JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It is built into most web browsers and used to add interactivity to websites. With Node.js, a “JavaScript runtime,” we can now write JavaScript beyond the browser such as a web server or even on hardware like robots. And with NPM, the package manager used with Node, we can install external modules to help speed up our development.

Note: If you’re on a Mac computer, check out my tutorial for How to Install Node.js and NPM on a Mac.

Install Node.js and NPM

Go to the official Node.js site which will offer you two versions of Node to download. Click on the Installer that says “Recommended For Most Users”.

Node Website

This will download a .msi file at the bottom of your browser. Click on it to launch the installer.

Node Website Installer .msi file

Accept the license agreement and click NEXT to begin the Node.js Setup Wizard:

Node Setup Wizard

Install Node in the default folder selected, which will be C:\Program Files\nodejs:

Select Default Directory

Make sure to select npm package manager on the Custom Setup screen, not the default of Node.js runtime. This way we’ll install Node and NPM at the same time.

Custom Setup

The Setup Wizard is now ready to install Node and NPM. Click on the “Install” button.

Node Website Installer .msi file

To confirm we’ve installed everything correctly, open the “Command Prompt” app:

Command Prompt App

This will launch the Command Prompt. To confirm Node is installed type node -v which will print the current version number . To confirm NPM is installed type npm -v which will print its current version number.

Don’t worry if your numbers vary from mine. Node and NPM are updated frequently so it’s likely the numbers won’t match.

How to Update Node and NPM

To install updates for Node and NPM, download the installer from the Node.js website and run it again. The new version will replace the older version.

How to Uninstall Node and NPM

You can uninstall Node.js and NPM the same way you would any piece of software on Windows. Open “Programs and Features” within the Control Panel:

Programs and Features

Select “Node.js” from the list of programs and click the Uninstall button at the top of the screen:

Programs and Features

Next Steps

Now that Node.js and NPM are installed, learn how to build a web app with Express or how to build a simple REST API with NodeJS.

You can also explore the world of NPM modules to find open-source code to help with almost any project.