An official Windows Package Manager has always been one of the highly coveted features among developers and IT professionals alike. Thankfully, at the Microsoft Build 2020 developer conference, the software giant has finally delivered a Windows Package Manager CLI — winget.

A package manager is a software or set of tools which automates the process of installing, upgrading, configuring and removing computer application for an OS in a consistent manner.

On the latest Windows 10 Insider builds, winget comes pre-installed as part of the App Installer from Microsoft Store. If you’re running the latest Windows 10 Insider preview build, you probably already have winget installed and running on your PC. You can verify that by running the below command:

winget --version

If you get a version number as output (such as v0.1.41331 Preview), you have it installed. If not, follow the guide below to download and install the preview version of ‘App Installer’ to get the winget CLI tool on your Windows 10 PC.

Download App Installer (with winget) from Github

Since winget source-code and installable appxbundle package is available on Github for anyone to download and install, you need not sign up for Windows Insider builds to get the Windows Package Manager CLI on your computer.

To get hold of Winget preview, you need to head on over to the repository and download the latest release of App Installer from Winget releases page.

Once you are on Winget Releases page scroll down to the latest release and look for assets section. In the assets section, you will see an appxbundle and source code for the Winget release.

Click on the ‘Microsoft.DesktopAppinstaller_*.appxbundle’ link to download the App Installer with Winget feature. It’s the same ‘App Installer’ version that comes with the latest Windows 10 Insider update.

App Installer Winget

Install App Installer (with winget)

Once you’ve downloaded the ‘App Installer’ appxbundle file from Github. Go to the download directory and double-click Microsoft.DesktopAppinstaller_*.appxbundle file to install App Installer along with winget CLI tool.

Double Click App Installer Winger Appxbundle

Since this is an updated version of ‘App Installer’, you’ll get a prompt to update the ‘App Installer’ when you run the ‘appxbundle’ file downloaded above from Github. Be sure to click the ‘Update’ button.

Update App Installer to get Winget Feature

One ‘App Installer’ is updated successfully, you should have winget CLI available on your computer.

To verify if winget is installed and running on your PC, open Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell and run the following command:

winget --version

You should get a output such as v0.1.41331 Preview (like the screenshot below).

Winget Version

Since we manually downloaded and installed winget CLI, it won’t automatically update unless Microsoft releases the updated ‘App Installer’ in Microsoft Store for stable Windows 10 releases. Until then, you can keep an eye out on the winget releases page on Github to manually download and update the CLI tool when there’s an update available.

That said, the winget roadmap on GitHub shows the plan to release a stable version 1.0 of winget next year in May 2021.