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How to Install KiCad in Windows

Created on: 7 September 2017

How to install KiCad in Windows – the open source electronic design automation (EDA) program for drawing electronic circuit diagrams or schematics and laying out printed circuit boards (PCBs).

KiCad is used for schematic capture and PCB layout. It is a cross platform open source EDA suite. In this article we look at how to install KiCad on a Windows system.

How to install KiCad in Windows

Download KiCad

Use a web browser to navigate to the KiCad EDA website. Click the DOWNLOAD button on the KiCad home page. On the download page that opens, click the Windows button. Under Stable Release, click either Windows 64-bit or Windows 32-bit, depending on if you are going to install KiCad on a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system. Save the KiCad installation file. It may take a while to download, depending on your internet speed.

The name of the KiCad file at the time of writing this article was kicad-4.0.7-i686.exe which is stable release version 4.0.7 of KiCad for Windows.

The video below shows how to download KiCad for Windows as described in the above instructions.

Can't see the video? View on YouTube →

Install KiCad

This section shows how to install KiCad in Windows after downloading it using the previous steps.

After downloading the KiCad installation file, locate the file on your computer and double-click it to start the installation.

Click Yes in the dialog box that asks if you want to allow the program to make changes to your computer.

Install KiCad Windows dialog box

Click Next in the KiCad setup dialog box. In the "choose components" dialog box, all of the options are selected by default, including help files in multiple languages. It is OK to leave all the options selected and click the Next button. You could uncheck the boxes next to the languages that you don't want, this will save a small amount of disc space.

In the next dialog box, the folder in which KiCad will be installed can be changed. It is best to leave the default location here and click the Install button.

Choosing the KiCad installation folder

The installation will now start. This may take some time depending on the speed of your computer.

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At the end of the installation, a dialog box will appear that prompts you to optionally install Wings 3D. Wings 3D is needed for creating and editing 3D object models for KiCad. For the purpose of this article, Wings 3D will be installed.

In the final KiCad setup dialog box, click the Wings 3D checkbox to check it and then click the Finish button as shown in the image below.

Finishing the KiCad setup.

The following video shows how to install KiCad in Windows as per the above instructions.

Can't see the video? View on YouTube →

Install Wings 3D

This optional step can always be done later.

After clicking the finish button, your web browser will open the Wings 3D website if you had the Wings 3D checkbox checked in the final KiCad installation dialog box.

Click the Downloads link on the Wings 3D website. On the download page find the latest stable release of Wings 3D – choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit download, depending on your system and Windows edition.

Locate the downloaded file and run it by double-clicking it. At the time of writing this article the file name was wings-2.1.5.exe. When the installation starts, Windows will prompt with a dialog box asking if you would like to allow this program to make changes to your computer. Click the Yes button.

In the "choose components" dialog box, I chose to uncheck the Desktop shortcut and QuickLaunch shortcut options. Click the Next button.

It is best to leave the installation destination folder at its default in the next dialog box. Click Next in this dialog box to continue. Click Install in the next dialog box to start the installation.

After the installation has completed, click the Close button in the final dialog box. The installation is now complete.

Run KiCad

The KiCad installation is now complete. KiCad can be started using the KiCad icon on the desktop or by searching for KiCad using the Windows start menu button.

Running KiCad EDA software for the first time
Running KiCad EDA Software for the First Time