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Installing Node.js Tutorial: Windows

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Installing Node.js Tutorial: Windows

If you're looking to install Node.js on your Windows machine, but running into some problems, this article has got you covered.

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As with any programming language, platform, or tool that doesn't come bundled with Windows, getting up and running with Node.js takes some initial setup before you can start hacking away. In my experience, though, Node.js has a far better installation experience on Windows than virtually any other language, platform, or tool that I've tried to use - just run the installer, and you're good to go.

In this quick tutorial, we'll take a look at how to get Node.js installed on Windows. Once we've completed the entirety of the tutorial, you'll be ready to take the next step with Node.js.

This guide covers installing Node.js on the following versions of Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. These are the versions that are consistently tested and supported by the Node.js build process at the time of writing.

Step 0: The Quick Guide (TL;DR) for Getting Node.js Installed on Windows

Here's the abbreviated guide, highlighting the major steps:

  1. Open the official page for Node.js downloads and download Node.js for Windows by clicking the "Windows Installer" option.
  2. Run the downloaded Node.js .msi installer - including accepting the license, selecting the destination, and authenticating for the install.
    • This requires Administrator privileges, and you may need to authenticate.
  3. To ensure Node.js has been installed, run node -v in your terminal - you should get something like v6.9.5
  4. Update your version of npm with npm install npm --global
    • This requires Administrator privileges, and you may need to authenticate.
  5. Congratulations - you've now got Node.js installed, and are ready to start building!

Step 1: Download the Node.js .msi Installer

As the first step to installing Node.js on Windows, you'll need to download the installer. You'll be able to grab the installer from the official downloads page for Node.js.

You'll be able to download the Windows Node.js installer by clicking the Windows Installer option at the top of the page - when you click this, you'll get an MSI installer download. Make sure to save it somewhere that you'll be able to find it!

Step 2: Run the Node.js Installer

You've got the Windows Installer - great! Now, you need to install it on your PC. The installer is a pretty typical Wizard interface for installing software on Windows - there are a few steps to it, but you can have it done in under a minute. You can get through it by following the guide below:

  • Welcome to the Node.js Setup Wizard
    • Select Next
  • End-User License Agreement (EULA)
    • Check I accept the terms in the License Agreement
    • Select Next
  • Destination Folder
    • Select Next
  • Custom Setup
    • Select Next
  • Ready to install Node.js
    • Select Install
    • Note: This step requires Administrator privileges.
    • If prompted, authenticate as an Administrator.
  • Installing Node.js
    • Let the installer run to completion.
  • Completed the Node.js Setup Wizard
    • Click Finish

Step 3: Verify That Node.js was Properly Installed

To double check that Node.js was installed fully on your PC, you can test the following command in your Command Prompt (regardless of if you're using cmd.exe, Powershell, or any other command prompt):

$ node -v 

If Node.js was installed fully, the command prompt will print something similar to (but probably not exactly) this:

$ node -v // The command we ran - prints out the version of Node.js that's currently installed v6.9.5 // The printed version of Node.js that's currently installed - v6.9.5 was the most current LTS release at the time of writing. 

Step 4: Update the Local npm Version

As the final step in getting Node.js installed, we'll update your version of npm - the package manager that comes bundled with Node.js.

Node.js always ships with a specific version of npm - Node.js doesn't (and shouldn't!) automatically update npm. The release cycle of the npm CLI client isn't in sync with the Node.js releases. Due to this, there's almost certainly going to be a newer version of npm available than the one that is installed as a default in any given Node release.

To quickly and easily update npm, you can run the following command:

npm install npm --global // Update the `npm` CLI client 

Step 5: Go Build Applications, APIs, Tools, and More With Node.js!

Now you've got Node.js on Windows machine. It's time to start exploring!

Luckily, we've got your back. We've written a bunch of articles to help you get started with Node.js! If you're interested in exploring ES6, you should check out our article on some of the most exciting ES6 features in Node.js. If you're interested in ways to collaborate with your team a bit better, you should check out our tutorial on using ESLint in projects to improve team collaboration through code standards. Maybe you'd just like to start deploying the applications you're about to build? In that case, take a peek at our guide on how to deploy Node.js apps on Linux with systems!

That said, if you want to keep in touch with Node.js and the surrounding ecosystem, you should go follow @NodeSource on Twitter! We'll keep you updated with important news from the Node.js project, and share the best Node.js tutorials, guides, and tools that the community has to offer.

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