At times you may be downloaded update packages for Windows operating system that ends with .cab file extension instead of usual .exe executable or .msi Windows installer file format. The .cab Cabinet file is a compressed archive that cannot be ran or executed directly.

Windows has built-in support to open and view .cab archive content, but not outright install the .cab even if it’s intended as an update package or hotfix. In order to install a manually downloaded .cab Cabinet file, use the following trick that makes use of pkgmgr.exe (Windows Package Manager) instead.

Open an elevated privileges command prompt as administrator, and run the following command to install and integrate the Cabinet archive:

pkgmgr /ip /m:<path><file name>.cab /quiet

Or,

start /wait pkgmgr /ip /m:<path><file name>.cab /quiet

Replace <path> with the path (location) to the .cab file, and <file name> with the actual file name of the .cab file, without parenthesis. If the Cabinet file is located on the current directory (same directory where command is ran, the path can be skipped.

Tip: If you intend to save an installation log, append the /l:<path><file name>.log to the end of the command. Again, replace <path><file name>.cab with the file name of log file to save to with its folder location (path).

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