How to use Windows Package Manager Winget with PowerShell and GUI

Microsoft’s shiny new Windows Package Manager Winget has had its fair share of controversy, but most agree that it’s a big step forward. With it, users and developers can install apps with a single command, much like in Linux. We’re going to show you how to use it, either via PowerShell or a handy GUI.

What is Windows Package Manager (Winget)?

The Windows Package Manager is a new method to install applications that’s likely to be extremely popular with Pro users. The ability to simply type “wget install appname” will greatly speed up the download and installation process for those who are familiar with the command line.

It means you’ll no longer have to open your browser, search for the application, download it, find the right link, and run the installer. Aside from a single administrator prompt, everything is done automatically. For now, it’s focused on developers, but there’s a good chance it’ll see wider use as they get on board.

Microsoft is hosting its own repository or list of apps, and the functionality supports any app with a valid manifest that has been published. However, it’s also giving others the tools to host their own repositories if they wish. You can’t get every app via winget, and there are no games, but there’s a surprising amount available at launch.

How to Install the Windows Package Manager Winget

Unfortunately, downloading and installing the Windows Package Manager isn’t as simple as typing “winget install winget”, but it’s still quite easy. There are two methods to obtain it:

  1. Join the Windows Package Managers Insiders Program


    Head to this page and fill out the form to join this Windows Package Manager Insider program, which will let you install winget as a store app, updates and all.

    Join Windows Package Manager Insiders Program

  2. Update App Installer


    Head to this store page and click “Get” to receive an update to the App Installer to enable winget functionality.

    Microsoft Store - App Installer

  3. Download the GitHub appx bundle


    Alternatively, you can head to the GitHub page for the Windows Package Manager and download and install its appx package. Simply double-click the box icon to run the installer.

    GitHub Windows Package Manager Preview

How to Use the Windows Package Manager Winget via PowerShell

PowerShell is the fastest route to installing an app with package manager:

  1. Open PowerShell


    Press “Windows + X” and click “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.

    Windows 10 - Open PowerShell

  2. Return the list of commands


    Type winget to receive the full list of commands for the Windows Package Manager.

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget

  3. Get a full list of packages


    You can type winget install to receive a list of every available package. However, this is far from the most efficient way to search.

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget install

  4. View package information


    Find more information about a package, including its homepage, a description, and the download URL, by typing winget show packagename

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget show 7Zip
  5. View the list of winget install arguments


    When you install with winget, you can add numerous arguments to change the way it functions. For example, adding -h performs a silent installation, and -l lets you choose the install location. Type winget install -?to see all of these. The “-h” parameter can be used for all other winget commands as well.

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget install -

  6. Installing apps with winget


    As previously discussed, you can install an app via the Windows Package Manager by typing winget install packagename Your application will download and the installer will launch.

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget install 7Zip

  7. Search for available apps with winget


    Rather than trawling through a long list, you can search for a specific app with winget search keywordWindows 10 - PowerShell - Winget search

  8. Manage sources


    Currently, the only source for winget is Microsoft’s but in the future, you’ll be able to add them from others for more coverage. Typewinget source listto view all the sources, and winget source -? to view the related commands. 

    Windows 10 - PowerShell - Winget source

How to Use Windows Package Manager Winget via GUI

If PowerShell windows intimidate you, winget has several options for GUI interfaces thanks to the open source community.

  1. Download a Windows Package Manager GUI


    At the time of writing, there are several GUIs available for winget such as HandyWinGet-GUI, and guinget. You can download one of them from GitHub and install them without any complication in Windows 10.

    GitHub - Winget GUI interface projects

  2. WinGet GUI

    WinGet GUI allows to install apps with winget with just a click. Use the search bar to find a package, and click “Install Selected” after clicking it to get the app.

    Windows 10 - WinGET GUI

  3. guinget


    guinget is a curently under development and plans to offer an app-installer that reminds the interface of GUI Linux packet managers. You will be able to find apps in guinget via the search bar and switch the dropdown to install to get them on your system.

    Windows 10 - guinget