There are two paths you can take to set up a Windows machine. One is installing all the dependencies one by one, and the other is installing the Tools for Cordova plugin for Visual Studio 2015. We go over the process of using the Visual Studio installer in our blog.

Common Tools

For the most part, Node and NPM are going to be used extensively for Ionic and Cordova. You can use the installer from the Node website or Chocolatey package manager

Once installed, you should have access to both node and npm from your command line.


The iOS SDK does not run on Windows, so nothing to do here. Still want to build for iOS, though? Check out Package, part of the Ionic Cloud.


We’ll need to download Java from their website. The install puts Java in your C:\Program Files\Java folder, so navigate there and pick the version of Java you’ve installed. Copy this location (including the version number) as you’ll need it for later.


Download Android Studio and go through the installer and set up the IDE. It should print out a location for where the Android SDK gets installed; copy this down for future use.

Next, inside the new SDK location, we’ll run tools/android to open the Android SDK Manager. We’ll want to install:

Accept the license and let the packages install.

Environment Variables

Now that everything’s installed, we’ll need to set some environment variables for our command line. From the startmenu, search for “System Environment Variables”. From here, we’ll update the user variable PATH and create a new variable of JAVA_HOME

From here, we should be able to run

# check java version
java -version

# start android SDK manager

Now, you should be able to create and build an Android project from the command line.

Windows Universal Apps

To build apps for Windows Universal, download and install Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. During the installation, Select “Tools for Cross Platform Development” as well as the SDK for Windows Universal Apps.

With everything installed, you’ll be able to add a windows platform from the command line with this command:

ionic platform add windows

By default the build command produces two packages: Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, which Ionic does not support. To upgrade Windows package to version 10 the following configuration setting must be added to configuration file (config.xml).

<preference name="windows-target-version" value="10.0" />