Exporting a List of Installed Programs in Windows 10

At long last, I am changing my PC – moving up from my old workhorse to, well, a newer work horse. However, it usually takes me a few weeks to get my new computer set up. Over the (past 20) years, I have ended up customizing my Windows PC in a certain way that I think helps my productivity. This means that I expect a lot of software to be there on my PC and certain things to be configured in specific ways.

The first step in getting this process started is to remember and identify the software that has been installed on my current PC over the past few years of service.

We can use Windows Management Instrumentation to export the list of software that is installed on the PC. Start up a Windows Command Prompt (as an administrator) and do the following.

E:\Blog> wmic
wmic:root\cli>/output:D:\programs.txt product get name, version, vendor

Change ‘d:\programs.txt’ to a file name that you want to create with the list of programs in it – the command above gets the name, version and the vendor of the program and saves it to the text file which you can then open in Excel and try to work through it. Note that this might take quite a long while to run.

One important note, though – it does not really extract everything that you have installed on the computer. For example, none of my installed Ruby versions showed up. However, this still gave me a long list of software that is installed on the computer and is a good place to start. Of course, some of the software is probably not relevant any more (I’m not using Blackberry Link any more and definitely should remove suppport for printers that I don’t own any more, and so on) but there is a lot of stuff in the list that I will need to install when I move to the new computer.

Some of the discussion on https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/111076-using-wmic-to-retrieve-a-list-of-all-installed-programs has additional information.

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