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Git is a free and open-source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to extensive projects quickly and efficiently. It’s an essential tool for developers, and it’s also used by designers who must collaborate with developers on projects.

Git was created by Linus Torvalds in 2005; at the time, he was using BitKeeper to manage the Linux kernel development process. BitKeeper proved to be too expensive for him, so he decided to create his version control system.

Git has become the world’s most popular version control system due to its functionality, flexibility, and ease of use. It is used by millions of developers daily, and it can be found in almost every company that uses a version control system.

This guide will show you how to install Git on Windows so that you can start using it. Let’s jump in!

What is Git?

Git is a version control system for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people. It’s primarily used for source code management in software development, but it can track changes in any set of files.

Git was created by Linux Torvalds for the development of the Linux kernel. Other open-source projects have adopted it as a widespread version control system, including Apache, Eclipse, and Ubuntu.

Requirements

Make sure you have Visual Studio installed. If you last installed any other version of Visual Studio a while ago, it’s worth checking for updates to ensure you’re using the latest available version. 

This guide assumes that you’re installing Git under a user account with administrator permissions. If this is not the case, then some of the steps below may fail because they require elevated permissions to complete successfully.

Steps to Use Git on Windows

Step 1: Download Git for Windows

The first thing you need to do is download the latest version of Git for Windows. This free program allows you to use Git on your computer. You can visit the official Git website here.

If you’re using Windows 7 or earlier, you’ll want to download the 32-bit version of Git. If you’re using Windows 8 or up, download the 64-bit version of Git instead.

Click the Download for Windows button. You will be prompted with options to download the latest version of Git on your computer. The latest version at the time of writing this article is 2.38.1. 

git windows
Click on Download for Windows.

Step 2: Extract and Launch the Git Installer

Start the installer by double-clicking it in your downloads folder or wherever you saved it on your computer.

git windows
Open it from your downloads.

Step 3: Review the License Information

The license agreement is the first thing you will notice when downloading Git. You must accept it before installing Git. Review the License information for the product. If you agree to the terms, click Next

git windows
If you agree with the terms, click Next.

Step 4: Select the Destination Location

The next step is to choose where to install Git. By default, Git will install to “C:\Program Files\Git\.” You can change this location if you wish, but it is okay to accept the default directory.

git windows
Select your destination location and click Next.

Step 5: Select Components to Install

After choosing a directory for Git, you’ll see a list of files to be installed on your computer. 

git windows
Select your components to install.

In addition to the pre-selected options, you may want to select Add a Git Bash Profile to Windows Terminal, which you can find as the last option in the above photo. You can use this later, especially if you plan to use Visual Studio Code or another IDE with a built-in terminal.

Step 6: Select Start Menu Folder

In this step, you can select the name of the start menu folder. By default, Git is selected, but you can choose not to create such an entry below. Click Next to continue with the installation process.

git windows
Select the Start Menu Folder, where the program’s shortcuts will be stored. After, click Next.

Step 7: Select The Default Editor Used By Git

Occasionally, Git will ask you to insert or edit some text, for example, when creating a commit message, and by default, the editor used is Vim. Nonetheless, if you’re new to Vim and have never used it before, we recommend using Nodepad++, Visual Studio Code, or Notepad.

git windows
Click the downward-facing arrow to open the drop-down menu, and select your default editor. We recommend Notepad.

Step 8: Change the Initial Branch Name

The initial branch name is where all your work will be done until you have a good reason to create another one. For example, if you’re working on a project called MyProject and want to create a branch for each feature, your initial branch will be “master.’’

Git currently uses master as the default branch. Nonetheless, we recommend overriding this setting.

git windows
We recommend selecting Override the default branch name for new repositories here so you can have more control.

Step 9: Adjust The PATH Environment

You must add the directory to the PATH environment variable whenever you wish to run a tool from the command line without specifying the full location path. There is no difference between Git and other version control systems. It is recommended that you use the default setting.

git windows
Select your PATH environment and click Next.

Step 10: Finish Installing Git

We recommend you default to the remaining configurations of the setup process. After that, you can go ahead and finalize installing Git. This should not take more than one minute to complete. Once the setup process is complete, you can use Git on your Windows computer.

Wrapping Up

You may wonder where to start if you’ve never installed Git on Windows. It’s a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you’ll need administrative access to install Git on Windows. If you don’t have admin permissions on your computer, you need to be logged into the main account of your computer with admin permissions.

Next, make sure you download the version of Git that matches your version of Windows. For example, If you’re using Windows 7 or earlier, you’ll want to download the 32-bit version of Git. If you’re using Windows 8 or up, download the 64-bit version of Git instead.

Finally, remember to update to the latest version of Visual Studio. If you have already, check for the latest updated version available.

How to Install Git on Windows (with Photos) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is Git?

Git is a version control system for tracking changes in computer files and coordinating work on those files among multiple people. It’s primarily used for source code management in software development, but it can track changes in any set of files.

Who created Git?

Git was created by Linus Torvalds in 2005; at the time, he was using BitKeeper to manage the Linux kernel development process. BitKeeper proved to be too expensive for him, so he decided to create his version control system.

How do I install Git and GitHub on Windows?

You can install Git by using the installer application found on the Git website.

Is Git pre-installed on Windows?

Git does not come pre-installed on Windows. You’ll have to download the software from the official website.

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