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Get a List of Software Installed on Your PC with a Single Line of PowerShell

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Suppose someone asks you for a list of applications you have installed on your computer. To get this information, what’s the first thing you would think to use? Third-party program? Not us, we have PowerShell.

How to Get a List of Installed Software on Your PC

Getting a list of installed software is as simple as using this straightforward WMI query.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name

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You will probably want to export that to a file though, which is also easy enough — we’ll send the output using the > symbol and adding the path to a new text file that we want to create.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name > C:\Software\PCapps.txt

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What makes using PowerShell really neat is that if you do this on two different machines, you can easily compare the software installed on them.

Compare-Object -ReferenceObject (Get-Content C:\Software\PCapps.txt) -DifferenceObject (Get-Content C:\Software\LAPTOPapps.txt)

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Any entries with a side indicator pointing to the right (=>) mean that the software is installed on my laptop but  not on my PC, and any entries with a side indicator pointing to the left (<=) mean that the software is installed on my PC but not on my laptop.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 06/14/13

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