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How to install spyware-free Windows apps using Ninite

Ninite guide lead image

Ninite is the quick, simple way to install freeware apps in Windows, all of them spyware, adware and toolbar free

There are so many useful Windows freeware applications that should be installed on any new PC, but installing any of it manually often leaves you with a computer that’s full of toolbars, adware, spyware and other utilities that you really don’t want. Fortunately, there’s a better way using Ninite.

This clever web-based utility creates you a custom, unattended installer for all of the applications you want on your new computer (see page 2 of this article for a list of our top picks). Cleverly, it selects the correct version for your computer (32-bit or 64-bit) and deselects any options to install additional software or toolbars. In other words, Ninite is the hassle-free and safe way to install free software on your computer. If these aren’t reasons enough to use it, if you run the installer again at a later date, it will check for updates and automatically install them.

Step 1 – Download your custom installer

Go to the Ninite site and you’ll see a list of applications, organised by category, such as Web browsers, Messaging, Documents and Security. All you have to do is tick the boxes next to the applications that you want and then click the Get Installer button. This will download a small executable file to your computer.

Ninite Step 1 - Download installer

Step 2 – Install your software

You can run the file you downloaded to install the software. If you want to run it on a different computer, you can put the Ninite installer onto a USB flash drive or email it to yourself: the file’s not locked to any particular computer. For this reason, it’s good to make a backup of the file, so that you can use it as and when you need.

When you run the installer click OK on any security prompts to give Ninite the permissions it needs. Ninite will then download and install all of the software you selected, and you can leave it running. You’ll see a progress bar, showing you the current status, and you can click Show details to view the overall progress and see what has already been installed.

Ninite Step 2 - Run installer

Step 3 – Use Ninite to update software

You can run the Ninite installer at any point in the future. It will check for updates to the software it installed and download and install the latest versions. This means that Ninite is a quick, one-stop shop for also keeping your software completely up-to-date. As with the main install, the Ninite updates will not install any toolbars or additional software.

Ninite Step 3 - Run update

Step 4 – Schedule updates

While you can run Ninite manually, a better option is to schedule your file to run. A weekly or monthly basis makes sense. To do this, we recommend copying your installer file to a folder on your hard disk, such as c:\ninite. Next run Task Scheduler from the Windows Start Menu. Select Create Basic Task from the Start Menu and you’ll get a new wizard. Enter a name for your task (Ninite update, for example) and click Next. You can now choose the frequency of the task (Weekly’s good, but Monthly is fine), and click Next when you’re done. Choose the start time and days that you want to the task to run on and click Next. Choose ‘Start a program’ and click Next, then click Browse and navigate to your Ninite installer and select it. Click Next and then Finish to create the task. Finally, click on Task Scheduler Library in the left-hand pane, then click your task in the middle pane. Right-click it and select Properties, then click the Settings tab and select ‘Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed’. This will ensure that your update process will run if your computer wasn’t turned on at the right time.

Ninite Step 4 - Schedule update

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