Three Ways to Find out Which Versions of the .NET Framework are Installed on a PC

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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 articleThe 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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Comments

Thanks for the tip, Vic.

As usual when using the command prompt, you can use 'switches' for the MS-DOS program being run. To see the list for any particular command add the switch " /?" to the end of the command like:
"DIR /?" [no quotes when typed]
Often one or another of the possible switches provide useful info or formatting.

You can also pipe the output into a file with " > filename.txt" or to your printer with the " > PRN"

So the full command line with pipe would look like:
dir %WINDIR%\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v* > C:\Net_Versions.txt

Re 116767 Thanks for advice

May I suggest an even better way to do it!
If you are using Revo Uninstaller which is free it wiil display icons for your installed programs - just hover your cursor over the icon and it will display the details for you.
I have been using this program for a number of years and it has been most useful as it is an excellent uninstaller that will also scan for left over entries after the program has been uninstalled.

Seems far simpler just to check the .NET folder in the Windows directory or to check the currently installed programs (Add/Remove Programs). Installed versions are all listed there.

The listing in Add/Remove Programs is often incomplete.

This is a wonderful tip. Solves the problem of making sure a program's system requirements are met. Thanks very much.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Do I need all versions shown below??
If no what action is recommended
Thanks
James
C:\Windows\system32>dir %WINDIR%\Microsoft.Net\Framework\v*
Volume in drive C is ACER
Volume Serial Number is EA61-9092

Directory of C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\Framework

17/05/2011 19:08 v1.0.3705
14/07/2009 04:37 v1.1.4322
09/06/2014 07:49 v2.0.50727
30/07/2011 19:29 v3.0
09/01/2013 21:42 v3.5
12/06/2014 08:42 v4.0.30319
0 File(s) 0 bytes
6 Dir(s) 39 182 704 640 bytes free

C:\Windows\system32>

Various different .NET Framework versions are used by many applications. Usage varies widely from system to system. Unless you have a specific problem with a particular version, it is probably best to just leave things alone.