How to use npm with node.exe?


I have downloaded Windows Binary (.exe) of nodejs from the main page.

How can I install and use npm (Node package manager)?

This question is tagged with windows node.js npm

~ Asked on 2011-09-04 15:13:54

The Best Answer is


The current windows installer from as of v0.6.11 (2012-02-20) will install NPM along with NodeJS.


  • At this point, the 64-bit version is your best bet
  • The install path for 32-bit node is "Program Files (x86)" in 64-bit windows.
  • You may also need to add quotes to the path statement in environment variables, this only seems to be in some cases that I've seen.
  • In Windows, the global install path is actually in your user's profile directory
    • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\npm
    • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\npm-cache
    • WARNING: If you're doing timed events or other automation as a different user, make sure you run npm install as that user. Some modules/utilities should be installed globally.
    • INSTALLER BUGS: You may have to create these directories or add the ...\npm directory to your users path yourself.

To change the "global" location for all users to a more appropriate shared global location %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\(npm|npm-cache) (do this as an administrator):

  • create an [NODE_INSTALL_PATH]\etc\ directory
    • this is needed before you try npm config --global ... actions
  • create the global (admin) location(s) for npm modules
    • C:\ProgramData\npm-cache - npm modules will go here
    • C:\ProgramData\npm - binary scripts for globally installed modules will go here
    • C:\ProgramData\npm\node_modules - globally installed modules will go here
    • set the permissions appropriately
      • administrators: modify
      • authenticated users: read/execute
  • Set global configuration settings (Administrator Command Prompt)
    • npm config --global set prefix "C:\ProgramData\npm"
    • npm config --global set cache "C:\ProgramData\npm-cache"
  • Add C:\ProgramData\npm to your System's Path environment variable

If you want to change your user's "global" location to %LOCALAPPDATA%\(npm|npm-cache) path instead:

  • Create the necessary directories
    • C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm-cache - npm modules will go here
    • C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm - binary scripts for installed modules will go here
    • C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm\node_modules - globally installed modules will go here
  • Configure npm
    • npm config set prefix "C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm"
    • npm config set cache "C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm-cache"
  • Add the new npm path to your environment's PATH.
    • setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\npm"

For beginners, some of the npm modules I've made the most use of are as follows.

More advanced JS options...

For testing, I reach for the following tools...

  • mocha - testing framework
  • chai - assertion library, I like chai.expect
  • sinon - spies and stubs and shims
  • sinon-chai - extend chai with sinon's assertion tools
  • babel-istanbul - coverage reports
  • jest - parallel testing, assertions, mocking, coverage reports in one tool
  • babel-plugin-rewire - slightly easier for some mocking conditions vs. jest

Web tooling.

  • webpack - module bundler, package node-style modules for browser usage
  • babel - convert modern JS (ES2015+) syntax for your deployment environment.

If you build it...

  • shelljs - shell utilities for node scripts,. I used to use gulp/grunt, but these days will have a scripts directory that's referenced in package.json scripts via npm. You can use gulp tools inside plain scripts.

~ Answered on 2012-02-20 18:27:19


When Node.js is not installed using the msi installer, npm needs to be setup manually.

setting up npm

First, let's say we have the node.exe file located in the folder c:\nodejs. Now to setup npm-

  1. Download the latest npm release from GitHub (
  2. Create folders c:\nodejs\node_modules and c:\nodejs\node_modules\npm
  3. Unzip the downloaded zip file in c:\nodejs\node_modules\npm folder
  4. Copy npm and npm.cmd files from c:\nodejs\node_modules\npm\bin to c:\nodejs folder

In order to test npm, open cmd.exe change working directory to c:\nodejs and type npm --version. You will see the version of npm if it is setup correctly.

Once setup is done, it can be used to install/uninstall packages locally or globally. For more information on using npm visit

As the final step you can add node's folder path c:\nodejs to the path environment variable so that you don't have to specify full path when running node.exe and npm at command prompt.

~ Answered on 2015-03-29 16:50:02

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