How to get started with Nano on Windows

GNU nano is a great text editor for developers who work on Linux, but did you know it can run on Windows too? This guide will show you how to install GNU nano on Windows to make your text editing experience seamless.

Let’s get started!

To install nano on Linux, use apt-get, which will get everything up and running in no time. Installing it on Windows isn’t as straightforward, however.

To install nano on Windows:

First, click here to download nano from

Next, rename the file to nano.exe and move it to your preferred folder.

And then finally, make nano available everywhere via the command line:

For Windows 10 and 8:

  1. Type “Edit environment variables”
  2. Open the option “Edit the system environment variables.”
  3. Click the “Environment variables…” button
  4. You will see two boxes in the “System Variables” box; find the path variable.
  5. Click “Edit”
  6. A Window will then pop up. Click the “New” button.
  7. Type the folder path of your .exe or batch file
  8. Click “Ok” on all open windows
  9. Restart the command prompt.

About GNU nano

GNU nano is a text editor. It’s designed to be simple for beginners and powerful enough for experts, making it an ideal choice of text editor for everyone. Furthermore, the GNU nano editor is free software, which means it’s free to download and use; you can also freely share it with others.

Another popular text editor is Vim. It is one of the most popular text editors globally, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a lot of powerful features that can increase your productivity. However, nano may be easier to get into if you want something easy to use and feature-rich.

Visit if you want more information.

GNU Nano Cheat Sheet

File handling

Ctrl+S   Save current file
Ctrl+OSave the current file as
Ctrl+RInsert a file into the current one
Ctrl+XClose buffer, exit from nano
File handling cheat sheet for GNU Nano


Ctrl+K   Cut current line
Alt+6Copy the current line
Alt+UUndo the last action
Alt+ERedo the last undone action
Editing cheat sheet for GNU Nano

Search and replace

Ctrl+Q   Start backward search
Ctrl+WStart forward search
Search cheat sheet for GNU Nano

Visit the official cheat sheet for the full list.

Wrapping up

If you’re a Windows user who has been hesitant to try nano because of the installation process, we urge you to give it a go. The benefits are worth the effort, and we promise you won’t want to go back once you start using nano for windows. With just a little setup time, you can have a seamless text editing experience between Linux and Windows systems on your computer.

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Having started his career in 1999 as a Desktop Support Engineer, Anto soon changed paths and became a developer. After several years of development experience, he transitioned into a consultant. As an enterprise application consultant for a leading SaaS software provider, Anto specializes in AWS's serverless technologies. By day, Anto focuses on helping customers leverage the power of serverless technologies. By night, he indulges his passion for cloud computing by playing with Python and trying out things that are currently beyond the scope of his work. Sometimes Anto needs help as there are not enough hours at night. So Anto relies on a team of fellow Cloud enthusiasts to help him out. Each one is a Cloud expert in their own right, and Anto takes great pride in helping them learn and grow.

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