For Seniors: Install and Launch a Windows Program on Your Laptop
Your laptop came with Windows 8.1 or another operating system installed, as well as several other programs. For example, Windows computers usually have the Microsoft browser, Internet Explorer, pre-installed, as well as apps for accessing e-mail, weather, news, and more.
These pre-installed programs get you started, but you’re likely to want to install other programs such as games or a financial management program such as Quicken.
Today you buy software in a couple of ways: You can buy a packaged product, which includes a CD or DVD disc, or you can buy software online and download it directly to your laptop. There are also apps you can use in the cloud (that is, you use them from an online source without ever installing them on your computer).
Assuming you either buy a CD/DVD or download and install the program, here’s how the installation process varies, based on which option you choose:
If you buy a boxed product, you simply take out the disc, insert it into the CD/DVD drive of your laptop (or an external DVD drive), and then follow the onscreen instructions. If no instructions appear, you should open File Explorer (click the File Explorer icon on the Desktop), locate your CD/DVD drive on the computer, and double-click the program name.
This should launch a wizard (a set of instructions that walk you through the steps) for the installation. If your laptop doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive, as many smaller, lighter ones don’t, you can plug in an external CD/DVD drive using a USB port; these are not that expensive and will come in very handy.
If you purchase software online at a store such as Amazon or Newegg, or from a software manufacturer’s site, you simply click the appropriate button to buy the product, follow directions to pay for it, and then download the product. Typically during this process you will see a dialog box that asks if you want to save or run the program. Running it should start the installation.
If you want to buy an app through the Windows Store, simply click the Store tile on the Start screen. In the page that appears, enter an app name in the Search For Apps field and click the Search button. Click on an app and buy it.
Launch a program by using any of the following methods:
Click a tile on the Start screen.
Click the All Apps button on the Start screen. This displays a list of apps arranged in categories such as Windows Accessories and Windows Ease of Access. Click an app to open it.
Double-click a program shortcut icon on the Desktop.
Click an item on the Desktop taskbar. The taskbar should display by default; if it doesn’t, move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the screen to display it, and then click an icon on the taskbar.
When the application opens, if it’s a game, play it; if it’s a spreadsheet, enter numbers into it; if it’s your e-mail program, start deleting junk mail you get the idea.