Having recently needed to upgrade my version of NPM on a Windows machine, without upgrading my Node.js installation, I came across this excellent tool for doing just that without following a complex set of steps. Adding it here for others to find and for me to remember 🙂
The tool is called npm-windows-upgrade and can be found on GitHub. The tool simplifies the numerous steps previously required on Windows and is now the recommended approach by the NPM team.
In the end I ran this tool several times to test out various versions and it worked well, upgrading NPM in place successfully.