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Windows

Quick Install

Download the file blender-2.##-windows.exe (2.## being the version number), from the downloads section of the Blender Website. Start the installation by double-clicking the file. This presents you with some questions, for which the defaults should be OK. After setup is complete, you can start Blender right away, or use the entry in the Start menu.

In-depth Instructions

Installing Blender!

Download the file blender-2.##-windows.exe from the “Downloads” section of the Blender Website. Choose to download it (if prompted), select a location and click “Save”. Then navigate to the location you saved the file in and double-click it to start the installation.

The first dialog presents you with a helpful reminder: you must be logged on to your PC as administrator! You will be denied access if you do not have the rights (Vista/7 users especially) to the C:\Program Files folder and/or are not authorized to install executable software on the PC. I have Vista install as Administrator (in the file explorer, right-click on the downloaded blender-2.49-windows.exe and select “Run as administrator” from the right-click menu).

The second dialog presents you with the license. You are expected to accept it if you want the installation to go any further. After accepting the license, select the components you wish to install (there is just one, Blender!), and the additional actions:

  • Add a shortcut to the Start menu.
  • Add Blender’s icon to desktop.
  • Associate .blend files with Blender.

By default they are all checked. If you don’t want one of these actions to be taken, simply uncheck it. When done, click on Next. The next dialog is where to put the executable files, usually in the C:\Program Files folder.

User files location.

The next dialog is tricky, and it is where to put user files. These folders save user data, namely temporary data like test renders and physics data, as well a default settings. Each user of that PC can have their own, or they can all share one.

Select a place to install the files (the default should be OK), and click Next to install Blender. Press Close when installation is over.

Afterward you will be asked whether you want to start Blender immediately. Blender is now installed and can be started by means of the Start menu (an entry named “Blender Foundation” will have been created by the setup routine), or by double-clicking a Blender file (*.blend).

After the files are unpacked, Blender will check for required system components, like DLLs, which you must get from Microsoft or your hardware vendor. Most common is a VCRT (Visual C++ run time) dll, that might not be bundled with old versions of Windows. After confirmation, you will be able to run Blender!

Portable Install

If, like many people, you:

  1. Are obsessed with Blender,
  2. Have a USB drive,

You’ll be glad to know that Blender runs beautifully off an USB key. Just download the .zip version and extract it. You may want to avoid having it store the animation output or other temporary files on the drive, as frequent drive writes may shorten its life, but otherwise, Blender runs fine.