Microsoft releases Winget 1.3 with support for portable applications, documentation and installation notes

Microsoft has released a major update to the Windows Package Manager, also known as winget. Version 1.3 is now available with an impressive list of new features and functionality, such as support for portable applications, installation notes and related documentation, an improved progress bar, and more.

What’s new in Windows Package Manager (winget) 1.3?

Manifest improvements

Show documentation

Some packages include documentation related to the package version. You should now be able to see the documentation and the corresponding URL when you run winget show.

Winget shows documentation related to packages

Installation Notes

Most command line packages require a terminal restart to load the environment variables. Some other packages have nuances that the user must understand before they are first run. Installation notes will be displayed after the package is installed. We have also added arguments and settings to manage these notes. By default, these notes are displayed. You can add “suppressInstallNotes” as a parameter so they don’t show up. You can also pass “-display-notes” or “-suppress-notes” to override the settings.

Expected response URL with return code

Most installers based on . exe can provide custom responses for various failure scenarios. We’ve added an enhancement to provide not only a standard error message, but now you can also include a URL. We hope this helps in troubleshooting why something went wrong. Manifest authors can add “ReturnResponseURL” to the array of “InstallerReturnCode” values.

New settings

The Windows Package Manager settings file opens in the default JSON editor when you run winget settings. If you have Visual Studio Code installed and configured, you also get the benefits of JSON Schema for tooltips and code completion. If you don’t, you can run winget install vscode.

Installation Notes

The Windows Package Manager was designed to behave in a predictable way by default and give users the ability to customize this behavior. The “suppressInstallNotes” option has been added for users who prefer not to see installation notes included in their manifests.

Detail logs

If you add “-verbose-logs” to any command, Windows Package Manager will add additional information to the logs. This is often useful for troubleshooting or learning more about exactly what the Windows Package Manager does. Users can now specify what level of logging they want. The following logging levels are available: Verbose, Info, Warning, Error, and Critical.

New version report

Some packages such as Microsoft. NET SDK show versions for users that are slightly different from their build numbers. Unfortunately, this caused confusion during the upgrade process and was frustrating for manifest authors. Windows Package Manager will now take into account the preferred version that publishers would like to display, and the tool will still be able to make correct comparisons when determining the availability of a newer version.

In the example below from Windows Apps & Features, you can see that the Microsoft. NET Runtime and the displayed versions of the Microsoft. NET SDKs start with “6.0”. But the Microsoft version. NET SDK under the display name starts with “6.3”. Manifests can now use the display version (“packageVersion” in the manifest) to show users which version is installed or which update is available, but can still use the assembly version (“displayVersion” of the manifest key from the registry and “AppsAndFeatures” from the manifest ) for comparison.

Windows 11 settings showing a different version of one app

Display system architecture

Not all packages natively work on every architecture. Sometimes packages run in emulation mode. We have updated winget –info to display the system architecture so you can quickly see what architecture your hardware has. This can help troubleshoot why there is no corresponding installer for a particular package, or why it might not behave exactly the way you expect.

Winget shows system architecture with winget --info command

An even better progress indicator

One of our most popular features is the customizable progress bar. Thanks to the contribution of the community, it only got better. The extra fine-grained blocks make this progress bar buttery. If you didn’t know, you can customize the progress bar in the settings. I use:

“visual”: {“progressBar”: “rainbow”}

Don’t worry, all styles have received an improved progress bar.

Support for portable packages

Is there a portable package that you would like to manage with the Windows Package Manager? Basically, they are just executable programs that don’t have an installer. You may want to install Microsoft.NuGet using winget or update Microsoft.NuGet using winget. We wanted to make sure you can manage these portable packages, so we add the appropriate entries to Windows Apps & Features when you install them. This allows you to see them as installed applications. You can even remove them from there if you don’t want to type winget to remove Microsoft.NuGet.

Delete via apps and features

Note. We have added Microsoft.NuGet to the repository so you can test it out. It will not work on versions of Windows Package Manager below 1.3 as shown in the image below.

In addition to the release of Windows Package Manager 1.3, Microsoft has announced that it will soon begin accepting portable packages. It should be another week before the company finishes rolling out the update to all users through the Microsoft Store. For now, sending portable packages remains blocked.

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