How to Install Yarn on Windows

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What is Yarn?

Yarn is an alternative npm-client used for working with JavaScript as a package manager that was developed by the Facebook team. It also allows us to share code with other developers around the world and use solutions from other developers. The code itself is distributed via packages, sometimes referred to as modules. The package contains a .package.json file which describes the contents, as well as all the associated distributed code. In comparison with npm, Yarn is considered to be a better alternative and surpasses NPM in the following parameters:

  • Speed compared to the standard client, while there are comparisons and testing where Yarn was two to three times faster. 
  • Reliability of installation. The reliability is better for two reasons:
    • Short-term computer network problems can cause a failure in receiving packets.
    • When new versions of packages are released, there may be changes that are incompatible with other packages which could disrupt the application. Yarn addresses these two problems and solves them easily.
  • Yarn is also compatible with Npm and Bower.

Prerequisites

Node.js must be installed before installing Yarn. We can verify if node.js is installed on our system using the Windows terminal or powershell. 

1. Open the terminal by pressing the Win+R buttons and then enter cmd. 

yarn.install1

2. Using the command line, we can verify if Node.js is installed with the command:

C:\Windows\system32>node -v‘
 node’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
 C:\Windows\system32>
yarn.install2

If we do not have node.js installed, we can go to the main node.js website and download the installer.

yarn.install3

Next, we need to run the installer.

yarn.install4

Now, we should accept the license agreement.

yarn.install6

Now, leave all the defaults set and click Next to install node.js.

yarn.install5

Finally, click on Finish, to complete the installation. Now we can rerun our command to verify node.js installed correctly using the following command in the terminal:

C:\Windows\system32>node --version
 V14.3.0
 C:\Windows\system32 

Yarn Installation

MSI Installation

The first method we will use to install Yarn is to Download the Yarn .msi installer from the official Yarn website and install it on our local computer.  

yarn.install7

Next, we will run the .msi installer. 

yarn.install8

Now, accept the license agreement.

yarn.install9

Then, click Install.

yarn.install10

And finally, click on the Finish button.

yarn.install11

Now, we can verify Yarn was installed using the following CLI commands.

C:\Windows\system32>yarn --version
 1.22.4
 C:\Windows\system32>

Chocolatey Installation

Another way to install Yarn is by using the Chocolatey package manager for Windows. This method is convenient because Chocolatey will determine whether node.js is already installed and if not, it will automatically install it for us. It is important to do everything as an administrator. Here are the instructions for installing Chocolatey.

Once Chocolatey is set up, we can install Yarn using the following command.

C:\Windows\system32>choco install yarn
 Chocolatey v0.10.15
 Installing the following packages:
 yarn
 By installing you accept licenses for the packages.
 
 yarn v1.22.4 [Approved]
 yarn package files install completed. Performing other installation steps.
 The package yarn wants to run 'chocolateyinstall.ps1'.
 Note: If you don't run this script, the installation will fail.
 Note: To confirm automatically next time, use '-y' or consider:
 choco feature enable -n allowGlobalConfirmation
 Do you want to run the script?([Y]es/[A]ll - yes to all/[N]o/[P]rint): Y
 
 Downloading yarn
   from 'https://yarnpkg.com/downloads/1.22.4/yarn-1.22.4.msi'
 Progress: 100% - Completed download of C:\Users\Dmitry\AppData\Local\Temp\chocolatey\yarn\1.22.4\yarn-1.22.4.msi (1.57 MB).
 Download of yarn-1.22.4.msi (1.57 MB) completed.
 Hashes match.
 Installing yarn...
 yarn has been installed.
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'Get-WebFile'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Get-WebFileName'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Get-WebHeaders'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-BinFile'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyDesktopLink'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyEnvironmentVariable'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyExplorerMenuItem'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyFileAssociation'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyInstallPackage'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyPackage'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyPath'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyPinnedTaskBarItem'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyPowershellCommand'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyShortcut'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting function 'Install-ChocolateyVsixPackage'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting 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'Get-ProcessorBits'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Get-OSBitness'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Get-InstallRegistryKey'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Generate-BinFile'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Add-BinFile'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Start-ChocolateyProcess'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Invoke-ChocolateyProcess'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'Remove-BinFile'.</S><S S="verbose">Exporting alias 'refreshenv'.</S></Objs>
 0
 Only an exit code of non-zero will fail the package by default. Set
  `--failonstderr` if you want error messages to also fail a script. See
  `choco -h` for details.
  The install of yarn was successful.
   Software installed as 'msi', install location is likely default.
 
 Chocolatey installed 1/1 packages.
  See the log for details (C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\logs\chocolatey.log).
 
 C:\Windows\system32>

Finally, we can verify our installation of yarn using the following command.

C:\Windows\system32>yarn --version
 1.22.4
 C:\Windows\system32>

Scoop Installation

The third method of installing Yarn is by using the Scoop command line installer for Windows. Scoop has functionality that is similar to Chocolatey, but the main difference being that Chocolatey will install node.js if we do not already have it installed but scoop will not. Scoop can be installed using the information found at the scoop website

To install node.js using scoop, run the following command. 

scoop install nodejs

Next, we can install yarn using this command.

scoop install yarn

Common Yarn Commands

The best method to review many of the Yarn commands is to run the help command.

yarn help

Start a New Project

To create a new project, run the following command.

yarn init

Installing Dependencies

To install all the dependencies for a project, use one of the two following commands. 

yarn
yarn install

Add a Dependency

To add a dependency to a project, use one of the following command formats.

yarn add [package]
yarn add [package]@[version]
yarn add [package]@[tag]

Add a Dependency to a Different Category of Dependencies

To add dependencies to a specific category, we can use one of the following three options:

  • dev Dependencies 
  • peer Dependencies 
  • optional Dependencies

The syntax for adding these command dependencies is as follows.

yarn add [package] --dev  # dev-dependency
yarn add [package] --peer # peer-dependency
yarn add [package] --optimal # optimal-dependency

Upgrade a Dependency

To upgrade an existing dependency, we can use the yarn up command.

yarn up [packagename]
yarn up [packagename]@[version]
yarn up [packagename]@[tag]

Remove a Dependency

To remove an existing dependency, we should use the following command. 

yarn remove [package]

Upgrade Yarn

To upgrade Yarn to the latest version, run one of the following commands.

yarn set version latest
yarn set version from sources

Conclusion.

In this tutorial we have explored what Yarn is, what it is used for, and why people choose it as their preferred package manager. We have examined the Yarn installation using the .msi installer, and using both package managers, Chocolatey and Scoop. We do prefer using Chocolatey as it is more convenient since it automatically installs node.js for us.

If you are experiencing any issues addressing this installation, give us a call today at 800.580.4985, or open a chat or ticket with us to speak with one of our knowledgeable system administrators!

Author Bio

About the Author: Ellen Sletton

I'm 23 years old Linux Tech who always takes NO as Next Opportunity. Every day I'm trying to learn something new and share my knowledge with others. My free time I spend with my dog Emil or doing some UI/UX design or simply making an inspiring photo for my blog :)

Sharing knowledge helps me generate new ideas and stay motivated.

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