Downloading & Installing
GNU Emacs for Windows

How can I download & install GNU Emacs for Windows?

Note: Before downloading GNU Emacs for Windows, be sure that you have a compression/de-compression program capable of reading .TAR files. A common program is WinZip, avaiable at or at . This FAQ demonstrates using WinZip.

  1. Click the following link to download the setup program for GNU Emacs (8.54MB). Because of site traffic, it is best to start your download in non-peak hours:

  2. When prompted, choose to save the file to a temporary directory you've created on your hard drive. When the "Save File As ..." box appears, change the default name of emacs-20.7-bin-i386. tar.gz to emacs-20.7-bin-i386.tgz.

  3. Using My Computer or Windows Explorer, open the folder to which you saved the emacs-20.4-bin-i386.tgz file. Double-click the file. You will see the following:

    Answer "Yes" when prompted to decompress the file.

  4. When the WinZip window appears, click the "EXTRACT" button:

  5. In the "EXTRACT TO" field, enter the letter of your hard drive, followed by a colon (":"), followed by a backslash ("\") and then choose the "EXTRACT" button:

  6. A folder will be created off the root directory of your hard drive called "emacs-20.7". Rename the folder to "emacs" by highlighting the folder, clicking the secondary (usually right) mouse button and choosing "RENAME" from the pop-up menu:

  7. Open the folder "EMACS" and then create the site-lisp and lock sub-folders by going to the File Menu and then choosing "NEW ... FOLDER":

  8. Close all programs, shut down your computer and then re-start it.

  9. If you want to make a shortcut on the desktop for Emacs, open the C:\emacs\bin\ folder (where c:\ is the letter of your hard-drive). Right click and HOLD on the runemacs.exe icon:

  10. As you are right-clicking and HOLDING the runemacs.exe icon, drag the icon to the Desktop. Realease the mouse. You will see a shorcut menu. Choose "Create Shortcut(s) Here" from the shortcut menu. You can rename the shortcut "Emacs", if you like: