Every so often someone asks me “How do I install this application on my Mac?” I must admit, I was also a little confused when I switched to Mac, so a little help from a friend was as good as gold.
There are a few ways to install applications on Mac. The most common one is with a dmg file, or the disk image. In an example below, we’ll try to install ImageWell, a nice little application that I use to edit images for this website, including the ones below.
First we download the application. The file is called imagewell3r241.dmg and will be saved onto the desktop. Now double-click the file, this will mount the disk image in this case called imagewell3. It looks like a little hard drive on your desktop.
You need to double-click this icon in order to view the contents, that’s where all-important application is. Once you double-click, you will see this
That is your application. Now, all you need to do is to click and drag the icon into your Applications folder. There are two ways of doing this;
One is to key Command-N (Apple-N) on your keyboard to open another finder window. Then drag the icon from the window above to the Applications folder in the newly opened one.
The other way is to click on the jelly-bean to expand the existing window.
The window now turns into the normal Finder window where you can finally do your click-and-drag installation.
Once done, you will see your application listed in the Application folder.
To start it, just double-click the icon and the application starts.
If you want to have the application icon in your Dock, you can do it in two ways:
From the Applications folder, click the icon, drag it to the Dock and drop it there. Or you can start the application, the icon will appear in the Dock and you can right-click on it and select Keep in Dock.
Once you close the application, the icon will stay in the Dock.
And one more thing, the disk image on your desktop – it must go. OK, you can leave it there, it won’t do any harm, but it will look like an empty milk bottle on your coffee table. So, let’s get rid of it.
There are three ways of doing this;
- you select it and then press Command-E on your keyboard,
- right-click on it and select “Eject”, or
- click and drag it to your trash can. (trash can will look like an eject button for the moment)
Another way of installing an application is by using the installation package.
The process is somewhat similar to the one described above; you download the file, mount it on the desktop, but when you open the disk image you may see a file with extension .pkg (e.g. msnmsgr.pkg). Double-click this file and the installer will take you through easy-to-follow process.
One thing to keep in mind, and this is the case for both installation methods, if the application needs to modify system files – it will ask you for the administrator username and password. Be careful here, I’d think twice before doing this with some applications of doubtful origin.
[tags] installing, application, program, Mac, OS X [/tags]