The latest development release of the open-source Windows Package Manager winget has preliminary support for portable apps.
The first version of Windows Package Manager was released in 2020, the first final version followed in 2021. It is a useful program for managing software on Windows 10 and 11 devices.
Some of the supported features include installing multiple programs at once, installing Microsoft Store apps directly without visiting the Store, updating all installed programs at once, or removing an unlimited number of Windows programs and applications.
The developers have uploaded a new preview version of Windows Package Manager, version 1.3.1251. The new build will be released for Windows Insider Dev builds and Windows Package Manager Insiders, but anyone else can download the new build and install it on their devices, as long as they are running Windows 10 version 1809 or newer (including Windows 11).
The big new feature in the preview version is support for portable apps. Until now, winget did not support portable programs, only Microsoft Store apps and Win32 apps that needed to be installed; this changes with the preview and next stable release of Package Manager for Windows.
Functionality is limited to installing portable programs in this version. Features for deleting and upgrading portable apps using winget are planned and will be introduced in future releases.
Note: Upgrade and uninstall behaviors have not been implemented. The community repository also does not support portable apps. Users can test with local manifests, but will need to manually clean up entries in Windows Apps and Features if this is used to install a portable app.
Installing portable programs works just like installing programs that need to be installed or Windows Store apps.
There’s still work to be done, as the devs reveal in the released notes on the exit page. Community repositories do not support portable apps at this point, and anyone interested in getting them working in the released version should use local manifests to do so.
Support for portable apps is an important milestone for the Windows Package Manager project. However, it will take some time before the final implementation lands.
Now you: do you use winget? (Going through desktop modifier)