Computing Guide 5: Downloading and Installing Software

Installing Software

The first computer courses have certainly paid off. If you are already able to explore the intricacies of your computer, it is now time to learn how to download, install and uninstall software .

These additional programs allow you to perform a whole bunch of computer operations, from managing your accounts to music creation, to photo editing. These are computer tools that are added to the system. You then adopt or delete them.

How to download software?

While it is possible to install programs from a CD or DVD, the Internet remains the shortest way to discover new applications for your PC. The Web offers users a myriad of software. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is always good to refer to a trustworthy site, which tests and classifies programs, as we do every day at Softonic

To do this, open your Internet browser ( Internet Explorer , Firefox , Google Chrome …) and then type in the address bar

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To discover new software adapted to your needs, two possibilities are available: use the search engine of the site or browse the different categories.

1a. Search programs on Softonic

The search engine allows you to find and even discover new applications based on the keywords you type. To display the results, simply validate your search in the bar provided by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

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If you want to get your hands on a particular program, simply enter your name and then search.

If you want to discover new products or alternatives, you can also type a series of keywords such as:

  • Engraving software
  • Download youtube videos
  • Create Photo Albums

1b. Browse Categories

Another way to download the right tools to install on your PC is to navigate to Softonic using the categories system , in which is located all the programs tested by the editorial staff. To find the titles of each category, go to the left part of the screen, under the Softonic logo.

Softonic GUARANTEED Softonic does not allow the inclusion of any crack, serial or keygen.

Categories are organized hierarchically. Each level acts as a filter. For example, under Office, the Administration category is hidden , which includes the Office Suites , Word Processing , Spreadsheets and Calculators subcategories .

2. Filter the results

Once your search is complete, a list of software appears on the screen. By default, these are categorized by number of weekly downloads, to highlight the most popular programs of the moment.

To sort them in a different way, simply click on the “Sort by” pull-down menu and then select the variable you are interested in.

Beginner's Computer Guide Episode 5

  • Name: sort by alphabetical order
  • Date: sort by publication date
  • Downloads: sort by downloads
  • Softonic rating: sorting by rating Softonic. Each software is awarded an overall evaluation score following the test carried out by the editorial staff
  • User rating: User rating (out of 5) The more the software has been noted by the community, the more it will appear in the first positions.

To filter even more content, an option called “Filter by” allows you, for example, to search only for software in French or those compatible with Windows 7.

Softonic does not allow the inclusion of any crack, serial or keygen.

3. Download software

Once you have made your choice on a particular software, you can click on the link to access the full description of the application . The software page contains a complete description of the tests carried out by the editor, the different screenshots taken, the Softonic rating and user comments.

The software seems to meet all of your expectations? It is then time to upload . Click the green “Download” button.


The program download page appears on the screen. Two options are available: downloading the installation file from our servers or downloading the software from the publisher’s website.

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To start the download, click on the link of your choice then choose the destination of the installation file (prefer the disk C: of your hard disk, traditionally reserved for the programs).

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To download the application from our servers, Softonic offers you to launch the SoftonicDownloader , a computer tool that gives you privileged and secure access to all software tested by the editorial staff.

IMPORTANT! : The file available via the SoftonicDownloader is tested by 30 powerful and recognized antivirus engines. It does not contain any spyware and does not install any malware on your computer. This is the Softonic Guarantee .

The wait time varies depending on the quality of your connection and the size of the application. It is now time to prepare for the second step of the process: installing the software .

How to install a software

After the download is complete, you must navigate to the destination folder of the file . If it is an installation file – very often punctuated by the suffix .exe – a double click is enough to launch the wizard . There are different types of installation files, but they all respond to the same logic.

The main part of the window contains important information that you must consult before continuing the installation of the program. At the bottom of the screen are the “Next”, “Previous” and “Cancel” buttons.

Click “Next” to scroll through the process steps. Please take the time to review the information on the screen: the downloaded application may not meet your needs. To cancel the installation process, simply click “Cancel”.

Here are the different steps generally proposed by the installation wizards:

License agreement

License agreement

The propriety would require the user to read the license agreement from A to Z before using the software. In practice, many of us simply check the box “I agree” or “I agree” to go to the next step. Keep in mind that when you accept the terms of the contract, it is all the clauses stipulated by the contract.

Curiosity: The EULAlyzer software analyzes the legal text on the screen to keep only the essential

Selection of components

Selection of components

Many software packages offer additional components . Free to install them to take advantage of additional features. To accept the installation of these modules, simply check the options that interest you and uncheck the items you do not want to use.

If you want to simplify your life, the majority of installation wizards offer a recommended , fully automated installation .

Installation folder


Most of the time, the installation wizard lets you choose the destination folder of the application . It is in the latter that you will find all the files of the program. The default selection is usually the correct one. If your C: drive is full, you can change the destination folder and prefer another disk. Then click “Next”.

Shortcut from the Start menu

Start menu

In general, the installation wizards also suggest that you create shortcuts or direct accesses to the Start Menu and / or the Desktop. By default, the recommended configuration includes creating direct access from the Start Menu. It takes the name of the software and its icon.

Loading installation

Loading installation

Wait until the installation is nearing completion.

How to uninstall software

Are your software running too much disk space? Does any application no longer meet your expectations? It is time to uninstall the software . Uninstallation is a very simple operation, even simpler than installation.

Click the Start menu and go to Control Panel .

Guide to Computer Science Episode 5

If you are using Windows 7 , click on “Programs and Features”. If you are using Windows XP, you can access the uninstall options from the “Add / Remove Programs” tab.

Guide to Computer Science Episode 5

The window that appears on the screen shows all the programs installed on the PC.

Guide to Computer Science Episode 5

Clicking on the software you want to remove will bring up the Uninstall option. Then, you only have to follow the steps to remove the program from the system. Some programs like Revo Uninstaller (adopted by Softonic) perform this task more effectively than the default Windows tool.

Important: If you do not know what the software is, it is wise not to uninstall it. The application may be an indispensable component for your operating system.

Other episodes

Do not hesitate to consult the other chapters of our computer guide for beginners:

  • Chapter 1: Switching the PC on and off (PDF version)
  • Chapter 2: Mouse and Keyboard (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 3: Files and Folders (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 4: Changing Display Settings (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 5: Downloading and Installing Software (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 6: Internet and web pages (PDF version)
  • Chapter 7: E-mail (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 8: Computer Security (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 9: MSN and Skype, Chat and VoIP (PDF Version)
  • Chapter 10: Facebook for Dummies (PDF version)

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