How to install CMake on Windows

CMake is a SCons for automating compilation tasks.

How to install CMake on Windows

CMake is a system to automate compilation tasks of code files created in C and C++.

On Unix type systems we can say that it is a “Makefile” generator. He is classified as a SCons.

We already made a brief introduction here on the blog about CMake, but it is also possible to generate Makefiles in Windows, although CMake also generates files for Visual Studio.

Today we will see how to install CMake on Windows.


As in this example we will use GCC, it is important that you have it installed on your Windows via MinGW, see here how to do it.

Now let’s go step by step!


01. Download CMake by clicking the button below:

Download CMake for Windows 64-bit

After downloading, double-click on the downloaded file: cmake-3.26.0-rc6-windows-x86_64.msi and give administrator permissions to start the installation setup.

02. Setup presentation

Just click on Next.


03. Accept the license terms

And then click Next.


04. Add CMake to your PATH

Check the Add CMake to the system PATH for all users option for the command to be available to all system users. And then click on Next.


05. Select installation path

Hint: Keep what already appears and click Next.


06. Start the installation

Click on Install and wait for the installation to finish.


Installing: 06

Once finished, click on Finish: 07

Testing CMake

Open PowerShell or CMD and type the command:

cmake --version

If the output is similar to the image below, everything is right and installed perfectly:


Compiling with CMake

  • Create a folder, for example MyProject, enter it (by CMD or PowerShell, cd MyProject) and inside it do:

  • Create a file named CMakeLists.txt with your Preferred Code Editor or IDE and fill it with the code below:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.10)
add_executable(hello main.cpp)


  • Also create a main.cpp file with a basic code, example:
#include <iostream>

auto main(int argc, char** argv) -> int {
   std::printf("CMake is working on Windows!\n");
   return EXIT_SUCCESS;


At the end your MyProject folder will have 2 files: CMakeLists.txt and main.cpp as shown in the image below:


  • Now run the command:
cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -B build

It will create a folder called build inside your project. If you don’t say -G "Unix Makefiles" it will prepare files for Visual Studio, in which case we want a Unix-like Makefile.

The output will be similar to the image below:


  • Once finished, enter the build folder (cd build) and run the make command (if this command does not exist, it is because you did not rename the MinGW file to that name as mentioned in the article about MinGW cited above, then most likely the command will be mingw32-make). And then run the final binary: hello:


That’s it, now you can compile your C and C++ code with CMake!

Useful links

cmake windows