In general, the programs use the latest version currently available is 4.8. But if we are installing an older application that has not been updated yet, we may need to install an older version. And is that .NET Framework 3.5, despite the years, will not disappear anytime soon. Some old apps still require it to work and until all apps update the requirements, we will still use it to support these legacy apps.
In this case, we must bear in mind that .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 is a cumulative update It contains many new features for the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5, and includes cumulative updates for 2.0 Service Pack 2 and 3.0 Service Pack 2.
How many versions are there in total
Microsoft began the process of developing this programming model in the 90s, launching version 1.0 in 2002. Later, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 followed suit (not counting the intermediate Service Packs). Currently 4.8 has been the last to arrive seeing the light in April 2019.
Each of these versions has some characteristics of its previous versions, just with the new ones. Inside NET. Framework is also incorporated CLR (Common Language Runtime) that includes both the basic components along with other traditional as well as base and managed class libraries. The CLR has its own version and it does not always match the NET version that we are using.
Which one should I use
It is generally always important to install the latest version available. But, as we have commented previously, it is possible to have different versions installed, so if we do not need the last one, we must have the previous one. We simply have to verify the requirements of the application where it will indicate which version it requires that we have installed for it to work. In this case, as version 3.5 also includes all the previous ones, having it installed covers the possibility that we can run older applications that have not yet updated to version 4.8.
Should I uninstall other versions?
The .NET Framework is the basis of operation of many programs developed by Microsoft. That is why generally we should not uninstall any version and keep them on the team. Since older applications are based on older versions, they need it to function properly. In other words, different programs can use different frameworks, so the best option is to leave them installed. Also, every time a program asks us to download a version that we do not have, we must install it for it to work. In addition, they hardly take up space so keeping it installed will not affect disk storage.
How do they update?
The updates model since the Windows 10 October 2018 Update have become cumulative, achieving greater flexibility when installing the components, increasing the capacity to act in the event of serious incidents. Also, these are independent, so they are done independently of Windows
Thus, the operating system itself is responsible for automatically updating the most recent version when needed. For example, if we install an application that requires it, Windows will install it for us. In the same way, we can also install the most recent versions manually, downloading its executable file, as we will see below
Download and activate
There are two ways to download the .NET Framework. On the one hand, it is pre-installed in Windows 10 and 11, so it can be downloaded from the Control Panel. On the other hand, in case we have uninstalled it or for any reason it is not available, we can download any .NET Framework from Microsoft’s own website.
Download from Microsoft website
Downloading from the Microsoft website will allow us to download any specific version of .NET, also called redistributable packages. This is especially useful for programmers who want to get their work done under a specific version of the development environment.
To do this, it will only be necessary to click on this link on the official download page from where we can download the file we need, as we will have different versions available, from the most current to older ones. Here, we select the version that we want to download and click on the Download button. This will make us download an exe file which we must execute.
Activate from Control Panel
In the event that we have it installed we can also activate it directly from the Control Panel. To do this we press the key combination «Windows + R» which will launch the command «Execute». Here we write «Control Panel» and press Enter or the OK button.
Later we click on the “Programs” section. On the next screen, we click on “Enable or disable Windows features”.
In the new floating window we must mark the sections of “.Net Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 3.0 and NET 2.0)” and “.NET Framework 4.8 Advanced Services”. Finally, click on “Accept” and follow the instructions that appear on the screen to complete your activation.