NSIS Vs. InnoSetup

April 1, 2012


NSIS and InnoSetup are both open-source, license free installers. These are two of the most common installation platforms.  So which one should you choose for your software?

It is crucial to your software to find an installation platform that is simple and user-friendly but also customizable. We’ve blogged about the benefits of both NSIS and InnoSetup installers in the past, but how do they compare with each other? We’ll break down these differences by going through specific features of each installer.

Design: Which installer has a more impressive design?

You need an impressive installer design for your installer to look professional and lead to high take rates. Some say InnoSetup has a more professional appearance that NSIS, which can look like a multimedia feature or app. Others enjoy the brightly colored and animated design of the NSIS installer. Choosing between designs depends on your personal taste.

Script: Which type of script does each installer use?

The script is an important aspect of an installer, as you want to be able to customize it without it becoming too complicated. The NSIS script is procedural while Inno’s is declarative. InnoSetup uses a pascal script and a simple syntax, while NSIS requires you to write a dll in C or run a vbscript file and has a more complex syntax. For basic tasks, NSIS wiki provides code examples. Each line in the script includes a single command. More complicated tasks involve big scripts and long codes, although many people have expressed that the scripts are easy to learn and beneficial because they allow you to customize your installer.

Developers have emphasized the fact that Inno is faster to code in which you can specify where each file goes. Inno’s scripting language may require additional tools even though full Delphi source code is available. When choosing your installer, script is an important feature. Many people feel strongly about the scripting language they use, whether it is Pascal or an alternative script.

User-Friendly: Which installer is more user friendly? Do they both generate uninstallers?

It is crucial for an installer to be user friendly and intuitive. NSIS does not require users to download software in the way that InnoSetup does. InnoSetup does offer a silent install and uninstall. For Inno, the uninstall feature comes automatically whereas for NSIS you have to manually create the uninstall capability.

Popularity & Community: Which installer is more popular? Who uses NSIS and who uses Inno?

Both platforms have their own communities and loyal users. NSIS is popular among famous users such as Google, Mozilla,, and Flickr. NSIS also provides community support on both their forums and their Wikipedia page. Inno’s websites offers helpful resources as well.

So, which installer is better? It depends on your personal preferences in terms of design, script, capabilities, and popularity. The biggest difference between the two platforms is the script style- NSIS has a customized procedural script, whereas Inno has a declarative type of script. Lucky for you, BetterInstaller offers deep integration with both types of installers. We are here to cater to your needs, no matter what your platform preferences are. We want you to focus on your products and monetization. To sign up for free and start earning more revenue today, click here and view our partner plans.


About nora

Nora is one of our bloggers; knowledgeable on all things software, IT, and the world wide web. In her free time, she likes to cook, dance, read on her e-reader, and pin!  ,  ,  ,  ,

3 Comment(s)
  1. WAZAAAAA April 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I’ve tested both and InnoSetup is just better from what I’ve seen.
    With the step by step wizard making a setup is easier, it has no silly size limitations on big setups and in my opinion it looks more professional.

  2. truth September 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I have never read such a silly and totally rubbish article in my whole life.
    innosetup is just far better than NSIS, its just that simple.

  3. FarrukhWaheed January 6, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Thanks Nora. It is basically a very nice article and giving a nice for a good start.
    I’ve used NSIS a lot and found it very useful. But I do like Inno’s scripting just because of its syntax, however, I’m quite used to Nsis because of its grealy available ready made and helpful scripts.


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