If you need to reinstall Windows for any reason, you may want a list of the programs you have installed on your system so you can easily know what programs you need to reinstall once you have installed Windows again.

NOTE: This procedure shows you how to generate a list of installed programs only. The license keys and serial numbers for the programs are not included in the list. To generate a list of license keys and serials numbers for your installed programs, see our post, Recover License Keys for Installed Software.

Also, the steps below work for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

To generate the list of installed programs, open the Command Prompt as Administrator. To do this, click on Start, type in cmd and then right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.

 

 

 

If you are using Windows 7 or higher and the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.

User Account Control dialog box for the Command Prompt in Windows 7

At the command prompt, type in wmic (wmic is the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line tool) and press Enter.

NOTE: For more information about WMIC, see Microsoft – Using the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) tool.

Entering wmic command

Enter the following line (copy and paste) at the wmic:root\cli prompt and press Enter.

/output:C:\InstallList.txt product get name,version

NOTE: There is a space between .txt and product, between product and get, and between get and name.

You can also change the name of the output file and drive letter and path (right after /output:) if you want to modify the output location.

Entering the output command

The InstallList.txt file is created on the root of the C: drive.

NOTE: Depending on how many programs are installed, you may have to wait a bit for the list of installed programs to be created. You will know that the list is complete when you get the wmic:root\cli prompt again.

InstallList.txt file created

When you open the InstallList.txt file in a text editor, you can view the Name and Version of every program installed on your computer in a nice table.

InstallList.txt file open in Notepad

To exit out of wmic, enter “exit” (without the quotes) at the wmic:root\cli prompt.

Entering exit on root\cli prompt

To close the Command Prompt window, enter “exit” (again, without the quotes) at the main prompt.

Entering exit on main command prompt

You can also change the name of the output file and drive letter and path (right after /output:) if you want to modify the output location. Enjoy!