:''This article is about using pre-built installers of Octave for Windows; for instructions about building it, see [[Windows Installer]].''
The most recent Windows installers are available from [https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/windows/ ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/windows/].Users are encouraged to use the latest version unless a specific feature or requirement warrants using an older version of the software. Version specific instructions and installation notes are provided below.
Be advised that GNU Octave is primarily developed on GNU/Linux and other [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POSIX POSIX] conform systems. The ports of GNU Octave to Microsoft Windows use different approaches to get most of the original Octave and adapt it to Microsoft Windows idiosyncrasies (e.g. dynamic libraries, file paths, permissions, environment variables, GUI system, etc). Bear this in mind and don't panic if you get unexpected results. There are a lot of suggestions on the mailing lists for tuning your Octave installation. GNU Octave standalone ports for Windows are independently compiled using either the [http://mingw.org MinGW] or Microsoft Visual Studio development environments (3.6 or before).
= Installers for Microsoft Windows =
4.2.1===The easiest way to install GNU Octave on Microsoft Windows is by using [http://hg.octave.org/mxe-octave/ MXE] builds. For the current 4.2.1 release, both 32-bit and 64-bit installers and zip archived packages can be found at [https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/windows/ ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/windows/].
For executable installers, the user can simply run the downloaded file and follow the on-screen installation prompts. It is recommended that the installation path does not include spaces or non-ASCII characters. Shortcuts to the program will be created automatically.
== Octave 4.2.1 on cygwin==
==Older MXE builds==
The instructions for Octave 4.2.0 are the same as for Octave 4.
2. 1 above. However, note that version 4.2.0 has a bug that prevents it from automatically retrieving packages from the [https://octave.sourceforge.io/packages.php Octave-Forge website] for installation or updates. Manual package installation is necessary with this version to update or install new packages on Windows.
To manually install a new or updated package version, the package file can be downloaded from the [https://octave.sourceforge.io/packages.php Octave-Forge website] to the working directory and can be installed using: