The Windows Package Manager client (also known as WinGet) celebrated it’s v1.0 release in May of 2021, after announcing at Microsoft Build 2020.

At the time of writing, although the client is distributed within the App Installer package, it isn’t generally available unless you’re running a Windows 10 Insider build, or have signed up to the Preview flight ring.

However, it’s simple to download and install the package from the official GitHub repository. The only downside to this is that it won’t enable automatic updates from the Microsoft Store.

Hit the releases page of the repository, and within the ‘Assets’ section of the latest release you should spot a .misxbundle file. Download and install this as you would any other application.

To confirm that installation was successful, open a terminal and enter:

winget --info

If WinGet was installed successfully, you should see something like the following returned:

Windows Package Manager v1.0.11692
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Windows: Windows.Desktop v10.0.19043.1083
Package: Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller v1.12.11692.0

Logs: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\Microsoft.DesktopAppInstaller_8wekyb3d8bbwe\

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Using WinGet

You can run winget --help to return all available commands. For example, winget list will return a list of all installed applications and packages.

To install a new package, first we can search for it. For example, let’s say that we want to install the latest version of the Microsoft Azure CLI. We’ll search for ‘Azure’ with the following command:

winget search azure

Which returns the following:

Name                             Id                                Version         Match
Bicep CLI                        Microsoft.Bicep             Tag: azure
Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer Microsoft.AzureStorageExplorer    1.20.0          Tag: Azure
Microsoft Azure Storage Emulator Microsoft.AzureStorageEmulator    5.10.19227.2113 Tag: Azure
Azure Functions Core Tools       Microsoft.AzureFunctionsCoreTools 3.0.3477        Tag: Azure
Azure Data Studio                Microsoft.AzureDataStudio         1.30.0          Tag: azure
Azure Cosmos DB Emulator         Microsoft.AzureCosmosEmulator     2.14.1          Tag: Azure
Azure IoT Explorer (preview)        Tag: azure
Microsoft Azure CLI              Microsoft.AzureCLI                2.26.0
Meazure                          CThingSoftware.Meazure            2.0.1
Microsoft Azure Service Fabric   Microsoft.ServiceFabricRuntime    8.0.521.9590

We can then install our package using either the name or ID returned. In this case, we’ll use the name:

winget install "Microsoft Azure CLI"

With our install complete, you should see something similar to the following in your terminal:

Found Microsoft Azure CLI [Microsoft.AzureCLI]
This application is licensed to you by its owner.
Microsoft is not responsible for, nor does it grant any licences to, third-party packages.
  ██████████████████████████████  48.1 MB / 48.1 MB
Successfully verified installer hash
Starting package install...
Successfully installed

You can find out more about Windows Package Manager over at the official Microsoft documentation.