The NuGet (nuget.exe) CLI, provides the full extent of NuGet functionality to install, create, publish, and manage packages without making any changes to project files.

Download & Installation

You can download the latest version from

  • The latest version is always recommended, and 4.1.0+ is required to publish packages to
  • The file is not an installer, and it is the nuget.exe file directly.
  • You won't see anything if you run it directly from the browser.
  • Add the folder where you placed nuget.exe to your PATH environment variable to use the CLI tool from anywhere.

Commands and Applicability

Available commands and applicability to package creation, package consumption, and publishing a package to a host:

Common Commands

Commands Applicable Roles NuGet Version Description
pack Creation 2.7+ Creates a NuGet package from a .nuspec or project file. When running on Mono, creating a package from a project file is not supported.
push Publishing All Publishes a package to a package source.
config All All Gets or sets NuGet configuration values.
help or ? All All Displays help information or help for a command.
locals Consumption 3.3+ Lists locations of the global-packages, http-cache, and temp folders and clears the contents of those folders.
restore Consumption 2.7+ Restores all packages referenced by the package management format in use. When running on Mono, restoring packages using the PackageReference format is not supported.
setapikey Publishing, Consumption All Saves an API key for a given package source when that package source requires a key for access.
spec Creation All Generates a .nuspec file, using tokens if generating the file from a Visual Studio project.

Secondary Commands

Commands Applicable Roles NuGet Version Description
add Publishing 3.3+ Adds a package to a non-HTTP package source using hierarchical layout. For HTTP sources, use push.
delete Publishing All Removes or unlists a package from a package source.
init Creation 3.3+ Adds packages from a folder to a package source using hierarchical layout.
install Consumption All Installs a package into the current project but does not modify projects or reference files.
list Consumption, perhaps Publishing All Displays packages from a given source.
mirror Publishing Deprecated in 3.2+ Mirrors a package and its dependencies from a source to a target repository.
sources Consumption, Publishing All Manages package sources in configuration files.
update Consumption All Updates a project's packages to the latest available versions. Not supported when running on Mono.


The following are the most commonly used commands with examples.


Adds a specified package to a non-HTTP package source (a folder or UNC path) in a hierarchical layout, wherein folders are created for the package ID and version number.

nuget add foo.nupkg -Source c:\bar\
nuget add foo.nupkg -Source \\bar\packages\


Deletes or unlists a package from a package source.

nuget delete MyPackage 1.0
nuget delete MyPackage 1.0 -Source -apikey A1B2C3


Gets or sets NuGet configuration values.

nuget config -Set repositoryPath=c:\packages -configfile c:\my.config
nuget config -Set repositoryPath=
nuget config -Set repositoryPath=%PACKAGE_REPO% -configfile %ProgramData%\NuGet\NuGetDefaults.Config
nuget config -Set HTTP_PROXY= -set HTTP_PROXY.USER=domain\user


Downloads and installs a package into a project, defaulting to the current folder, using specified package sources.

nuget install elmah
nuget install packages.config
nuget install ninject -OutputDirectory c:\proj


Creates a NuGet package based on the specified .nuspec or project file.

nuget pack
nuget pack foo.nuspec
nuget pack foo.csproj
nuget pack foo.csproj -Properties Configuration=Release
nuget pack foo.csproj -Build -Symbols -Properties owners=janedoe,xiaop;version="1.0.5"


Pushes a package to a package source and publishes it.

nuget push foo.nupkg
nuget push foo.symbols.nupkg
nuget push foo.nupkg -Timeout 360
nuget push *.nupkg


Downloads and installs any packages missing from the packages folder.

# Restore packages for a solution file
nuget restore a.sln

# Restore packages for a solution file, using MSBuild version 14.0 to load the solution and its project(s)
nuget restore a.sln -MSBuildVersion 14

# Restore packages for a project's packages.config file, with the packages folder at the parent
nuget restore proj1\packages.config -PackagesDirectory ..\packages

# Restore packages for the solution in the current folder, specifying package sources
nuget restore -source ";"


Updates all packages in a project (using packages.config) to their latest available versions. It is recommended to run restore before running the update.

nuget update

# update packages installed in solution.sln, using MSBuild version 14.0 to load the solution and its project(s).
nuget update solution.sln -MSBuildVersion 14

nuget update -safe