It’s 2022 and installing software on Windows still looks more or less the same as usual. You find the app you want online, download the installer, and spend the next minute or two clicking through dialog boxes, hoping you haven’t accidentally installed malware.
But the process can be faster than that. Enter Chocolatey, a Windows app that lets you install nearly 10,000 tools with just a few commands over PowerShell, Windows’ configuration management program. And if that sounds a bit intimidating, Chocolatey also offers a more user-friendly desktop version.
Why should you use Chocolatey
If you’ve ever turned on a PC in the 90s, you’ve certainly seen the disk operating system of Windows or DOS in all its glory – it was that dark screen with blocky white letters running command after command so that your computer is operational. PowerShell is a modern version of it – you can access it from Windows itself like any other tool, and power users love it for its ability to streamline tasks with written commands.
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Most PC users have never opened PowerShell, but Chocolatey can be the perfect excuse to start exploring. The program is a script that you can use in PowerShell to easily install and manage software, which makes the process much faster than the traditional method. Chocolatey automates all of the searching, downloading, and installation, so you can just type a command and go while your computer does all the work. The program also makes the process safer by only using official download links, preventing you from clicking on a fake one.
Finally, Chocolatey can handle important updates, so you don’t have to check and download new patches for every piece of software on your machine. All you have to do is automate the whole process with one quick command.
How to install Chocolatey
Installing Chocolatey is easy, but before doing so you’ll need to open PowerShell as an administrator, which will give the program full permission to perform tasks such as installing and updating software. . To do this, search for PowerShell in the start menu, click on the correct entry, then choose Execute as administrator in the right panel.
Next, go to the Chocolatey install page. There is only one line of code under Install Chocolatey for individual use which you will need to copy and paste into PowerShell. Hit Walk in and follow the instructions. Chocolatey will notify you of any changes this will make to your system and ask you to confirm if you wish to proceed with the installation. Type Yes for yes and knock Walk in Again.
How to Install Software with Chocolatey
Now that Chocolatey is ready to use, you can install software. just type chocolate plant followed by the name of the desired application. For example, to get Firefox, you can type choco install firefoxand hit Walk in. Chocolatey will then ask you if you want to run the script to install the software — type Yes and knock Walk in Again.
Just like that, Chocolatey will then proceed to download and install the program you want, which will appear in your start menu, ready to open when the process is complete.
You can install multiple apps this way, and there are thousands of packages you can search or browse on the Chocolatey website. Advanced users can read all the supported commands, but anyone can start by learning the basics.
Follow this command with the name of the program you want to install. It will quickly search for all Chocolatey supported apps and give you a list of them. It’s a quick way to find the exact names of the tools you want to get.
choco upgrade everything
This command will download and install updates for any software you have installed using Chocolatey. It’s a huge time saver. Alternatively, to update a single app, you can type chocolate upgrade followed by the name of this application.
After this command, type the name of a program you installed using Chocolatey to remove it.
The most intuitive version of Chocolatey
If you’d rather not use PowerShell to install software, we have good news: there’s a graphical version or GUI you can use instead.
You can install this more user-friendly interface using Chocolatey – just run the choco install chocolateygui ordered. As a result, you will get an app store with all the program packages that you can get using the platform.
[Related: Run Windows on your Mac and get the best of both worlds]
Chocolatey makes it easy to install and update software on Windows. If you’re setting up a new PC, outfitting your machine with everything you need will be much easier.