Node.js setup for Windows using NVM

When I began developing Node.js I started off following the “readme” and documentations that simply stated to install Node.js for Windows. However, over time I have found out the hard way many different packages and projects require very specific versions of Node.js. This is bleeping frustrating!

NVM for Windows solves this issue by allowing you to “hot load” different versions of Node.js. Quickly, easley and way less time consuming.

Uninstall Node.js completely!

If you already have Node.js installed, you will have to completely uninstall it. I have also found first hand that after uninstalling NPM it leaves folders behind that have to be manually deleted. I skipped this at first, and could never get NVM working until I deleted all 3 folders:

  • %appdata%\npm
  • %appdata%\npm-cache
  • %programfiles%\nodejs

NVM uses generated symlink to swap versions. So if you do not remove the folders prior to install, it wont work.

Install NVM

Install the latest version of NVM for Windows from the official releases page. Note: I first tried the Chocolatey installer and could not get it working.

Once NVM is installed you will need to install at least one version. Running the command “nvm list available” will give you a complete list of all Node versions you can install.

The follow commands are done in a cmd window (powershell also works) with elevated permissions.

nvm list available

Choose a Node.js version to install, and run the command to install it:

nvm install 13.11.00

Node.js should now be ready to run with the version you have choosen.

node -v


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