Love it or hate it, the Microsoft .NET Framework is ubiquitous in Windows and is used in a lot of applications. Since there are a number of versions, you may sometimes need to find out which ones are installed on a particular PC. Here are three ways to check out which .NET you have.
1. Manually from Registry entries
Information about the .NET Framework is stored in subkeys of the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP
If you use the Registry Editor to to view this key, you can tell what versions of the ,NET Framework are installed. A description of how to interpret this key is given in this Microsoft MSDN article. The article also describes methods that use scripts to query the Registry but these are mainly for technology professionals.
2. Use the command prompt
Open the command prompt and enter: dir %WINDIR%\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v*
A list of installed versions except 4.5 will be displayed. .NET Framework 4.5 is stored in a sub-directory of 4.0.
3. Use the utility .NET Version Detector
If you prefer a program to do the job, try this small, free, portable utility. A description and a download link are at the developer’s site. The download is a 439 KB ZIP file containing a single executable, It is said to work in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.x, both 32- and 64-bit. It gets a clean bill of health from VirusTotal and WOT. Put the executable file anywhere convenient and just click it. You are asked to agree to a EULA and then the installed versions of the .NET Framework, including 4.5, are listed. I tried it on Windows 8, 64-bit and it worked fine.
A useful feature of this program is that it provides download links for the various versions of the .NET Framework. If you are missing a version and wish to install it, this provides a convenient way.
And there you have it - no need to wonder what version of the .NET Framework you have.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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