Install multiple programs at once with these convenient tools

If you ever had to set up a new Windows computer from scratch, you know how time consuming it can be to install all the programs you need on the machine.

While you could use specifically prepared Windows images to install all the required programs automatically during the installation of the operating system, it is not something that most users do as the process itself is rather technical.

Things are easy if you use portable software predominantly, as you can simply copy all the programs you require from one source (a DVD, Flash Drive, other storage devices) to the system and be done with that.

Some programs are not available as portable versions though, and not everyone wants to use them either. This would mean to run installers left and right on the system, carefully monitoring the installation process to make sure that adware does not slip by, until all programs are installed.

A better way, at least when it comes to popular applications and programs, is to use multi-installers.

Ninite

ninite

Ninite is a simple tool that you configure on the project website. Basically, all you need to do is select the programs that you want to install on your system on the homepage, and click on the get installer button afterwards to create a special installer for the selection.

The service supports over 100 different programs for Windows currently including Chrome, Firefox, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Eclipse, VLC Media Player, 7-Zip, TeamViewer, KeePass 2 Everything, or SumatraPDF.



ninite install multiple programs

Ninite promises that the installer will always include the latest version of the selected program, and that individual program installers won't include toolbars and other third-party offers. It downloads the programs from the official developer website, and will check digital signatures or hashes to verify the authenticity of the application.

All programs are downloaded and installed without user interaction, and the custom Ninite installer can be run again at a later point in time to install program updates if available.

Chocolatey

chocolatey

Chocolatey is a package manager similar to apt-get, but for Windows. It offers more packages and features than Ninite, but is more complicated to use as you run the commands from the command prompt.

This becomes obvious right from the get go as you need to run a command from an elevated command prompt to install Chocolatey on the system.

You can then browse the available packages on the official website and install those that you want added to your system.

The core command to install a package is "choco install" followed by the package name. Chocolatey supports additional commands or installer arguments that you can make use of, for instance to add parameters to the installer or install multiple programs at once by adding their names after the install command, e.g. choco install notepadplusplus googlechrome atom 7zip.

Chocolatey is powerful but at the same time not nearly as easy to use as Ninite. Good news is that it supports thousands of programs instead of just the hundred that Ninite supports, bad news that it will take longer to set it up and find the correct names for the programs to get them installed.

Silent Install Helper

silent install helper

Unlike the programs that we have reviewed so far, Silent Install Helper does not limit you in regards to the applications that you can install using it.

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While that is a positive, it means more work for you initially as you need to download the program installers to your system first before you can create a new batch installer job using Silent Install Helper.

What you do is add all the installers you have accumulated to the application. The program attempts to detect unwanted offers and will display information about those to you in its interface when it recognizes those. While that is not a surefire way of making sure junk does not get installed on your system, it may help you automate the declining of said offers.

You can customize the program installer, for instance by running commands before or after installation, or setting the unwanted software flag.

We have reviewed Silent Install Helper back in 2015, and suggest you check out the review for additional information.

Silent Install Helper does not restrict you to a collection of programs. Instead, it lets you create batch installers for any program you may come across.

Silent Install Builder

silent- nstall builder

This is a commercial program but a fully functional evaluation version is provided on the developer website.

Each package you create contains one or multiple installer files or scripts that you want executed on the system.

As the name suggests, packages will be installed silently in the background, and you can create unattended installations as well.

Silent Install Builder recognizes popular application installers, and provides you with options to automate the installation of software using scripting language which allows you to record an installation process (which is mostly handy for installations on multiple computer systems).

As is the case with Silent Install Helper, this program requires that you download all programs that you want to install in one operation before you can do so.

RuckZuck

ruckzuck

RuckZuck is a portable program for the Windows operating system that you can use to install multiple software programs or to update them.

Simple mark the programs that you want to install on your system, and hit the "start installation" button afterwards.

RuckZuck will download the applications using PowerShell and install them on the system once downloaded.

Programs are sorted into groups like Imaging, Audio or Security, and you will find many popular programs listed by it. All in all, a couple hundred programs are supported currently by the application.

Just Install

just-install

Just Install works in many regards just like Chocolatey. It is command line program that you use to install one or multiple of the 120 packages it supports.

It supports many popular programs such as Firefox, Chrome, KeePass, Adobe Flash, Steam or VLC Media Player to name a few.

Closing Words

All multi-software installers are useful. Ninite is without doubt the easiest to use of the four reviewed here but it is also the program that is limited the most in terms of programs that you can install using it.

Now You: Did we miss a program? Lets us known int the comments below.

Summary
Article Name
Install multiple programs at once with these convenient tools
Description
An overview of software for the Windows operating system that provides you with the means to install multiple programs at once on machines running Windows.
Author
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Install multiple programs at once with these convenient tools

  1. CHEF-KOCH March 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    First comment :p

    • najodleglejszy March 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      wow, I thought that stupid childish habit died 5 years ago.

  2. Howard Pearce March 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    I don't mind doing something like this for standalones, but I am wary of doing actual installs this way

    • Dan82 March 24, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Hey Howard. I understand your reluctance, but it all depends how these applications actually work. In the case of Ninite, I'd like to quote the following from their help section:

      "Downloads come from the publishers' sites and are checked for correct digital signatures or matching SHA-1 hashes before Ninite uses them."

      Although I haven't checked and confirmed this for myself, it means that any installation done through Ninite should be just as safe and reliable as if you were to download and install each setup manually. That has the potential to be a real time-saver, plus it eliminates the time-consuming process of keeping a local collection of setups and updating them all the time, because you're always guaranteed to receive the latest program version.

      • Stefan March 25, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

        Absolutely correct, it's a massive timesaver, especially if you need to deploy the same software repeatedly or keep it up to date. I used it a while ago to install a whole office worth of software - put the Ninite installer on a shared drive, run it from each host, and then set up a scheduled task to re-run the installer periodically to keep it up to date (or reinstall removed software)

        It needed Ninite Pro, but saved me god knows how much time over having individual installers, even if i'd had them all on the shared drive too

  3. Pants March 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    Or you could, like, you know ... just have all your 350+ programs, tools and utilities, along with all their settings, profiles, configs, color schemes, plugins, skins, etc .. as portables .. with a nice launcher (I use SyMenu). Migration is .. 20 minutes (excluding system settings such as default programs).

    • John Krazinski March 24, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

      hey man!

    • sycophant March 28, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

      Furthermore SyMenu itself is an install manager for portable programs as the other software presented here. And it has a library of almost 1.000 portable programs to choose.
      I agree with you, it's terrific.

  4. Womble March 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Given that both chocolatey and Oneget use the same repository, does anybody know what the pros and cons of using one over the other are?

  5. John Krazinski March 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    The only program I actually install on my pc is itunes. All the rest is portable.

    But those are handy tools if you are a helpdesk junior.

    • Pants March 25, 2016 at 10:22 am #

      hey man!

  6. toni March 24, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    i use ninite for some years now and never had a problem. just works.

  7. SCBright March 24, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    Mirinsoft DDownloads is a good program with hundreds of apps.

    Is portable and easy to use (just a suggestion)

  8. Neal March 25, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    Do all of these take out the crapware too?

    • Martin Brinkmann March 25, 2016 at 7:19 am #

      They all ship with options to do so, but you may have to configure them manually to do it. Ninite does it automatically.

    • nok March 27, 2016 at 12:38 am #

      Ninite does.

  9. trendless March 25, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    Two that I've used regularly are PatchMyPC and Ketarin. The former is great for leaving on friends+families' computers to do routine maintenance. The latter excels in a repair shop environment where speed/efficiency is at a premium.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 25, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      Can those be used to install software as well, or only to update them?

      • George June 3, 2016 at 12:32 am #

        Patch My PC can both install programs from scratch and update them. You can even configure which programs to auto-select for installation on first run and only supports programs that play nice and don't install crapware silently. It's great program, totally worthy of a Ghacks review and I highly recommend it to everyone.

    • Mikhoul October 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

      Thanks a lot for the info

  10. Trond March 25, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    For those wanting to try out Chocolatey, but prefer a user Interface, I recommend checking out this:

    https://chocolatey.org/packages/ChocolateyGUI

  11. s4m0n3 March 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    13 of 56 Antivirus-Solutions reports an trojan horse inside RuckZuck.exe
    In my opinion it looks like a false-positive recognition.

    Can you please verify this, or leave a comment on your article.

    • s4m0n3 March 29, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

      Btw. very nice article - i have waited so long for these solutions!

  12. Ken Upnorth March 30, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Massiverun is small and portable but all silent installs must be precompiled. Checkbox selection from setup files dumped to install dir.

  13. Luis March 31, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    Great article. You should check npackd, makes it really easy to install software.

  14. Anonymous April 12, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    All My Apps ( http://allmyapps.com/ ) works very well for me. Free version will occasionally show ad popups. I paid a few bucks for the ad-free version.

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