Windows 10 64 bit Installation 2019

From ConTeXt wiki

NOTE: You will need admin rights to your Windows to manage the installation process. If you don't have that, get somebody who does.

This instruction was written 2019 April 13 and is intended to install ConTeXt standalone distribution (Mark IV). My intent is to deliver a up-to-date manual that every noob can use, and not to refer to old versions (e.g. from 2011).

Chapter 1: Detect Windows 32 or 64 bit Version

At fist, get to know if I’m Running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. Please follow or other tutorials.

Chapter 2: Install ConTeXt

Step 1: Download and unzip the installer

For a 32 bit installation, download onto your computer. For a 64 bit installation, download onto your computer. It contains a folder called context, unzip/extract that folder to C:\, so the result is C:\context\.

Step 2: Use installer to get the ConTeXt Suite

Open Command promt. Do this by using Cortana: Search for cmd.exe. Right click on the search result and select "run as admin". Command prompt should be in C:\Users\MyUserName\

Type in "cd.." -> Enter

Once again type in "cd.." -> Enter

Now you should be at path "C:\". If not, repeat "cd.."

Type in "cd context"

You are now at C:\context

Tpe in first-setup.bat -> Enter.

This should print out much output and take a while (maybe 5 mins).

Check if there is a folder C:\context\tex

If no such folder has been created, this step failed. (It failed for me using C:\Programme\context and I resolved it by using C:\context\

Step 3: Add ConTeXt to Windows search path

(Please also note [1])

You will have to go to the system settings of your Windows and add C:\context\tex\texmf-win64\bin (or C:\context\tex\texmf-mswin\bin for using to the search path (environment variable path under advanced system properties). If you are the only user on the computer needing ConTeXt, you can put it under "user variables", otherwise add it to "global variables".

Do this by: Right click on "This Computer" and select "Settings". Then on the left side, click on "change my environment variables" or something like "Extended Settings".

In the small popup "System settings" select the slider "extended". Select the button "Environment variables".

Select PATH, lick on button "edit" and ad a new row with C:\context\tex\texmf-win64\bin (or C:\context\tex\texmf-mswin\bin for using

After you've added the path to system settings, you have to reboot the computer. You can check that the path is there by opening command prompt and typing


If the resulting listing contains the address C:\context\tex\texmf-win64\bin (or C:\context\tex\texmf-mswin\bin for using , your computer knows where to find ConTeXt.

This step is an alternative to run setuptex.bat which is located in C:\context\tex\

Chapter 3: Test ConTeXt

Now you are ready to test ConTeXt. Start a simple text editor (like 'editor', Notepad++, NOT MS WORD)


Hello, world!


Save the document as C:\context\helloworld.tex.

Open command prompt and go to c:\context (as we did at 'Install ConTeXt' - Step 2) type in

context helloworld.tex

Open the file explorer and browse to C:\context\. Check if there is a helloworld.pdf. Open it to check its content.

And that's it, basically. If you got your pdf and love to write using this editor, you can continue this way. Still I'd recommend using TeXworks.

Chapter 4: Install TeXworks

Now you have ConTeXt. To complement it, i.e. to easily write and compile ConTeXt files, install the TeXworks editor.

Step 1: Get TeXworks

Browse to and download the exe file and execute it to install TeXworks.

During installation, I recommend to register (only) ".tex" files to the application. Disable the other ones.

Step 2: Ready, steady, test!

Start TeXWorks.

In the dropdown, select "ConTeXt (LuaTex)"

Now you are ready to go.

Type in:


Hello, world!


Save the document as helloworld.tex.

Now click on the green button to build your file.

After there are some lines of compiler output, a pdf file should open and you should see your "hello world".

Other ConTeXt distributions

NOTE: This part needs to be checked if it is still up-to-date in 2019

As a Windows user, you can choose between the following installation alternatives:

  • ConTeXt standalone distribution
  • MikTeX
  • Texlive
  • W32TeX


Aditya Mahajan, Willi Egger: Beginners Tutorial ConTeXt. (PDF; 371 kB) 20. August 2008

Hans Hagen, Taco Hoekwater: ConTeXt Reference Manual. (PDF; 2,04 MB) 27. September 2013