WinMerge can be installed using the installer or by unzipping files from an archive. Using the installer is the recommended method.
The latest release can be always downloaded from the WinMerge home page: WinMerge.org. Note that delays can occur in updating home pages for the latest releases, but the project status page at SourceForge.net shows the latest files. Stable releases are also available in several file download sites.
WinMerge 2.16.8 (64 bit) supports Windows 7 and later. It runs on 64 bit Windows.
WinMerge 2.16.8 (32 bit) supports Windows XP SP3 and later. It runs on both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows.
WinMerge 2.16.0 supports Windows XP SP3 and later. It runs on both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows.
WinMerge 2.14.0 was the last version to support Windows 2000.
WinMerge 2.12.4 was the last version to support Windows 95, 98, ME and NT.
WinMerge is not supported on Windows RT.
The installer requires Administrator user privileges. If you don't have admin user privileges, you can install WinMerge by unzipping from an archive file (see Installing from an archive) or by using per-user installer (WinMerge-x.x.x-x64-PerUser-Setup.exe).
Using the installer is recommended for most users. The installer prompts for the location where WinMerge is installed. It then installs the files, configures the shell integration, and adds WinMerge to the Start menu. To install WinMerge:
In the Select Components page, choose one of the preconfigured installations in the top control. We recommend the Typical configuration for most users. The lower box shows all the available components. You can modify the default configuration by checking or unchecking components. For example, if you want to use a WinMerge localization for a different language than English, select the Languages component.
WinMerge executable, Help, and other needed files. Cannot be unchecked.
The option enables you to launch WinMerge directly from Windows Explorer, comparing items that you have selected there.
File filter files enable you to narrow the scope of comparisons.
WinMerge plugins are custom dlls or scriptlets, written in the COM API, that you can use to preprocess data before a comparison.
Frhed enable you to show files in hex format.
WinIMerge enables you to show the differences between image files.
Install it if you want to compare the files contained in a compressed file without having to decompress them manually.
Install commands used by plugins.
WinMerge translation files. If you want to configure WinMerge to use a different language than English, expand this item and choose one or more available translations. The installer creates a Languages subfolder in the WinMerge folder, containing a *.po translation file for each of your selections. After installation, you can open WinMerge and change its localization to one of the translation file languages. See Locale support for details.
In the Select Start Menu Folder page, configure WinMerge shortcuts.
Accept the default setting to create a program shortcut, or specify a different folder.
Optionally, check the option Don't create a Start Menu folder.
Enables you to launch WinMerge compare operations from Windows Explorer (this integration can be enabled or disabled later in WinMerge options).
Adds the WinMerge installation folder to your system's Path environment variable.
Sets WinMerge to be the TortoiseCVS diff application.
Sets WinMerge to be the TortoiseSVN diff application.
Sets WinMerge to be the TortoiseGit diff application.
Adds the WinMerge shortcut to your Windows Desktop.
In the 3-way merge wizard page, register WinMerge as 3-way merge tool for TortoiseSVN/Git.
Register WinMerge as 3-way merge tool for TortoiseSVN/Git.
Merge at right pane.
Merge at center pane.
Merge at left pane.
Optionally, disable the option Auto-merge at startup time.
In the Ready to Install page, verify your install selections. If necessary, clickto change anything in a previous page. When you are sure that you are ready to proceed, click .
WinMerge is pretty much independent of other system components. It is not tightly integrated with Windows, and does not use many DLLs.
Archive files have the correct folder structure. WinMerge should be
unzipped preserving this folder structure in the destination folder. For
example, the root folder created under
C:\Program Files\ has the name,
can rename this folder or copy its files to another folder (preserving the
After the files are unzipped, WinMerge is ready to run! Shell integration and archive integration may need additional steps, as described in the next section.
If you do not use the install program and you want to enable Windows
Explorer shell integration, you must register the shell integration DLL
Installing shell integration requires Administrator user privileges.
Open WinMerge and using the Shell Integration page in the Options window. In the Options window use the or buttons.