Collect them all! Install Winget, Chocolatey and Scoop. (I just put the "vs." in there as clickbait.) They make installing and managing software on Windows so much easier. They are different tools, though, and I suggest that their usage depends on the scenario.
In the Linux world, there are
pacman, and many others. In Mac and Linux, there is
brew. For Windows, there are three:
scoop. They manage software from the PowerShell command-line.
Winget: the command-line version of the Microsoft Store
Winget serves similar functions as Scoop or Chocolatey, but the catalog of packages is a bit different. It has a winget-specific community repository as do Scoop and Chocolatey. But it also has the Microsoft Store. Any free and "E" for everyone package should be installable via a simple
winget install packagename (in some cases, you may want to be more specific with the package id. This can be obtained using
Chocolatey: conventional install locations, as Admin
Chocolatey can install from a community repository with thousands of packages. In general, installing one of these packages, such as Google Chrome, will require elevated Admin privileges, and will install it where you would expect (likely
C:\Program Files\ or
C:\Program Files (x86)\). The applications will have shortcuts in your start menu, and possibly on your desktop.
Scoop: non-Admin by default, installs in user directory
Scoop is designed for developers who have an affinity for Unix. By default, it installs packages to
~/scoop/ and this is both a strength and a confusion point. Apps will not by default show in the start menu, and if plugins or addons expect to find the installation in a certain directory (looking at you, OBS Studio!), there will be some inconvenience and tedious setup.
If you do not have Admin access to your system (for instance, this is a shared server with Remote Desktop access), then Scoop is the right choice.
Scoop also seems natural for installing command-line tools that you might miss from Unix-like systems, such as Linux or Mac. While some of these tools may be available through Chocolatey or even winget, the Scoop ecosystem is designed with such tools in mind.
The Scoop wiki has a nice write-up discussing Scoop and Chocolatey and Winget.
For both Scoop and Chocolatey, you will need to set the PowerShell Execution Policy to something more permissive than "Restricted." Here is my suggestion: be strict with the scope of LocalMachine, and only slightly more permissive with the CurrentUser scope. So, first launch PowerShell as Admin (I use ⊞-x then select "Windows PowerShell (Admin)") and run
Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -scope CurrentUser
The first line means that all scripts and configuration files on this computer must be signed by a trusted publisher, even if you write them yourself. This is pretty strict.
The second line means that all scripts and configuration files downloaded from the Internet must be signed by a trusted publisher, but scripts you write yourself will work, for the current user. This policy will "win" when you are logged in.
In an Admin-level PowerShell window, the following should work, provided you have set the ExecutionPolicy as above:
iwr -useb chocolatey.org/install.ps1 | iex
See the detailed installation docs if you have issues with the above.
In any PowerShell window, no Admin necessary, the following will install Scoop, provided you have set the ExecutionPolicy as detailed at the beginning of the article:
iwr -useb get.scoop.sh | iex
See the detailed installation docs for more info.
I often install the extras bucket immediately:
scoop bucket add extras
A bucket is a set of apps that can be searched and installed. To see all the known community buckets:
scoop bucket known
Then add the ones you like!
choco search ditto
choco install ditto
choco upgrade all
scoop search sudo
scoop install sudo
scoop update *
winget search filezilla
winget install filezilla
winget upgrade --all
Enjoy and experiment!