Extract List Of Installed Programs In Windows Without Using Any Third Party Software

Windows keeps a log of all the installed programs and software. This log is usually stored in Windows Registry. The visual way to view and manage the list of installed programs in Windows is by going to Control Panel –> Program and Features (Add/Remove Programs if you are using Windows XP).

If you want to print or save the list of all installed programs in Windows, there is no direct way of doing this. This can required if you are reinstalling Windows and want the names of all the installed programs so that you can install them again.

Programs and Features

The most popular third party app for extracting the list of installed programs in Windows is Belarc Advisor. Belarc Advisor is a wonderful program and is a must have for everyone who wants to manage his system himself. But there are times when you want to get a list of installed programs quickly without installing any software.

In this article, we will be using Windows Management Instrumentation Control (WMIC) to extract the list of installed programs in Windows without installing or using any third party software. You can learn more about wmic in this technet article.

Extract list of programs from local computer

To extract and save the list of programs from the local computer, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open command prompt in administrative mode (Windows Key + X + A if you are using Windows 8)
  2. Run the following command:
    wmic
  3. The prompt will change to wmic:root\cli>. Run the following command:
    /output:E:\listOfInstalledPrograms.txt product get name,version,vendor

wmic extracting list of programs

Where E:\listOfInstalledPrograms.txt is the path to a text file. Just make sure that the file exists on the specified location otherwise wmic will throw an error. Running the above command will take a few moments after which you can open the text file which will contain the list of all installed programs including Microsoft’s own software.

Extract list of programs from remote computer

If you are a network administrator and want to extract the list of installed programs from a remote computer, wmic has another command which will do it for you.

  1. Open command prompt in administrative mode (Windows Key + X + A if you are
    using Windows 8)
  2. Run the following command:
    wmic
  3. The prompt will change to wmic:root\cli>. Run the following command:
    /node:”computerName” product get name,version,vendor

Replace computerName with the remote computer name or IP address. To save the list to a text file, run the following command instead of the above one:

/node:”computerName” product get name,version,vendor /output:E:\listOfInstalledPrograms.txt

I hope this will help the users in their backup and recovery tasks. If there is any other method to get the list of installed programs in Windows, please share it with us in comments.