Install SWI-Prolog development version on Windows 10

I know this has a lot of detail and images, but it was made for people tying to install SWI-Prolog for the first time.

While this uses the development version of the software as an example, the steps are almost identical for the stable version.

Also Microsoft makes it hard to install applications that it doesn’t consider secure, this is evident as shown in step 9 where clicking on More info is not a customary step when installing software.

Note: SWI-Prolog does not require the previous version be uninstalled. If a previous version is installed then during the install an additional dialog will appear asking if you want to uninstall the previous version. You can answer either Yes or No depending upon your preference; the install should complete successfully either way.

  1. Using an Internet browser navigate to SWI-Prolog home page: https://www.swi-prolog.org/

  2. Mouse over Download


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  3. Click SWI-Prolog
    This will take you download page: https://www.swi-prolog.org/Download.html

  4. Under Available versions click Development release
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    This will take you to SWI-Prolog development downloads page: https://www.swi-prolog.org/download/devel

  5. Under Binaries click on the (64-bit) version. For this example it currently is SWI-Prolog 8.1.12-1 for Microsoft Windows (64 bit)

  6. For the notification page (Note the version numbers are different in the screen shot than the rest of the example because the image was taken for an edit to this post).


    a. Select I understand
    b. Click Download swipl-8.1.12-1.x64.exe

  7. This will open a Save As dialog on Windows. Select a directory and click Save

    In the lower left of the Internet browser screen a dialog will appear with the name of the file
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  8. Click on the image and select Open
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    A Windows security dialog should appear
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Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.

  1. Click More info to reveal the option to run the executable to install SWI-Prolog

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  1. Click Run anyway
    This will open a User Account Control dialog (Sorry for not getting an image, would have to disable some security features to get it).

  2. Click Yes
    This will start the install wizard.
    Note: If there was a previous version of SWI-Prolog installed a dialog will ask
    Do you want to uninstall the old version before installing the new one?
    Either Yes or No is fine.

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  1. Click Next

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  1. Click I Agree

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  1. Click Next

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  1. Click Next

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  1. Click Next

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  1. Click Install

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17 a. If during the install you get a dialog noting
Error opening file for writing: ...

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Check to make sure you do not have an application with a lock on a file in the directory, e.g. File Explorer is open to the directory C:\Program Files\swipl and clear the lock. If you can not find the lock then a reboot is necessary.

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  1. Click Finish

To start SWI-Prolog

In lower left click on start button image
Then at top of dialog

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click SWI-Prolog

This will start SWI-Prolog console

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There are also the current stable version and older stable versions.


How to uninstall SWI-Prolog.

Note: SWI-Prolog does not require the previous version be uninstalled. If a previous version is installed then during the install an additional dialog will appear asking if you want to uninstall the previous version. You can answer either Yes or No depending upon your preference; the install should complete successfully either way.

  1. Using Windows File Explorer navigate to C:\Program Files\swipl
  2. Click on Uninstall.exe
  3. For User Account Control dialog click Yes.
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    4 Click Uninstall
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  4. Click Close
    NB The directory should be either empty or have only a few files left in it. During this example the only file left was C:\Program Files\swipl\boot64.prc
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