
Installation successful

Although Winget is a great resource, it is still only in its beginning stages. Winget currently does not support uninstalling the applications. All apps installed must still be removed through the legacy Apps and features option in the Control Panel, or through the Settings app.

Closing words

Both the Winget package manager and Winstall.app have been a blessing for Windows users thus far. You can also use the Winget package manager for other purposes, such as showing application information, managing source files, etc. To get a list of supported commands, type in winget in the CLI.

winget command
Winget supported commands

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