mscore command and Unix tools now available on Windows via Scoop

• Jul 7, 2018 - 02:34

Scoop is a package manager for Windows, similar to Homebrew on macOS.

Advantages of Scoop compared to manual installation:

  • Apps are saved in the user's home directory by default (%USERPROFILE%\scoop)
    • You also do not need to have administrator privileges to install apps
    • Apps do not interfere with other versions of the program installed on the same machine.
  • No registry keys are modified when installing apps
  • Apps are easily updated, and updates are available on the day the new version is released!
    • One week after release and MuseScore 2.3 still isn't available in the Windows store, let alone 2.3.1!
  • Apps (and their aliases) are added to %PATH% by default, so it is easy to use them on the command line
    • Finally, you can use the mscore command on Windows!

Scoop is primarily intended for installing command line programs, but like Homebrew, it also supports installing graphical applications via an optional repository (called the "extras bucket"). I created a pull request (newly merged) to add MuseScore to the extras bucket.

Installing MuseScore via Scoop

1. Install Scoop (if you haven't already done so)

Scoop itself must be installed via Windows PowerShell (see instructions here), but once installed it can be used from CMD or even Bash.

2. Enable the extras bucket (if you haven't already done so)

scoop bucket add extras

3. Install MuseScore

scoop install musescore

This adds a shortcut in the Start Menu, and enables you to use MuseScore.exe, musescore or even mscore on the command line without having to type the full path.

Updating MuseScore

Run this command to update MuseScore:

scoop update musescore

Alternatively, you can update all scoop applications with:

scoop update "*"

Uninstalling MuseScore

scoop uninstall -p musescore

Use the-p (purge) option to also remove persistent files (currently MuseScore doesn't have any persistent files).

Other programs available via Scoop

All of the important developer tools are available via Scoop, including tools like which, grep, sed, etc that will be familiar to users of Unix-based systems like Linux and macOS. However, there is a better way to obtain these tools...

Git and Git Bash

Git for Windows includes a Bash shell which has all the familiar Unix tools built-in! Git can be installed via Scoop, so running this one command gets you a full Unix environment on Windows:

scoop install git

Now you can launch "Git Bash" from the Start Menu and get access to all the tools used by developers on Linux and macOS, and you can even run many of the shell scripts originally intended for those platforms!

(As an added bonus, Git is easier to update when installed via Scoop than with the manual installer.)


As of 2019-03-02, the Musescore install file/script/whatever-you-call-it included in the Scoop extras bucket has an incorrect URL for the msi installer. Installing with Scoop therefore fails. You can correct the problem by editing musescore.json (in %USERDATA%\scoop\buckets\extras\bucket) and changing the URL therein to point to the current installer. This morning the correct URL (v. is:…

After making that change Scoop installed Musescore for me without complaint. Musescore 3 runs fine now (and can be started via the CMD or Powershell).

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