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How to install an exe via Command Prompt

  1. Introduction
  2. Navigating to downloads
  3. Checking the switches
    1. What are switches?
  4. Installing the software
  5. Summary
  6. Tl;dr

Introduction

In todays post I will be showing you how to install a program via Command Prompt. This can also be setup as a bat file and used in conjunction with something like PDQ Deploy to install software remotely.

We’re going to assume you already have Command Prompt open and running as an Administrator, so the first thing you’re going to want to do is navigate to the file using the ‘cd‘ command or any other method of navigating to a directory using Command Prompt.

We cover some methods of navigating through Command Prompt here.

Checking the switches

Now you’ve navigated to the correct directory in Command Prompt you’re going to want to check the switches of the file you’re going to install, in this scenario we’re going to install Python because I already have it in my downloads, so lets check out it’s switches.

The command you need to run is ‘filename /?‘ where filename is the whole name of the file, so for me it is ‘python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /?‘.

Once this command is entered you should get a window pop up much like this one:

There are a few switches here, notice the ‘/quiet’ one, this is the same as ‘/silent’ so we now know we need to use ‘/quiet’ in our command as oppose to ‘/silent’, otherwise it won’t work. Now we have that let’s move onto the next step.

What are switches?

Switches are essentially modifiers that can be added to commands in Command Prompt to change how that command will run, e.g. in this example we will be using the ‘silent’ modifier so the software will install ‘silently’ (without any user interaction needed).

Installing the software

Now let’s actually get into this, the command we now need to type is: ‘python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /quiet‘. Of course yours may differ if you’re doing your own software so it will be something like ‘filename /command‘.

Once we run this technically nothing should happen, you might notice it working because your cursor may flicker or something might pop up in the taskbar/tray; but essentially because of the /quiet switch we used nothing should appear and (in my case Python) it should install itself.

Summary

That’s all there is to installing software via Command Prompt.

There are a couple of ways you can implement this in the workplace, for example you can create a bat file which you can then put onto PDQ, I have a few batch files like this which I use to install software remotely (there is a guide to creating a batch file here).

You could also copy the batch file onto a USB and go from machine to machine to install software that way, albeit not as efficient but I once had to do this.

An example of the text you would have in a batch file for this would be something like ‘C:\Users\username\downloads\python-3.9.13-amd64.exe /quiet’.

Tl;dr

Run Command Prompt as an administrator > navigate to the file > type the filename followed by ‘ /?’ as a command to find the switches > type the filename and any switch you want and then run it.