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Current Version

Last Update: August 29, 2011


This page describes how to install MiKTeX on a Windows machine. For more information on MiKTeX, take a look at the MiKTeX website. For more information on Latex and possible alternative Latex installations, checkout The LaTeX Project.

If MiKTeX has been previous installed, you must uninstall it before proceeding.


  • MiKTex - typesetting system (Tex/Latex) for the Windows operating system.


MiKTeX is installed in two phases: downloading all the components and the actual installation of the program.

Depending on the speed of your computer and the MikTex install you select, installation may take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour.

Where applicable, a screen shot of the install step is provided below the instructions. Some of the pictures are from previous installations. They have been changed only when the information on the dialogs has changed. This is why some of the MiKTeX version numbers are different.

Phase One: Downloading the necessary components

  1. Download the MiKTeX Net Installer from the site listed in the Software section above.
  2. Double click the executable file downloaded in the previous step.
  3. Accept the MiKTeX Coping Conditions and click "Next".
  4. The first part of installing MiKTeX is to download the necessary files. The MiKTeX Net Installer will help in this process. Choose "Download MiKTex" and click "Next".
  5. There are two types of MiKTeX installations: Basic and Complete. Complete will install all the MiKTeX packages. While Basic will install the minimum number of packages required for Latex. Choosing the right type of installation depends on how you use Latex and on whether or not you have a constant Internet connection. If your computers is going to be offline most of the time, then you may want to consider a Complete install. If it is always attached to the Internet, a Basic install will take less space and significantly less time to install at the expense of downloading and installing packages on the fly. This can at times slow down the compilation of Latex files. In a Lab setting, it is best to do a complete install since users will most likely not have the privileges needed to install packages on the fly. For the purpose of the this guide, a Basic install will be done.

    Select the radio button next to "Basic MiKTeX" and click "Next".
  6. Select a download source close to your locations (or as close as possible) and click "Next".
  7. Leave the default Distribution Directory as is and click "Next".
  8. Click "Start" on the Review Settings Dialog to start the download.
  9. Depending on whether you choose a Basic or Complete install and the speed of your Internet connection, this process could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 1-2 hours. During this time you will see the status/progress of the installation.
  10. Once MiKTeX has downloaded all the components, click "Next".
  11. Click "Close" to complete this part of the installation.

Phase Two: Installing the components

  1. Double click the executable file downloaded in Phase One Step 1.
  2. Accept the MiKTeX Coping Conditions and click "Next".
  3. Now that the necessary files have been downloaded, MiKTeX can be installed. Choose "Install MiKTex" and click "Next".
  4. There are two types of MiKTeX installations: Basic or Complete. Select the same type of installation as you choose in Phase One Step 5 and click "Next".
  5. Select the radio button next to "Anyone who uses this computer (all users)" and click "Next".
  6. If you left the Distribution Directory as the default in Phase One Step 7, then leave the default in this step as well. They should match. If you changed the Distribution Directory, click on "Browse" a select the corrected directory created in Phase One Step 7. Click "Next" once the directory has been correctly set.
  7. Leave the default Installation Directory alone and click "Next".
  8. Change "Preferred Paper" from A4 to Letter. For "Install missing packages on-the-fly" leave the default "Ask me first" and click "Next".

    If you change this to "No", then compilation will fail if a package that is not installed is used. If you select "Yes" then as soon as the uninstalled package is found during compilation, Latex will pause, download, and install the missing package without notifying you. When this happens, it will look like compilation has frozen or hung. It has not and, depending on the number of missing packages, could take a minute or 30 minutes to complete. For this reason, the default of "Ask me first" is recommended. At least then you know that compilation is not hung.
  9. Click "Start" to begin the installation.
  10. Depending on the which type of installation you choose and the speed of your computer this process can take up to an hour. During this time you will see the status/progress of the installation.
  11. Once the installation has completed click "Next".
  12. Now click on "Close" to exit the MiKTeX installer.