Windows Package Manager 1.3 arrives with new features

Microsoft releases version 1.3 of its Windows Package Manager solution, and here's all you need to know.

Windows Package Manager 1.3

Microsoft is now rolling out the Windows Package Manager (winget) version 1.3 with various changes and improvements that should make managing apps through the command terminal much more straightforward.

According to the announcement, the update brings better package version reporting and adds an option to show package documentation. Installations will now show notes on what you should do after installing a new application. In an application (.exe) fails, in addition, to showing an error code, if available, you will now also see a link with more information on how to fix the issue.

Furthermore, the Windows Package Manager will now correctly show the preferred version publishers would like to display. You can now customize the progress bar style and more.

Manifest changes

Starting on version 1.3, You will now be able to see the documentation and an associated URL when you run winget show PACKAGE-NAME.

Also, after the package installation, the tool will display additional notes as applicable. You can add suppressInstallNotes as a setting to prevent them from being displayed. You can also pass --display-notes or --suppress-notes to override settings.

In an application (.exe) fails, in addition, to showing an error code, if available, you will now also see a link with more information on how to fix the issue.

Settings changes

When running the winget settings command, the tool will open the settings file is opened with your default JSON editor.

Verbose logs

If you add --verbose-logs to any command, winget will add additional information to the logs, which should help during troubleshooting or digging.

Version reporting

Since some applications show versions to users that are different from their build number, starting with version 1.3, the Windows Package Manager will now show the preferred version publishers would like to display to avoid confusion.

Display System Architecture

The winget --info command has been updated to display the system architecture to determine the architecture your hardware has quickly. This will help troubleshoot why a particular package doesn’t have a matching installer or why it might not behave as you expect.

Customize progress bar

On winget version 1.3, it’s now possible to customize the process bar using, for example, the "visual": {"progressBar": "rainbow"} setting.

Potable packages support

Finally, in version 1.3, the Windows Package Manager will add portable program entries to the “Apps & features” page to make it easier to remove from the system if you don’t want to turn the uninstall command.

Installing winget

The new package manager is distributed with the App Installer application, which is built into the operating system.

Microsoft is not using the Microsoft Store for the winget command-line tool. Instead, the company has created a separate repository to maintain and validate apps. However, there are plans to support apps from the Store in future updates.

The Windows Package Manager is an open-source project, which means that other package managers can leverage this repository of validated packages. In addition, software vendors can use the distribution system to make apps available to users after their package manifest has been reviewed and accepted by Microsoft using the open-source Microsoft Community Package Manifest Repository on GitHub.