Microsoft Windows 10 ‘Winget’ feature allows importing and exporting installed applications thereby simplifying processes after fresh OS install

Winget Microsoft Windows Package Manager
Linux-like Product Manager for Windows 10? Pic credit: Lennart Demes/Pixabay

Microsoft has released a new version of Windows Package Manager. In Windows Terminal, the Command Line Interface (CLI) command is ‘Winget’.

The new Winget, although still experimental, allows Windows 10 OS users to quickly export and import their installed application lists. This significantly simplifies and quickens the processes after installing Windows 10 OS.

A new version of Windows Package Manager makes it easier to test Windows 10 Preview Builds:

Microsoft has offered a new version of the Windows Package Manager. The CLI command for the same is Winget.

The update brings the product to version 0.3. The latest release includes a handful of useful additions, most notably, the ability to export a list of installed packages or software. Users can also import a list so they can quickly set up all their apps on a new PC or installation.

Microsoft has tagged the ‘Export’ feature inside the Winget v0.3 as experimental. The import feature, however, is on by default. To enable the export feature, users will need to execute the winget settings command and add the following to the JSON file that opens:

   “experimentalFeatures”: {

“export”: true


Once enabled, users can export their current list of installed packages into a JSON file, using the winget export [filename].json command. Needless to mention, replace [filename] with whatever name is preferred.

Thereafter, users can copy that file to another machine and import it using the winget import [filename].json command. On execution, winget will automatically install all the packages on the list.

Microsoft has also included support for group policy management. This allows IT Admins to manage the use of Windows Package Manager.

Advanced users need to import the policies from an .admx and .adml file. Microsoft has provided both the files inside the releases page on GitHub.

Microsoft expects experienced users to switch on each experimental feature within Winget v0.3:

For obvious reasons, Microsoft has tagged nearly every feature in the new Winget as ‘Experimental’. This means the features are off by default, but users can switch them on easily. To enable each experimental feature, users will need to add them to the JSON file as mentioned above.

Microsoft has included the list feature. As the name implies, it lists all the installed packages on a Windows 10 PC. The list will collate the names of all packages, including those from the Microsoft Store and any apps users may have installed through other methods.

After enabling this feature, users can start making a list by executing winget List command. Thereafter, use the Export feature to export all of the packages. As there are several applications that the Winget repository lacks, the export list feature may throw several errors.

Winget has also received an ‘Upgrade’ feature. As the name suggests, the feature offers a simpler and quicker way to update installed packages. However, users must run the winget upgrade [package name] command.

The last mention-worthy feature is Uninstall. The feature is quite powerful as it disregards how users initially installed the app and proceeds to uninstall the same.

Microsoft has mentioned all the configuration names that users will need to activate each of the experimental features. The Windows Package Manager team has indicated that the platform could soon get support for installing zip files, package dependencies, and native PowerShell support.

Advanced or experienced users can sign up for the Windows Package Manage Insider program. This will grant them access to updates. The facility is available on the App Installer listing inside the Microsoft Store.

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