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EmacsW32 Installation Wizard

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EmacsW32 Installation Wizards are used to install EmacsW32 and optionally Emacs itself.


Download EmacsW32 and get started.

Important Installation Steps

To install EmacsW32 you run the setup program, either in the form that contains Emacs or the one without. You can actually install Emacs itself with both version (but you have to download the file archive containing the binaries separately if you use the setup program that does not include Emacs itself).

In addition to installing Emacs itself the following can be done when you run the setup program:

EmacsW32 Basic Setup
This is actually needed to get Emacs working as good as it actually can. Some people may however want to do this their own way so it is optional. If you choose to do this basic setup then EmacsW32 will be the hub for this and doing the things below (they actually can't be done if you don't choose this step).
Windows Integration of EmacsW32
Here you can choose to create shortcuts and do file associations.
Customize EmacsW32
After finishing the setup you can do some special customization useful for an MS Windows user.

EmacsW32 Basic Setup

This step installs EmacsW32 files and does some setup necessary for the following steps. It includes lisp files used for the other steps and a call to emacsw32.el from default.el.

Folder Structure

If Emacs is installed in C:\Program Files (this is default) then the folder structure could look something like this (all subdirs to EmacsW32 are not shown):

Program Files
        Emacs (the emacs_dir registry entry)
            lisp (files used when starting emacs)

The name Emacs can be changed. Notice the directories called EmacsW32 and site-lisp. These two directories will be added when you choose Install EmacsW32 Files at the installation. Note also the subdirectory EmacsW32\lisp. This contains the lisp files used for startup. It also contains the files used by emacsw32.el, like htmlize.el. This directory is first on load-paths so if you download a new version of for example htmlize.el then be sure to think about this.

Note: Gnuclient/server - not included any more

Since emacsclient/server that comes with Emacs now works on MS Windows gnuclient/server is no longer included in EmacsW32 (from version 1.10).

Windows Integration of EmacsW32

Here you can choose to create shortcuts and do file associations. Shortcuts are created in Start menu, SendTo (for right-clicking on files), Desktop (drag-and-drop) and Quick Launch.

File associations can be done on two levels. You can let Emacs handle all of it (EmacsFile file type) or you can choose to let a certain verb for a file type be handled by Emacs.

Customize EmacsW32

When you have finished the setup a special options page are added to the menus in Emacs under Customize EmacsW32. See EmacsW32 for info.

What the EmacsW32 Install Wizard Changes

In addition to the changes you choose explicitly (like file associations, which Emacs to run) and the files copied to your pc the wizard only adds uninstall entries to the Registry. (Those are what you see Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.)

Unix Utils that Emacs might need

EmacsW32 does not include unix utilities that that you may want to use with Emacs. Read Unix Utilities for Emacs on MS Windows for information about how to get them.

Building New Distributions of Emacs

You may for some reason want to build new distributions of Emacs. You may for example want to distribute an Emacs CVS snapshot or you may want to distribute Emacs with some modules for a specific purpose.

The ReadMe.txt in the EmacsW32 directory has instruction for doing this. Basically what you do is that you setup your own Emacs with these utilities. Then you run a command file that is there.

You may of course want to enhance this. It is quite easy to do so by editing the Inno Setup script file that is created for your distribution. If you want to build Emacs from sources you may want to read Building Emacs on MS Windows.

Building EmacsW32

Instructions for (re)creation of EmacsW32 distribution can be found in the file ReadMe.txt mentioned above.


EmacsW32 Setup Helper and EmacsW32 Installer are built using the excellent Inno Setup free installer for MS Windows. You can find more info about Inno Setup at Jordan Russels web site

With the permission of Ivan Pavlov 7za.exe from 7-zip is included for unpacking distribution files. 7-zip is an advanced and free "zip program". You can find more information at

And of course many thanks to all Emacs developers! Without them there would be nothing to install.

And I also wants to thank the beta testers. Thansk very much to Fred Kunz for helping me finding problems that made the installation fail in certain cases!