Windows Package Manager winget is getting portable application support
The latest development version of the open source Windows Package Manager winget has preliminary support for portable applications.
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 to remove any number of Windows programs and apps.
The developers have uploaded a new preview version of Windows Package Manager, version 1.3.1251. The new version will be released to Windows Insider Dev builds and Windows Package Manager insiders, but anyone else may download the new version and install them on their devices, provided that these run Windows 10 version 1809 or newer (including Windows 11).
The big new feature in the preview version is support for portable apps. Up until now, winget did not support portable programs, only Microsoft Store apps and Win32 applications that needed to be installed; this changes with the preview release and the upcoming next stable version of the package manager for Windows.
The feature is limited to the installation of portable programs in this release. Functions to remove and upgrade portable applications using winget are planned and will be introduced in future builds.
Note: The upgrade and uninstall behaviors have not been implemented. The community repository does not accept portable applications either. Users may test with local manifests but will need to manually clean up entries in Windows Apps & Features if this is used to install a portable application.
The installation of portable programs works exactly as the installation of programs that need to be installed or Windows Store applications.
There is still work to be done, as the developers reveal in the notes published on the release page. Community repos do not accept portable apps at this point, and anyone interested in getting these to work in the released version need to use local manifests to do so.
Support for portable apps is an important step for the Windows Package Manager project. It will take a while before the final implementation lands though.
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