How-To Geek

Ninite Makes Installing Software Incredibly Simple

If you are upgrading to Windows 7 from XP you will need to do a clean install, and installing your favorite apps again is time consuming and annoying. Today we look at a new service that will install your favorite applications while you walk away and do something more enjoyable.

GetVolery Ninite is a cool new service created by two programmers in San Francisco who believe that installing software shouldn’t require work. It’s simple to use and has a large selection of popular freeware and open source applications. Just pick the apps you want to install, download the Ninite installer, then walk away and do something fun while it does all the work for you. The service installs the software with default settings and says “no” to any extra crapware (like browser toolbars) the installers might try to sneak in. Ninite isn’t even installed on your system, you just use a stand alone executable to begin the install process.

Using Ninite

Go to the Ninite site and pick the software apps you want to install.


After you made your choices, click on the Get Installer button at the bottom of the list.


Download the Ninite installer file.


Then double click to launch it.


Now walk away and go go to the coffee shop, have a beer, play some xbox or whatever you want to do that is more fun than installing a bunch of programs. A progress screen is displayed while it downloads and installs your selected programs.



When you get back you will see the finished screen.


You’ll see the icons of the programs you installed on the desktop and in the start menu. The default install paths and settings are automatically chosen for you with no crapware at all. Now you can enjoy using your favorite apps with little effort on your part. It couldn’t be easier, it’s so easy that even Grandma can pull it off.


Sign up for Private Beta

The service is currently in Private Beta but we have free invites for the first 100 readers who sign up. Just click on the link below enter your email, choose a password and make sure howtogeek is in the Demo Code box (which it will be by default) and start picking the apps you want installed. After using Ninite, we look forward to hearing how it went so leave us a comment.

** Update – 10/23/2009 – Volery is now available to the public and is now under the name Ninite **

It is completely free for personal use, they are expanding to 64-bit apps, and and business’s can now sign up for Premium Accounts.

Go to Ninite and easily install software

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 10/5/09

Comments (48)

  1. jake

    suuuuuuuweeeeeeeet!! Damn, this here is why we subscribe!! you hit upon a pain point right there!! this is better that shiatsu!! HAVE A REDBULL ON ME!!

  2. Ashish Chandra

    Good piece of software. One query, if the said applications are already downloaded on my PC, is it possible to give the path of that partition for installation files ?

  3. damn

    must have missed the bus, subscription link does not work.
    been doing win7 reinstalls too much lately this would help A LOT!

  4. Peter

    You’d have to be crazy to use this. I’m not installing software through a third party. You have no way of knowing what else they are injecting into the install.

  5. LH

    Nice idea, but I install 3rd party programs to my D: partition. It looks like it installs them to the default (C:).

  6. HugoHilter

    This is not a bad idea to save time. But – i will go another way. I´ll change in the near future from Vista to 7. Not with upgrading – with clean install.

    New OS – new installation – that´s my opinion. And i like to install all the progs manually – whitout a helping software. I have all necessary setups on my HDD, and i see, that i have always the actual version. In many progs i´ve not the standard settings – so i can change it from beginning. And for a few absolutely important progs (browser, e-mail a.s.o.) i have a backup of the profiles.

    For me that is not a “lost”-time. But for a lot of people is that software maybe helpful.

  7. Andreas

    It didn’t work for me. I chose Picasa, got the installer and ran it. Then it just sat there with status “installing” and nothing happened. I had to kill it from the task manager since the Cancel button didn’t respond either.

  8. KB Prez

    Used it to install CutePDF. Worked perfectly. VERY HAPPY I checked out the Geeks today. THANX Geeks!!!

  9. Grant

    Cool. Almost as easy as Synaptic. Unfortunately, the list is a little short. I hope they add more applications in the future.

  10. Patrick Swieskowski

    Hi there,

    I’m Patrick, Co-Founder of Volery, and I wanted to respond to a few comments. Thanks for all the great feedback.

    Peter, we’re very serious about just installing the apps you choose and nothing more. We decline browser toolbars and other crap installers try to sneak in too. Volery itself isn’t installed at all. We recognize running our installer requires a lot of trust, and we intend to earn and keep it. Our full privacy policy is here:

    Andreas, the Picasa installer takes a little longer to complete. It’s likely that it would go through if you give it enough time. We’re also working on making our cancel button more responsive.

    Ashish and LH, we just do default installs for now, sorry. We’ll keep your requests in mind though.

    Grant, we’re working to expand our library. You can request apps with the form at the bottom of and we’ll try to get them up there.

  11. Zachary

    I’d like for my installer selections to be highlighted instead of just having a check box, making it easier to look over what I’ve chosen.

  12. Frank

    Absolutely amazing idea. If now only Volery could install foreign language versions of those tools… I’m in germany, so having german software versions installed automagically would be just grrrr8!

  13. the3rdguy

    I just used Volery to install some additional programs to my computer. Turns out a Trojan was attached to the Song Bird application. I’ve never had a virus on this computer, so be a little skeptical when using this program.

    I’m running Vista, with AVG Free installed already.

  14. calebstein

    Will it preserve license keys and program settings? Probably not.

  15. Brad

    Wow, this tool is fantastic. XP-W7 clean install was shaved off my 30 mins because I didn’t have to go to this and that website. Thank you so much!

  16. Wayne

    I was thoroughly excited when I saw this, but then I realized it only installs to the default. I rarely install to the default because in general you get a program files folder that is humongous, although I rarely have to use the folder structure anymore to deal with programs, I’m used to have them organized my way.
    I don’t want icons on my desktop but those can be deleted I know.
    Now if only this could save settings from all those apps. More than re-installing them, its the settings that you have to do all over again that is the killer. I can easily reinstall apps with the exe while doing other things, but those settings are not usually backed up easily for most programs (that I am aware of)

    Anyway I may still give it a shot. I’m doing a clean install of Win7 but only from Vista not XP. I figured it would be nice to start fresh.

  17. Eygen

    Very handy tool. normally I would do it manually, but since it declines offers for toolbars anyway, it would save me the bother of doing it again! (going to W7 too).
    Thanks a lot!

    Suggestions: Steam, Ventrillo, (and I’d like to see CheatEngine added as well but that’s a bit shady so I’m sure you can’t do that legally).

  18. Mike

    its cool !

  19. John

    For some reason the first time I ran this, it just crashed. Second time it worked though.

    Be nice if the official website has some sort of forums, or at least a basic troubleshooting page.

  20. bob

    I suggest you add DoPDF to your list. It’s as good as (maybe better than) CutePDF and a lighter install.
    Unfortunately, I don’t know if it’s actually Win7 compatible since I haven’t tried it on Win7 yet.

  21. Andrius

    Automated install’s of software is great way to shave of time, but this is just too basic at the moment. Language, key’s, extra options, paths etc are needed if you wanna use this for something more than just lazy install of Firefox. I myself use Windows Post Install Manager for my automated installs as it lets me do my installs for different OS’s, extra registry tweaks, paths, language etc, and it can be run from flash drives easily with my own pre-downloaded installer’s. This makes it perfect for quick reinstalls on customer PC’s.

  22. foo

    It would be nice to have user defined bundles or profiles.

    For instance:

    – Java Developer (JSDK, Eclipse, etc)
    – Graphic Designer (GIMP, Inkscape)
    – Lightweight alternatives (Abiword, Gnumeric)
    – Non-crippled applications (OpenOffice instead of Office Demo, etc)

    – etc.

    It would be even better if users could promote their own bundles! (For instance: Joe’s Open Source Developer Tools, and so on)

  23. Sebbe

    What about x86 and x64 options?!

  24. Eddie

    it would be cool if it was user generated as well like we provide direct links to software or upload the exe from a program that the user downloaded before.


    uploading your own exe’s like drivers then download the auto install exe with the drives included.

  25. Joan M.

    It looks a good solution indeed, but I prefer a portable “installation”, that is, use programs that actually don’t need a proper setup, just extract to a folder of your choice and run.
    Actually, most of the programs listed in Ninite have a portable version. The good thing about a portable programs folder is that you can install them all in a new computer just by:
    1) copying your portable programs folder
    2) copying a folder with your shortcuts,
    to a portable hd, a USB stick, or whatever you prefer to use.
    3) Pasting these two folders in your new computer and you’re done.

    As I rarely use the start menu anymore (launching apps and folders with Launchy and / or Rocketdock instead– both available in portable version), that’s all I have to do. I have equipped several computers this way in just a few minutes.

  26. DavidG

    I will be doing a fresh Win7 install this week. Is there a way to select which programs will go to certain users? Or should I just go into UAC and disable the programs I don’t want other users to have access to?

  27. Jorge León

    Is there an offline installation feature? I mean, look for the install files on an specific folder for installing the software on computers without internet access.

  28. Jason

    This site is awesome. Cuts my install times down by quite a bit, and I do a lot of installations. We do imaging here at the office, but the applications quickly go out of date. It would be nice to be able to customize the list of installations, and/or have a stand alone version of ninite on the corporate network for local network installations of Microsoft Open License software we have, as well as Adobe, etc.

  29. gaurav

    How does ninite ensure that any crapware is not installed, do they individually test all versions of all the suggested software, on all platforms and locales? If this is not done, can anyone just suggest a software to be installed on any user, that ninite would install later on a user machine?

  30. Riverman63

    Man – this looks great. Seems that some people just don’t appreciate a good product when they see it. Keep upthe good work

  31. just

    Well, It is a handy tool but I don’t think this is for dial-up users, they wouldn’t want to download all the applications they use every time they do a re-install of OS.

    There should be an option to keep the installers of the applications for future use.

  32. Mrjhack

    We can’t change the langage, because i’m french and progs are in english if i use ninite

    but great orog and great idea

  33. HowardStern

    This is a great concept, thanks to the 2 SF programmers. If you want to do a custom install, do it manually. What a bunch of complainers, it’s not like you are paying for this service.

  34. MrClean

    This is an excellent idea and and it works brilliantly. Thank you so much, hat’s off to you kind sirs. I owe you several hours of my life which you gave me back!

  35. windNsalsa

    We can’t definatively confirm whether or not the locations from which NiNite pulls the installers are legitimate. Can we?

  36. Subirachs

    No problems -I wish it had a Mac version of this app. Cool

  37. redbaron

    Actually it’ll be much better to have more options. Like choosing if you want a silent installation (no preconfiguration etc. of the installation) or a complete installation (choose which components of each app to install, where to install it etc.). For me it’s also insecure. Like @windNsala, @gaurav and many others wrote before me – there is now way to verify the installer. No digital signature, no certificate, no key…Nothing. What if someone hacks (ok, I know I sound paranoic but none the less I’m right here) the place where the installer is made and where the Ninite downloads it from? This will mean that by including about 10 apps you end up having a bunch of crappy applications that can sevearly damage your computer’s health.

    There is much potential here but it lacks of things that an advanced user (like me :P) might consider dangerous for his/her machine. Instead of offering online installer-creation, better make an application. Something like bootin – you choose your Linux distro and if you want to download it or use a present ISO file. If you choose the first option, it automatically downloads it for you and does its thing. You can do the same here:
    Here are a couple of suggestions:

    1) Choose applications to be including and give the user the choice wheter the installers of those applications are already on the computer (in which case no download is needed) or they have to be downloaded.

    2) Choose (non-)silent installation. Silent will install all apps with their default parameters (installation folder, components to be included etc.). Non-silent install will give the user the ability to make the installation of each application as he/she wants it to be.

    3) You can create a database of applications (and a request formular to go with it, if something’s not present), which can be updated inside the Ninite application so that the list of available applications can be as much up-to-date as possible.

    That’s all. There are other things but these omho are the important things for now.

  38. BFA

    Is there a version for installing swedish program-versions och can i be helpful in making this?

  39. Macgaelic

    Even if I don’t use this installer, it does point me in the direction of some useful programmes.
    If nothing else thanks for the recommendations which I will google and look at beforehand.
    Thanks for your good (and free) work.

  40. Fox

    This is a very helpful app. Yes, it offers basic settings, but most users will find it adequate for their needs. If you need custom installer, either you install it manually, or create your own installer :D

  41. Graeme

    It very similar some Linux software installers (Mint Install for example), except with a lot less software than they have. Can it handle updates though?


    It is very nice.

  43. Matti Laakso

    Very nice indeed – I grabbed a Ninite installer the moment I got my fresh Win7 Thinkpad connected, went out for a slow lunchbreak and came back to see everything totally messed up, to the point of witnessing the laptop trying to sexually abuse my older desktop setup, unwilling serial interfacing of all things! Workmates had tried to intervene, and two of them ended up in emergency ward. We’re having a memorial event for our poor fileserver next wednesday. It was only 4 months old!

    Seriously, works like a dream. I’m probably recommending corporate licensing to my customers in the future.

  44. Nathan H

    I see that Ninite now support 64bit installs (ie IF you have a 64bit OS AND there is a 64bit ver of the app, it will install that version)

    Ninite is great the way it is, a simple install for common programs. The moment you start adding configuration options for silent this, path that, 64 this but 32 that, blah blah blah, you might as well just do it manually.

    If you want your apps installed to a different drive, then SET the Program Files location to that drive in Windows. That’s about the only option you can change even if you manually installed most of these apps.

    Have used on about 10 PC’s so far and has always worked well. Hope it’s here to stay!


  45. m1

    I got a trojan alert as well during the Songbird install when using Ninite. What’s up with that 2 guys from SF? Do you have an answer for this?

    Sidenote: When installing Songbird manually, there is no trojan alert.

  46. mia

    ohhhh , guys! I myself use magic-downloader for my software downloads as it saves all the installation time, you can use the app double click right away. No spyware , no system trash ,no changing in Windows registry , my computer is running as fast as its new no matter how many apps I downloads with magic-downloader freely . Amazing!

  47. Qasim Shahbaz


  48. arfan


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