How to Install CAB file in Windows 11

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This article describes steps one can take to extract and install a CAB file in Windows 11.

A cabinet (CAB) is a single file, usually with a .cab extension, that stores compressed files in a file library. Developers can also use a cabinet file creation tool such as Cabarc.exe to make cabinet files for use with installer packages.

Microsoft and device manufacturers sometimes use CAB files to distribute standalone updates, and device drivers for Windows and other software packages. CAB format is efficient because it allows users to package multiple compressed files across file boundaries, which significantly improves the compression ratio.

If you receive a CAB file and you want to learn how to install it in Windows 11, the steps below will help you do that.

How to extract and install CAB files in Windows 11

As mentioned above, A cabinet (CAB) is a single file, usually with a .cab extension, that stores compressed files in a file library. 

Below is how to install it in Windows 11.

There are multiple ways to install CAB files in Windows. One can use the Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, and other deployment tools.

Install CAB file via Command Prompt

If you have a CAB file and you want to install it using the Command Prompt, use the steps below.

First, open the Command Prompt as administrator.

Then use the command format below:

dism /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:"COMPLETE PATH\TO\CAB FILE"

Replace “COMPLETE PATH\TO\CAB FILE” with the complete path to the CAB file in a folder.

For example, to install a downloaded CAB file in my Downloads folder, I will run the commands below.

dism /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:\Users\Richard\Downloads\Windows10.0-KB5018851-x64.cab"

After it’s installed, I should see a success message.

Install CAB files via PowerShell

Alternatively, one can use Windows PowerShell to install CAB files.

First, open Windows PowerShell as administrator.

Once the PowerShell app opens, use the command format below:

Add-WindowsPackage -Online -PackagePath "COMPLETE PATH\TO\CAB FILE"

Replace “COMPLETE PATH\TO\CAB FILE” with the complete path to the CAB file in a folder.

The same CAB file in my Downloads folder can be installed using the commands below.

Add-WindowsPackage -Online -PackagePath "C:\Users\Richard\Downloads\Windows10.0-KB5018851-x64.cab"

An output message with success will be displayed.

Extract and Install CAB files via File Explorer

In some cases, you may receive device drivers in CAB file format. You may not want to install all the packages inside a CAB file in this scenario since you want only a single driver package.

What you can do is extract the content of the CAB file, then only install a particular driver for the device. To do that, open File Explorer.

Then double-click the CAB file to open. Right-click all the content in the CAB file then select Extract.

windows 11 extract cab file in file explorer
Windows 11 extract cab file in file explorer

Choose a location to extract the content of the CAB file to, then click Extract.

windows 11 choose folder to extract cab file to
windows 11 chooses folder to extract the cab file to

You can then use Device Manager to install the drivers for the device. To learn how to install device drivers, read the post below.

How to install device drivers in Windows 11

That should do it!

Reference:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/msi/cabinet-files

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to install CAB files in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.