Shravan Kumar Kasagoni

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How to use Node and NPM without installation or admin rights

How to use Node and NPM without installation or admin rights

 /  14 responses

There are a lot of blog posts explaining this already, but most of them didn’t work for me. They miss one critical step, in this blog post I am going to provide instructions step by step how to use Node and NPM without installation or admin rights. I am going to provide the instructions for windows; we can follow the same process for other operating systems (macOS, Linux).

Step 1: Get node binary (node.exe) from site

  • Go to site, then from the downloads table download the  32-bit or 64-bit binary/binaries (not installer files) depending on your operating system.
  • Now copy the file node.exe to your favourite location. In my case, I created a folder named nodejs under the Tools folder in the root of my C drive (C:\Tools\nodejs\).

Step 2: Get the NPM

  • Go to site, then download the latest stable version of NPM. You can find the zip file under downloads section at the bottom of the page.
  • Extract the zip file and rename the extracted folder to npm.
  • Now go to C:\Tools\nodejs\ (in your case which ever the folder you copied the node.exe file), create a folder called, node_modules then copy the entire folder npm folder from the previous step the node_modules folder.

Step 3: Copy npm.cmd beside the node.exe

  • This is the very important step everyone misses, go to C:\Tools\nodejs\node_modules\npm\bin\ folder. Under the bin folder you will find the npm.cmd file.
  • Copy the npm.cmd file and place it beside the node.exe from step 1. In my case I am copying the npm.cmd file to C:\Tools\nodejs\ folder.

Step 4: Configure the PATH

  • We need add the node.exe and npm.cmd to system path, so that we can access them from any where.
  • Now append the path C:\Tools\nodejs; to PATH variable in Environment Variables.
  • We can access the Environment Variables dialog, by right clicking on the Computer > Properties > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > Environment Variables.
  • Incase if you don’t have permission to access Environment Variables dialog, simply type the following command in Run dialog rundll32 sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables, this will open the Environment Variables dialog.

Step 5: Verify the nodejs and npm setup

  • Go to command line then type node -v then npm -v. These commands should display the currently configured nodejs and npm versions respectively.
command prompt

We configured the node and npm without installation or admin rights, now you can happily use them.

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  • Michael Woodard says:


    I normally don’t take the time to leave comments or anything beyond just sifting through information when I am trying to find a solution to one of my many problems… but I had to say THANK YOU!
    I am by no means a developer, but I have been trying to learn a little here and there – and it is like drinking from a fire hose. I thought I found some interesting solutions and they all required node and npm, but I was not able to install them because of admin rights. You totally just broke it down perfectly for me and it worked on the first attempt.

    Thank you so much!

  • Ram says:

    nice tutorial for installing latest version without admin rights and exe file

  • Lesouth says:

    Thanks a lot, works perfectly. I was getting socket error as I was running it from a network drive. I moved it to c:\ local drive and it works..

  • Stefano says:

    Nice! Thank you!

  • Mithun says:

    superb thanks a lot

  • javier says:

    Thanks for this tip, was really usefull for me !!

  • Nicolas D says:

    Hello Shravan,

    Thank you for your post.
    It's very usefull, complete and easy to follow.
    I succeeded to install Node + NPM on a very locked computer !

    Kindly Regards,
    Nicolas D.

  • Adam says:

    I can't make changes to environment variables without admin rights.

  • Adam says:

    OK please disregard that last comment. I was able to update the path variable with by using "rundll32 sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables" as you specified this article. I spoke too soon. Thank you for this incredibly concise and valuable tutorial!

  • Richang Sharma says:

    Thank You so much Shravan, this is the best tutorial over the matter on the internet.

  • Ravinder Kumar says:

    You are awesome. It worked for me.

  • ravindra kumar mathankar says:

    Thanks a lot, I could setup it.

  • Troy says:

    I never take the time to write a comment, but you deserve all the praise! This was by far the easiest way to do this. I tried several different methods to accomplish this task, but this was the only one that worked. Thank you so much!

  • Ashish Agarwal says:

    Thank you!!