Home / Definitions / Silent Installation

Silent Installation

Ali Azhar
Last Updated December 19, 2021 4:40 pm
Icon represents a silent install.
Source: pmicon for flaticon.com

A silent install is when an application or program is loaded to a user’s computer without any dialogs or user input after starting. This means once the installation starts, the user is not offered any options to change or edit the installation process. 

Many software applications rely on user input to complete the installation process. This includes user input such as target directory, confirmation to overwrite files, or other configuration options. 

Silent installation programs, on the other hand, predetermine all the required information so no input is needed from the user once the installation has started. If any user input is required, it is typically obtained before the installation starts. 

Silent installation works on Windows and UNIX systems. The disk space required for silent install and the temporary storage files are the same as the standard installation process. Once the installation is complete, a typical silent install program will not display any message that the installation has been completed. Similarly, if there is an installation failure, the silent install is typically designed to not notify the user. 

What are the benefits of silent install? 

Silent installation is a useful feature when uniformity is required during the installation process, or software distribution across a network needs to ensure all users have the same installation configurations.

Typically, alterations to the package’s properties file can be used by the network administrator to eliminate the need for user input across different machines. A property file stores the settings of different applications of the computer, providing a silent install program with all the required information needed to complete the setup without user involvement. 

For businesses, another advantage of silent mode is it doesn’t distract employees from their work. It also helps when the silent installation is designed to not need a computer restart to complete the installation process. Without needing to wait for user input, a silent install can be faster than a standard installation.

Are there any disadvantages to silent installation?

The silent install function provides administrators with flexibility and power for software deployment. However, there are certain viruses that are also designed to run in silent mode. Most of these kinds of viruses require an initial input such as clicking on a link or downloading a file, but after that initial input, the virus can be deployed in silent installation mode. Another disadvantage of silent mode is it might not alert the user when there is an issue with the installation process.