How to Install Software on a Computer

by Contributor

Modern computers make it very easy to install software. If you follow these steps, even complex programs can be running shortly after you obtain them.

Install Software on a Computer Using CD or DVD

Open the CD or DVD tray on your computer. The front of the drive is usually labeled to let you know which is which so you don't place the wrong media type into the wrong drive.

Place the installation disc in the drive and close it.

Wait for the Autorun function to begin. By default, most computers are set to automatically enable the Autorun feature. This starts the installation process without you doing anything. If the disc doesn't automatically start, access the disc through your operating system and double-click the "Setup" file.

Follow the onscreen commands as they appear during the installation process, and continue to click "Next" whenever you finish reading an installation page.

Select where you want the software to install. Each program will automatically default to a specific directory, but you can choose a different one or create your own using the "Browse" button.

Click "Finish" once you are satisfied with your choices and let the software install onto the computer. Don't open other tasks or windows during this process as it can interfere with the installation process.

Restart your computer when prompted. Some programs change your registry files or require certain files to be present during your computer's startup. Be sure you save your work first.

Install Software on a Computer Using a Downloaded Install File

Double-click on the installation file from the desktop or wherever you saved it on your computer.

Follow the instructions of the installation file just as you would the installation files of programs that are shipped on CD or DVD.

Back up the installation file to disc to store it in case you need to reinstall in the future. It is not always necessary to do so, as some companies allow you to re-access downloads in the event of a change, or data loss.


  • check Turn off other programs running on your computer whenever you install new software. Sometimes, software conflicts can arise, particularly when you are running anti-virus software.
  • check Email smaller installation files to yourself to back up files without having to waste a CD or floppy. This usually only works for files under 10 MB, so check with your email provider.

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