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As a widely adopted package manager, Yarn is favored by development teams and DevOps professionals across all industries seeking to streamline project workflows. In this guide, we'll introduce four methods to get Yarn 1 (Classic) up and running on your Windows Server: MSI Installer, Chocolatey, Scoop, and NPM. We'll dive into some of the ins and outs of each method as well as address some commonly asked questions.

What Is Yarn?

A 2016 collaboration from Exponent, Google, Tilde, and Meta (Facebook), Yarn was developed as a robust alternative for the default npm package manager client (also called npm). Packages, also known as modules, are used to distribute the code. A package.json file outlines the contents of the package and all associated, distributed code.

Prerequisites for Installing Yarn on Windows Server

  • Windows Server: Make sure you're running a supported version of Windows (Windows 7 or later, Windows Server 2003 or later).
  • Administrator Access: Administrator access is required to install software and grant privileges.
  • Backup: Always ensure you have a recent, reliable backup of your server before making any system change.
  • Internet Connection: You will need a stable internet connection to download Yarn and its dependencies.
  • .NET Framework 4+: Required for Chocolatey. 
  • Node.js: Yarn requires Node.js to function.
  • PowerShell: To open a PowerShell session with administrative privileges, press the Windows key + X + A.

Table of Contents:

Method 1—Install Yarn on a Windows Server Using the MSI Installer

Step 1: Download the Yarn Install Package

First, you need to download the Yarn install package. Download the Yarn .msi installer from the official Yarn website.

Step 2: Run the Installer

Locate and double-click on the downloaded package. A message box will appear where you will click Run.

Step 3: Begin the Setup Wizard

A new welcome wizard will pop up for the Yarn install setup. Click Next.

Step 4: Accept the License Agreement

The next screen displays the license agreement details. Click the checkbox near the bottom of the window to accept the license agreement, and click Next.

Step 5: Complete the Installation

To complete the Yarn package installation, click Install.

Step 6: Exit the Setup Wizard

Once the Yarn install is completed, a confirmation message box will appear. Click Finish to exit the Setup Wizard.

Step 7: Verify the Installation

Now, run the following Yarn version check command on the Windows PowerShell to verify the completion of the Yarn package install.

yarn --version

The output will show the version number, signifying that it is installed.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> yarn --version
PS C:\Users\Administrator>

Method 2—Install Yarn Using Chocolatey

Chocolatey is a command-line package manager and software installer for Windows. The Chocolatey package manager automatically installs all dependencies for the Yarn package on the server. It also checks for a Node.js installation, and, if not already present, it will install it immediately.

Step 1: Open PowerShell

To start the installation, open the Windows PowerShell as Administrator by pressing the Windows Key + X + A.

Step 2: Verify the Execution Policy

Run the following command to view the execution policy.

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Get-ExecutionPolicy

The above example shows the default setting for Windows Servers. This is the desired setting. If your policy is set to Restricted, you will want to set it to Remote Signed.

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Execution Policy Change
The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust. Changing the execution policy might expose you to the security risks described in the about_Execution_Policies help topic at https:/go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=135170. Do you want to change the execution policy?

[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help (default is "N"): Y

Press Y or A and then press enter to accept the new policy.

Step 3: Complete the Installation

To complete the installation, run the following command in PowerShell.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; iex ((New-Object Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol -bor 3072; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://community.chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

This will download and run the Chocolatey installation script. Chocolatey will then automatically download and install any missing libraries and binaries.

Step 4: Install Yarn

Once the Chocolatey installation is complete, install the Yarn package on the Windows server by running the following command.

choco install yarn

Here is the output.

Chocolatey v1.3.1
Installing the following packages:
By installing, you accept licenses for the packages.
Progress: Downloading yarn 1.22.19... 100%


 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).

Step 5: Verify Installation

To confirm Yarn is installed correctly, check the version in the Windows Command Prompt (CMD). A quick way to access it is by the Run menu. Press the Windows + R keys and type CMD at the prompt.

Run the following command to check the Yarn version.

yarn -version

The output should contain a Yarn version.

C:\Users\Administrator> yarn --version

Method 3—Install Yarn Using Scoop

Scoop is another command-line package manager and software installer for Windows.

Step 1: Set the Execution Policy 

First, we set the execution policy to allow downloaded scripts that have been previously signed by a trusted publisher.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -scope CurrentUser

Step 2: Install Scoop

Next, we use PowerShell to use a web request to download and run the Scoop install script.

iwr -useb get.scoop.sh | iex

Step 3: Install Yarn

Next, install Yarn using Scoop. From the PowerShell, run the following command.

scoop install yarn

If scoop complains that Node.js is not yet installed, install Node.js with this command.

scoop install nodejs

Step 4: Verify the Installation

Check to see that Yarn is installed with this command.

C:\Users\Administrator> yarn --version

Method 4—Install Yarn Using NPM

Step 1: Install npm

First, we check to see if npm is already present. From the PowerShell, run the following command.

npm -version

The output displays the version.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> npm --version

If it is not yet installed, you will see something like this.

npm : The term 'npm' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.

In that case, download the Node.js installer using the following command.

iwr "https://nodejs.org/dist/v18.16.0/node-v18.16.0-x86.msi" -OutFile "node-v18.16.0-x86.msi"

Then run the following to execute the installer.

msiexec /i "node-v18.16.0-x86.msi" /qn

Run the version check from the beginning of this step to verify if the installation was successful.

Step 2: Install Yarn

Tell the Node.js package manager to download and install the Yarn package with this command.

npm install --global yarn

The output should be the same as below.

C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\npm\yarn -> C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\yarn\bin\yarn.js
C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\npm\yarnpkg -> C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\yarn\bin\yarn.js
+ yarn@1.22.19
added 1 package in 1.527s

Common Yarn Commands

Initialize a New Yarn Project

The below code will initialize a new Yarn project and create a package.json file.

yarn init

Install a Package and Add to Dependencies

Installs a package and adds it to the project's dependencies.

yarn add [package]

Remove and Uninstall a Package

The below command removes a package from the project's dependencies and uninstalls it.

yarn remove [package]

Update a Package to its Latest Version

This command upgrades a specific package to its latest version.

yarn upgrade [package]

Choose Which Packages to Upgrade

The below command interactively chooses which packages to upgrade.

yarn upgrade-interactive

Install a Package Globally

The below command installs a package globally, making it available across all projects.

yarn global add [package]

List All Installed Packages

Lists all installed packages and their versions in the current project.

yarn list

List Outdated Packages

The below command shows a list of outdated packages in the current project.

yarn outdated

Clean Global Yarn Cache

The below command cleans the global Yarn cache to free up disk space.

yarn cache clean

Execute a Script Defined in the Package

Executes a script defined in the package.json file with the below command.

yarn run [script]

Wrapping Up

Using this guide helps you with how to install Yarn on your Windows server. Yarn assists you with managing packages and distributing code quickly, securely, and consistently.

If you want to get your Windows server going, Liquid Web offers Windows options for our VPS Hosting, Cloud Dedicated Servers, and Dedicated Servers. Contact our sales team to get set up.


Do I need administrative privileges to install Yarn on Windows Server?

What if I encounter a permissions issue during Yarn installation?

Can I switch between different Yarn installation methods on the same Windows Server?

What should I do if I encounter a "command not found" error during one of the installation methods?

How much disk space does Yarn installation require on Windows Server?

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