Moving to Mac Guide: Part 2 – How to Install Apps

A new Mac comes with a bunch of useful pre-installed programs, but you might want to install some additional software like an alternative browser (such as Chrome, Firefox or Opera.), an instant messenger client (like Adium or MSN) and, of course, some games!

This raises the question: How do I install software on a Mac? Is installation of Mac software similar to Windows?


Installing is easy

You can get Mac software on a CD/DVD, download it from the web (such as from Softonic) or use the Apple Mac App Store.

When you insert a CD/DVD into your optical drive, it mounts automatically and the icon appears on your desktop and in the left column in Finder. You just need to click the drive icon and you’ll find the program in it. If you want to install the app, drag its icon to your application folder.

Programs downloaded from the internet are normally in .DMG format. It is a virtual drive that can be mounted on your desktop by double clicking it. It acts just like an average CD/DVD. To install the software you need, just drag the program icon to your applications folder and you’re done!

The easiest way to install Mac software is by getting apps from the Mac App Store. In order to use it, you must have an Apple ID with a connected credit card. When you choose an app you want to buy or download, you just click the corresponding button and it automatically downloads to your computer. It appears in your Applications folder or, if you are using Lion, in your Launcher.



Uninstalling isn’t that easy

Theoretically, uninstalling an app is as easy as installing it. You should just drag the app from your Applications folder into the Trash. This generally works, but sometimes not all the files related to the program are removed. If you regularly install a lot of software, you’ll need a better solution. I use AppCleaner, which looks for all files related to the app you’re deleting. If anything is found, you can decide whether to keep it or delete it.

It’s an easy solution, but there are others which do pretty much the same job such as AppZapper or AppDelete.

Tricky preference panes

Sometimes extensions or other add-ons install as a Preference panes and reside in the Preferences window – Perian and  Growl are two examples.

Installing them is really easy. Just double click the file and it installs automatically. However, you can’t drag preference panes into the trash to remove them. To uninstall a preference pane, just right-click on it and choose Delete the preference pane.

Part 1 of Moving to Mac

[This series was produced in association with OnSoftware ES and IT]

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