If you have enough Windows programs that updating them seems like a chore, it might be time to start switching to a package manager, especially Chocolatey.
Package managers are a lot like app stores in that they allow you to manage and update all of your programs through a single interface rather than having to compete for them all individually. For a while, Chocolatey was only available through the command line, which limited its potential audience to people who weren’t afraid of it, but its GUI is steadily improving, making it accessible to almost anyone. world.
Installation of Chocolatey and ChocolateyGUI
Okay, you have to use the command line a bit to get Chocolatey up and running, but after that it’s all the GUI. they have instructions on their site, which you may need to refer to if you do not have administrator rights on your machine, but the following steps should work for most Windows 7 or higher users.
I am using the Powershell instructions here, as I have found that they work more reliably than the cmd method, but both methods are pretty well explained on the Chocolatey site.
1. Open an administration shell. The easiest way to do this is to press To win + X and selecting Windows Powershell (Admin).
2. Then paste
Get-ExecutionPolicy and press Enter. If you see that it returns “Restricted”, you can paste
Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned or
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process. Either works.
3. You must now paste the installation command:
You will see installation text scrolling. Once done, you are good to go! Chocolatey is installed and now orders as
choco install and
choco upgrade will allow you to manage command line programs (cmd or Powershell). If you want to stick with the GUl, you’ll just have to play around with the tacky stuff one more time.
4. In the Powershell administration window, type or paste
This will start downloading and installing the GUL program which you will need to visually manage Chocolatey. You will need to select
Y to complete the installation. If you don’t want to be bothered by this in the future, you can enter
Your ChocolateyGUI is now installed, and your command line days are now behind you, if you want!
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Install programs with ChocolateyGUI
To open ChocolateyGUI, find the program on your desktop or in your Start menu and launch it.
Once you are in the program, you will see two main tabs on the left: “This PC” and “Chocolate”. “This PC” lets you manage the programs you have installed through Chocolatey, and “chocolatey” lets you search for the programs you want to install. Any programs you installed without using Chocolatey will not appear here. You will need to reinstall them or ask Chocolatey to take care of them.
The Chocolatey program list is displayed by default as a list, organized by the popularity of the programs, but the tile layout arguably allows for more efficient navigation. You can change this using the buttons in the upper right corner. Manual navigation can be a bit slow though, so use the search bar to search for specific programs.
When you find the program you want, you can either view more details about it or go straight to installation. Once you click on install (
choco install [program]), your program should pretty much configure itself.
Once the dialog box is finished, you will find your new program in your Start menu along with all the others.
Updating programs with ChocolateyGUI
Installing programs is easier with Chocolatey, but the update feature is where things get really great. ChocolateyGUI makes it very easy to see which of your programs are outdated, and updating them all takes just a few clicks.
If you just want to update one, you can right-click on it and select “Update” (
choco upgrade [program]). It’s already easier than a lot of programs do, but the best thing is that you don’t have to go through it one by one. The refresh symbol with an asterisk in the top right menu means ‘Update All’ and if you tap on it Chocolatey will automatically update each program on its list. Otherwise, use
choco upgrade all in the command line. Updating your programs can now be a weekly task that only takes a few clicks.
Switch to package management
Chances are, most of the programs you use daily are already installed, and you probably did by downloading and configuring each of them, unless you got it through the Microsoft Store. , which is at least a nod to package management. set up in Windows. Switching to Chocolatey can then be a bit annoying, as you will have to use it to reinstall programs you already have or resume existing installations. But if you just turn to Chocolatey every time, otherwise you would have downloaded and run an .exe or .msi, you would end up with a lot of your programs under the Chocolatey umbrella.