Installing on Windows
You can install FreeCAD on Windows by downloading one of the installers below:
After downloading the .exe (NSIS Installer) file, double-click on it to start the installation process.
Below is more information about some technical options. Nevertheless, most users don't need more than the above .exe files. Head to Get started after installation is complete.
Simple NSIS Installer Installation
The easiest way to install FreeCAD on Windows is by using the downloadable installer bundle above. This page describes the usage and features of the NSIS Installer for more installation options.
If you would like to download a development version (which may be unstable), see the Download page.
However, it is highly recommended that you use a package manager such as Chocolatey to keep your software updated. You can installed Chocolatey following these instructions and then open a PowerShell terminal as admin and run:
choco install freecad
every once in a while you can update your software with
choco upgrade freecad
to get the latest version available on Chocolatey repository. If there are any issues with the chocolatey package, you may contact maintainers on this page.
Command line installation
With the msiexec.exe command line utility, additional features such as non-interactive installation and administrative installation are available. See examples below.
With the command line
msiexec /i FreeCAD<version>.msi
installation can be initiated programmatically. Additional parameters can be passed at the end of the command line, for example
msiexec /i FreeCAD-2.5.msi TARGETDIR=R:\FreeCAD25
Limited user interface
The amount of user control permitted by the installer can be controlled with /q options:
- /qn - No interface
- /qb - Basic interface - display only a progress dialog with Cancel button
- /qb! - Like /qb, but hide the Cancel button
- /qr - Reduced interface - display all dialogs that do not require user interaction (skip all modal dialogs)
- /qn+ - Like /qn, but display "Completed" dialog at the end
The property TARGETDIR determines the root directory of the FreeCAD installation. For example, a different installation drive can be specified with
The default TARGETDIR is [WindowsVolume\Programm Files\]FreeCAD<version>.
Installation for All Users
causes an installation usable by all users. By default, a non-interactive (/i) installation makes the package usable by the current user (the one performing the installation) only; an interactive installation presents a dialog which defaults to "all users" if the user performing the installation is sufficiently privileged.
A number of properties allow selection of features to be installed, reinstalled, or removed. The set of features for the FreeCAD installer is
- DefaultFeature - install the software proper, plus the core libraries
- Documentation - install the documentation
- Source code - install the sources
- ... ToDo
In addition, ALL specifies all features. All features depend on DefaultFeature, so installing any feature automatically installs the default feature as well. The following properties control features to be installed or removed
- ADDLOCAL - list of features to be installed on the local machine
- REMOVE - list of features to be removed from the local machine
- ADDDEFAULT - list of features added in their default configuration (which is local for all FreeCAD features)
- REINSTALL - list of features to be reinstalled/repaired
- ADVERTISE - list of features for which to perform an advertise installation
There are a few additional properties available; see the MSDN documentation for details.
With these options, adding
installs the interpreter itself and registers the extensions, but does not install anything else.
msiexec /x FreeCAD<version>.msi
FreeCAD can be uninstalled. It is not necessary to have the MSI file available for uninstallation; alternatively, the package or product code can also be specified. You can find the product code by looking at the properties of the Uninstall shortcut that FreeCAD installs in the start menu.
msiexec /a FreeCAD<version>.msi
an "administrative" (network) installation can be initiated. The files get unpacked into the target directory (which should be a network directory), but no other modification is made to the local system. In addition, another (smaller) msi file is generated in the target directory, which clients can then use to perform a local installation (future versions may also offer to keep some features on the network drive altogether).
Currently, there is no user interface for administrative installations, so the target directory must be passed on the command line.
There is no specific uninstall procedure for an administrative install - simply delete the target directory if no client uses it anymore.
msiexec /jm FreeCAD<version>.msi
it would be possible, in principle, to "advertise" FreeCAD to a machine (with /ju to a user). This would cause the icons to appear in the start menu and the extensions to become registered, without the software actually being installed. The first usage of a feature would cause that feature to be installed.
The FreeCAD installer currently only supports advertisement of start menu entries, but no advertisement of shortcuts.
Automatic installation on a group of machines
With Windows Group Policy, it is possible to automatically install FreeCAD on a group of machines. To do so, perform the following steps:
- Log on to the domain controller
- Copy the MSI file into a folder that is shared with access granted to all target machines.
- Open the MMC snapin "Active Directory users and computers"
- Navigate to the group of computers that need FreeCAD
- Open Properties
- Open Group Policies
- Add a new policy, and edit it
- In Computer Configuration/Software Installation, choose New/Package
- Select the MSI file through the network path
- Optionally, select that you want FreeCAD to be de-installed if the computer leaves the scope of the policy.
Group policy propagation typically takes some time - to reliably deploy the package, all machines should be rebooted.
Installation on Linux using Crossover Office
You can install the windows version of FreeCAD on a Linux system using CXOffice 5.0.1. Run msiexec from the CXOffice command line. Assuming the install package is in the "software" directory on drive "Y:":
msiexec /i Y:\\software\\FreeCAD<version>.msi