Keeping your PC apps up-to-date with Winget and WingetUI

WingetUI (soon to be UniGetUI) — the simple way to keep your applications up-to-date

Installing multiple applications on your Windows PC or laptop can be a tedious exercise, for example after a Windows reinstall or on a new machine. First you need to search the web for the application website, nagivate to the download page, download the installer, run the installer, wait for the application to install, repeat.

Thankfully, there are easier ways to do it now using package managers such as Microsoft Winget, Chocolatey and Scoop.

I’ve been using Winget for a while now with good results. And recently I’ve added WingetUI to the mix to automate keeping my applications updated.

Winget

Essentially, Winget allows you to quickly search for and install applications using the command line or terminal.

For example, if I wanted to install Firefox Developer Edition, I could enter the following command:

 winget install -e --id Mozilla.Firefox.DeveloperEdition

and Winget would fetch the installer and automatically run it for me.

Even better, I can bulk install applications by separating the instructions with semi-colons. The following command will install the following web browsers one after the other with minimal input from me: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox Developer Edition, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi and Mozilla Firefox

winget install -e --id Google.Chrome;winget install -e --id Mozilla.Firefox.DeveloperEdition;winget install -e --id Opera.Opera;winget install -e --id Brave.Brave;winget install -e --id VivaldiTechnologies.Vivaldi;winget install -e --id Mozilla.Firefox

Winget.run

For a while now, I have been using the website winget.run to search for applications and create the right command to paste into my command line.

It was winget.run that created the bulk install script above.

WingetUI / UnigetUI

However, I’ve now found another app that takes things a step further.

Developer Marti Climent has built a user interface called WingetUI (soon to be renamed UniGetUI) which will not only do much of the heavy lifting for you, it will also run in the background and periodically inform you of any software updates that are available.

The default is to search about every 10 minutes, which just seems a bit overkill for my needs, so I’ve pushed this back to every week.

WingetUI is being renamed to UniGetUI as it now not only searches Winget but also Chocolatey, Scoop, Pip (for Python), Npm (for Node JS), .NET Tool (for .NET related tools) and PowerShell (for libraries and scripts).

I installed WingetUI on my laptop just now and it updated around 30 applications in about as many minutes. To have researched each installed app, searched for an update, downloaded it and installed it would easily have taken a few hours of concentrated effort.

A couple of caveats…

Caveat one, be very careful if you are a developer and don’t regularly backup any databases, such as MySQL. I found this out when I carelessly allowed WingetUI to install the latest version of the PHP development environment XAMPP only to quickly discover that (of course!) it has erased all my databases. D’oh!

Caveat two, the Opera browser seems to be rather aggressive in its desire to be the top dog browser on your system; I’ve found that after each upgrade Opera has set itself to be the default browser and forced it to run on every start up.

If you are looking for an easier way to keep your Windows PC updated, I thoroughly recommend WingetUI.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.