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Use Ninite to Install Multiple Applications at Once – an ICTworks Tech Tip

By Jen Overgaag on February 11, 2011

There are hundreds of free software applications available available online, some more useful than others, but all are available free of charge if you are willing to put in the work to hunt them down and wade through the installers. Not always a trivial task.

I was in a situation this week where I needed to very quickly create a Windows XP image from scratch, and the image needed to have several free software packages installed. I was considering the large amount of time and web searching required to install each of these applications individually when a co-worker suggested I use Ninite.

I was not familiar with Ninite so I looked into it and ended up using it to install the majority of the required applications for the image. I highly recommend this tool as it was a huge time and sanity saver!

Ninite is a free tool that allows you to automatically install multiple popular software applications with the click of a button. On their homepage you are presented with a list of software, you simply browse through the available software, choose the ones you need, and when finished you can ‘Get Installer’ which results in a custom installer being built specifically for you based on your choices. You can download and run this installer on any machine and it will automatically install each of the applications without any further input required.

Each of the applications is installed in the background while you continue to work or even step away from the computer for a cup of coffee. When the Ninite finishes running, it presents you with a succinct list of which applications were installed successfully, and which ones could not be installed for compatibility/versioning reasons. That’s it, done!

This is a fantastic tool for three reasons:

  1. It’s a huge time saver. Rather than downloading and clicking through the installers for each application individually, you download one installer and it runs in the background without any user input required.
  2. It saves you from inadvertently installing extra ‘add-on’ software (toolbars, widgets, etc) that often come tacked-on to freeware installers and usually end up bogging down your system.
  3. The Ninite folks have done a great job of dredging through the hundreds of free software packages available and have come up with a great list of stable, highly useable, and popular software. If you don’t know what you need or want, there’s a good chance they have it.

Ninite is available for both Windows (XP, Vista, and 7) and Linux. It is free to use for personal use, no sign up is required. There is a Pro version available for a monthly fee with a few other bells and whistles but I found that the free version was perfect for what I was trying to accomplish.

I’m always looking for the next great productivity enhancer and this is it. Check it out. Good luck and enjoy!


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Project Engineer with Inveneo.
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