Managing Windows 10 apps with Chocolatey Package Manager

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Chocolatey is a Windows package manager that lets you quickly install new software or prepare new Windows 10 installations with your favorite apps, all from the command line.

If you are a Linux user, package managers such as ‘apt’ or ‘rpm’ are familiar tools used to install Linux programs and resolve required dependencies. In recent years, package managers have also grown in popularity in Windows 10.

The most popular Windows package manager is Chocolatey, which is designed for both consumers (general users) and businesses, and offers an easy-to-understand user interface and a suite of powerful features for program deployment.

To use Chocolatey, your system needs the following system requirements:

  1. Windows 7+ / Windows Server 2003+
  2. PowerShell v2 + (not PowerShell Core yet) (minimum is v3 for installation from this website due to TLS 1.2 requirement)
  3. .NET Framework 4+ (installation will attempt to install .NET 4.0 if you haven’t installed it) (minimum is 4.5 for installation from this website due to TLS requirement 1.2)

How to install Chocolatey in Windows 10

Method 1: Install via Command Prompt:

  1. Open the command prompt with administrator rights.
  2. Copy and paste the following cmd.exe code and press Enter.
    @"%SystemRoot%System32WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe" -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command " [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = 3072; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET "PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%chocolateybin"

    Chocolate

  3. Wait for the program to install.

If you don’t see any errors after entering the above command, Chocolatey is ready to use. In some cases, you will be asked to restart the shell. To do this, close the Command Prompt window and relaunch it.

Method 2: Install via PowerShell:

  1. Open PowerShell with administrator rights.
  2. Run Get-ExecutionPolicy.
  3. If it returns Restricted, run Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned or Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process.
  4. Enter the following command in PowerShell:
    Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

PowerShell

Once done correctly, you will now have access to choco or choco -? order.

Getting started with Chocolatey

Like all other package managers, Chocolatey is entirely a command line tool where you have to type the commands you want to run.

After installing Chocolatey, launch a command prompt or PowerShell and type ‘choco -?‘for a list of commands you can run.

These commands are listed below:

  • listing – lists remote or local packages
  • to look for – search for remote or local packages (alias for list)
  • Info – get information about the package. Shortcut for choco search pkgname –exact –verbose
  • to install – install packages from various sources
  • pin – remove upgrades for a package
  • outmoded – get obsolete packages. Similar to upgrade all –noop
  • to improve – update packages from various sources
  • uninstall – uninstall a package
  • pack – package a nuspec in a compiled nupkg
  • to push – push a compiled nupkg
  • New – generates the files necessary for a chocolate packaging from a template
  • sources – display and configure the default sources (alias for the source)
  • The source – display and configure the default sources
  • configuration – Retrieve and configure the parameters of the configuration file
  • characteristic – display and configure choco’s functionalities
  • characteristics – display and configure the functionalities of choco (alias for the functionality)
  • setapikey – get or save an apikey for a particular source (alias for apikey)
  • API key – get or save an API key for a particular source
  • unpack – to settle chocolate
  • synchronization – synchronizes with software installed on the system – generates missing packages

To see help for each command, you can enter choco [command] -help. For example, to get help on the list command, you could type choco list help.

List of applications that can be installed by Chocolatey

The goal of a package manager is to be able to easily install applications on Windows. To find a list of available applications to install, you can use the choco list [search_keyword] order.

For example, if you want to see if Notepad ++ is available as a package, you can open a command prompt or a PowerShell console with administrator rights and enter choco list notepad++.

Chocolatey will now search for the available packages associated with this name and list them, as shown below.

Parcel search

Install programs with Chocolatey

To install apps using Chocolatey, you need to use choco install and follow it with the name of the supported package.

In the example below, we are using Chocolatey to install Notepad ++ by entering the choco install notepadplusplus order.

Chocolate

Chocolatey will now download and install the program on your computer. While installing the program, you may be prompted to run various scripts to complete the installation, which should be allowed.

It is also possible to install several applications at the same time by separating them with spaces. For example, to install Notepad ++ and 010Editor at the same time, you would use the following command:

choco install notepadplusplus 010editor

To keep the programs up to date, you can periodically enter the following command to check for new versions of the installation packages and update them.

choco outdated

Uninstall programs using Chocolatey

Just as you can install Windows 10 apps with Chocolatey, you can also uninstall them with the choco uninstall [package] order.

For example, to uninstall the Notepad ++ application, you can enter the choco uninstall notepadplusplus order.

Uninstall a program

Chocolate leveling

Chocolatey is generally updated with new features and bug fixes, so keeping it up to date with the latest version is essential.

The update can be done via the command line using the “upgrade” command:

choco upgrade chocolatey

Change the default installation directory

Fortunately, Chocolatey also allows you to change the default installation directory, so that you can install the program to any location you want.

For MSI-based installers, you can use the command -ia "INSTALLDIR=""D:Program Files""" in cmd.exe

If you want easier and more extensive control over the directory, you must have a licensed edition of Chocolatey (Pro and / or Business).

If you have the publisher licensed, you can use the --install-directory=value command to change the directory where an application is installed.

Uninstall Chocolatey

If you don’t like Chocolatey for some reason, you can uninstall it by following these steps:

  1. Close the PowerShell or Command Prompt window.
  2. Open the explorer and head to C:ProgramDatachocolatey

    Chocolate

  3. Simply delete the files in the folder and Chocolatey will stop working.

If you cannot find the installation path, use the command $env:ChocolateyInstall


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