Whenever I need to fully reinstall a Windows Desktop system, there are certain applications that need to be bootstrapped: image viewer, image editor, office suite, PDF viewer, video player, web browsers, etc.

In my opinion, Ninite is the best way to do so.

All you need to do is to select a few checkboxes. The Ninite installer will then automatically download and install all selected applications and software, one-by-one, with sensible defaults1 and a decent progress report:

App1	OK
App2	Installing
App3	Waiting to install
App4	Downloading
App5	Waiting to download

I dunno why they do it one-by-one, but it’s in principle reasonable, probably intended to avoid potential conflicts of multiple installers trying to fiddle with each other at the same time.

The Ninite installer also has an interesting reuse2 property: You could save it to run it again in the future: it will end up updating the existing applications – and maybe reinstalling them, in case some of them were uninstalled in the meantime.

If you bookmark the URL generated by the webapp, which looks like https://ninite.com/7zip-chrome-irfanview-steam/ 3, the same set of applications could be bootstrapped once again in the future, which is useful to do batch installations in multiple computers, or to reinstall everything after a factory reset.

This is the URL I used to install sensible applications for my parents:


  1. For example, by saying ‘No’ to junk like browser toolbars, add-ons and “extras”. ↩︎

  2. I wanted to say ‘reproducibility’, but it’s not quite what it means. ↩︎

  3. You can add more pieces of software as needed. ↩︎