Windows 10 Package Manager can now install Microsoft Store apps

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Microsoft has released a new version of the Windows 10 WinGet package manager that adds experimental features, including the ability to install apps from the Microsoft Store and command auto-completion.

The Windows Package Manager (WinGet) was released in May 2020 at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference and allows you to install apps from the command line.

With this release, you can enable experimental features by modifying the WinGet parameters using the ‘winget settings‘ ordered. Once executed, it will prompt you to open a JSON file with your favorite text editor.

To enable the features, you can copy and paste the following configuration into your settings:

{
    // For documentation on these settings, see: https://aka.ms/winget-settings
    // "source": {
    //    "autoUpdateIntervalInMinutes": 5
    // },
    "visual": {
      "progressBar": "rainbow"
    },

    "experimentalFeatures": {
      "experimentalCmd": true,
      "experimentalArg": true,
      "experimentalMSStore": true
    }
}

Once you add the ‘experimentalMSStore’ option and save the settings file, WinGet will add a new repository called ‘msstore’, which can be seen using the ‘winget source list‘ ordered.

List WinGet application repositories
List WinGet application repositories

This new “msstore” repository currently contains a curated list of 289 programming, networking, and development related apps that can be installed directly from the Microsoft Store.

Apps in msstore repository
Apps in msstore repository

Like any repository, you can install an app from the Microsoft Store repository using the ‘winget install‘, as shown below.

Install Microsoft Emulator from Microsoft Store
Install Microsoft Emulator from Microsoft Store

When installing apps from the MSStore repository, they will also be displayed directly in the Microsoft Store, where updates will be delivered as usual.

Microsoft Emulator is installed through the Microsoft Store
Microsoft Emulator is installed through the Microsoft Store

Unfortunately, Microsoft still hasn’t added the ability to uninstall or upgrade installed programs via WinGet, which is necessary for the package manager to be really useful in a production environment.

Microsoft said adding these two commands is their immediate focus, along with an import/export feature that lets you export a list of packages and import them to a new machine.

PowerShell autocomplete has also been added

In addition to installing apps from the Microsoft Store, this new version also includes an experimental AutoComplete feature, as shown below.

WinGet auto-completion demo
WinGet auto-completion demo
Source: Microsoft

If you used the configuration file provided in this article, the feature is already enabled in WinGet, but you need to create a PowerShell profile to use it properly.

Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

Once configured, you can test it with the following keyboard sequences provided by Microsoft.

 winget[space][tab][space]pow[tab][space]-v[space][tab][tab][tab]

If you are already a Windows Insider, you can play with these new features in WinGet immediately because it is already installed.

If not, you can install it directly using these instructions on their GitHub page.

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