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niniteHeadSo when you get a new machine or you do a reformat what is the first thing you do? If you are not imaging your system, chances are you will need to install the pieces of software that enable your machine to be a tool instead of a big paper weight.

I find myself downloading Putty, [NO LONGER WORKS] VLC, Firefox and a multitude of other applications each time I install. The ones I downloaded the last time around are easily outdated.

It is important to grab the latest and greatest versions to protect against bugs or other issues with the software. So you have a list of 10 items you need to download and install. Wouldn’t it be MUCH easier if we could select these applications from  a list or website and have IT download and install my applications?

It sure would be! And now we will show you how you can do just that! Head on over to Ninite and once you are there it will be a breeze to get the applications you want on your system with a limited amount of clicking. (Note: Ninite currently works only on Windows PCs)

Once you hit the installer app site you will see a screen that looks like this:

ninite- installer app

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Under the instructions you will see applications and check boxes. You can install from a vast array of applications ranging from Skype to Firefox, Dropbox to Google Earth and back to Putty and Notepad ++.  You will see the applications broken up into categories that include Web Browsers, Messaging, Imaging, Documents, Anti Virus, File Sharing, utilities, compression, tools and other items. The list is quite extensive but if something is not there you can suggest it!

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Let’s run through the list and check the check box next to each item you want to download.  If you want FoxIt reader installed simply click the box next to it – it is that simple. When you are done selecting the items you want in your installer app, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen.

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You will see directly under the entry for Eclipse there is a grey button that says – Get Installer. All you need to do is hit this button and a custom installer app will be created for you on the fly so you can install all of these packages with ease. I selected 3 items and hit Get Installer.

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The screen changed and told me the download would start shortly – I can only imagine they are compiling your download at this point. And sure enough in about 1 minute another window popped up.

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My new installer app was ready to be downloaded and installed. I clicked Save File and Firefox saved the file to my normal download folder. I navigated through the jungle that is my hard drive and double clicked on the executable. The file’s name has all of the applications listed that you selected. That’s nifty!

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Once I ran it it started preparing to run which took about 30 seconds.

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Then the application started downloading my installers at the speed of light. The three of them were complete in under 1 minute.

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As soon as the downloads were complete Ninite started installing each of the applications silently. I saw NO prompts. Very cool!

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And as quick as it started – it was complete.

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Upon checking my start menu all of the applications I choose were installed with the newest versions. This is a very handy tool!

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Does anyone else use something like this on Windows? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

  1. stef
    January 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    To avoid downloading a new exe each time you select applications, you can use the freeware Soft2Base : http://soft2base.com

  2. Jack
    November 25, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Awesome! Thumbs up for this nifty application.

  3. Shammie Jayaransie
    November 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    oh!!! this si very helpful...

  4. bob
    October 27, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I recently had to do a clean install and this came in really handy. Usually after a fresh install i find myself downloading and installing different software for the next few days as and when it comes up that i need that software.

    But with this i've already got most of that sorted now.

    Definitely recommend it.

    Hope they can expand it now.

  5. Aibek
    October 25, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Just what I was looking for!
    Thanks Karl.

    Aibek

  6. Alan
    October 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I almost always just visit FileHippo and download one of each category.

  7. Scott
    October 24, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Yep, it's pretty good, but I have one problem with it, which keeps me from using it: all apps are installed to the C:\Program Files folder.

    I like installing apps to a separate partition, and Ninite doesn't give you that option. I understand they want to keep it as automated as possible, with as little user interaction as possible, but if they allowed me to install the apps to a location of my choosing, I'd use this all the time.

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