How to Install Nodejs and Npm on Windows

5 minute read

Introduction

Node.js is a run-time environment that allows the execution of Javascript outside the browser. It allows you to build automation scripts, full-stack web applications, APIs, etc., with Javascript.

NPM is a JavaScript package manager commonly used for installing packages for Node.js.

In this article, you will learn how to install Node.js and NPM on Windows and verifying the installation. You will then proceed to learn how to run Node.js code, update Node.js and also, how to uninstall Node.js on Windows.

When you’re finished, you’ll be able to create and run Node.js code on your computer.

Prerequisites

To follow this tutorial successfully, you’ll need the following:

  • Internet access to download Node.js.
  • A user with admin privileges to install software on Windows.

Step 1 — Download Node.js

Open your web browser and visit the Node installation page. Click on the Windows Installer button to download the latest version of Node.js. The installer comes with NPM and it is in 64 bit.

node.js download page

Next, we are going run the Node.js installer

Step 2 — Install Node.js and NPM

Once the installer has been download. Click on the file to run the installer.

Node.js Setup Wizard

When the setup wizard dialog opens, click Next.

node.js setup wizard

License Agreement

Review the license and then check on the “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” option and then click Next.

license agreement

Choose the Destination Folder

You will be prompted to choose the destination folder to install Node.js. It is best to just leave the default location and click Next.

destination folder

Custom Setup

Proceed with the default option and click “Next”.

Custom Setup

Tools for Native Modules

In this step, you can check the option if you need the tools. I don’t need them yet, so I will just proceed with the default option and click Next without modifying anything.

Tools for native modules option

Begin Installation

The Node.js Setup Wizard is now ready to install Node.js and NPM. Click Install to begin the installation.

Begin Installation

When the User Account Control security prompt pops up, make sure you click Yes.

Finish Installation

After the installation is finished, click Finish. Finish installation

Step 2 — Verify Node.js and NPM installation

Let’s verify if the Node.js and NPM were successfully installed.

Open Powershell or Windows Command Prompt depending on your preferences. It’s recommended to use Powershell since it has more features than the Windows Command Prompt. So that’s what we will use in this guide.

Open Powershell

Once Powershell is opened, Enter the following:

node -v

This command tells you the current version of Node installed.

We can also check the version of NPM installed.

npm -v

If Node and NPM were installed successfully, you might get output similar to the screenshot.

Node works

Note: Your version numbers don’t need to match with the ones in the screenshot since you might be reading this article when a newer version of Node or NPM was released.

Running Node.js Code on Windows

There are two ways to run Node.Js code:

  • Node.js REPL
  • Executing Node.js scripts on Powershell or Command Prompt

Node.js REPL

REPL stands for Read-Evaluate-Print-Loops. It is a console that allows you to experiment with JavaScript code. It works the same way as the browser console.

To access the REPL, type node in Powershell.

node

It will open a console where you can try your JavaScript code.

PS C:\Users\<your username> node
Welcome to Node.js v12.15.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> var name = "stanley";
undefined
> name
'stanley'
> console.log(name);
stanley
undefined
>

To exit out of the REPL, type .exit or press CTRL+D once. You can also exit out by pressing CTRL+C twice.

Executing Node.js Scripts on Powershell or Command Prompt

This method is the one that is most commonly used to run Node scripts. It involves writing JavaScript code in a file with an extension of .js and running it against the node command.

We can see this process by writing our first Node.js program.

Let’s start by creating a folder in the home directory to store our program.

mkdir nodejs

mkdir is a command used for creating directories/folders.

Your output should be similar to the one below if you are using Powershell.

PS C:\Users\<your username> mkdir nodejs


    Directory: C:\Users\<your username>


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
d-----         2/7/2020   3:12 AM                nodejs

Let’s now get into the nodejs directory.

cd nodejs

Your prompt should now look like the following:

PS C:\Users\<your username>\nodejs>

This shows that you are in the nodejs directory.

Create a file first-program.js in the editor of your choice, and save it in the directory nodejs.

If you have Visual Studio code, you can easily create the file by typing code first-program.js in PowerShell. The command will open Visual Studio Code with the file ‘first-program.js’ opened:

code first-program.js

Regardless of the option you chose, make sure you enter the type the following code into the first-program.js file.

var name = 'Stanley';

function sayHello(){
    console.log('hello', name);
}

sayHello();

Type the following to run the code in first-program.js:

node first-program.js

Your output should look like below.

PS C:\Users\<your username>\nodejs> node first-program.js
hello Stanley

I hope now you are confident to run Node.js code on your system.

We are not finished yet, let’s look at how to update Node.js and NPM.

How to Update Node.js and NPM on Windows

To update Node.js and NPM, download the latest version of the Node.js installer on the [Node installation page](https://nodejs.org/en/download/] just like we did in step 1 of this tutorial. The Node.js website always displays the latest version when it has been released.

To update, download the latest installer and run it. It will replace your current Node.js and NPM.

How to Uninstall Node.js and NPM on Windows

The process of uninstalling Node.js and NPM is the same as how you uninstall any other software in Windows.

On Windows 10, search apps and click Apps & features.

start menu

When the Apps & features window open, search for Node and click it. When the popup dialog opens, click “Uninstall”. This will start the uninstall wizard.

start menu .

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to install and update Node.js and NPM on Windows. We also looked at different ways on how to run Node.js code. I hope you are now confident to run Node.js scripts on your computer.

If you have any insights or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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