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Chapter 3. Downloading Files Using Inter... > Installing a Downloaded Application

Installing a Downloaded Application

After the file has been downloaded to your computer, you can install the software. Because most software you download from the Web has been compressed to speed up download times, you must have WinZip (see the WinZip tip in this section) or some file compression/decompression utility installed on your computer that you can use to decompress the installation files.


WinZip WinZip is a tool that is used to "zip" (compress) and "unzip" (decompress) files that you download from the Web. Files that you download are typically zipped so that they don't take up a lot of space on the Web server that stores them and so that you can download them faster. You can download WinZip from http://Shareware.com and the WinZip site at http://www.winzip.com. If you are using Microsoft Windows Me or Microsoft Windows 2000 (or even Windows XP), a Zip-compatible tool is built into Windows Explorer, which makes it easy for you to open compressed files without installing WinZip or another zip program.

Unzipping a Downloaded File

Unzipping downloaded files from the Web is usually a very straightforward process that can be done using Windows Explorer and a zip utility such as WinZip to unzip the files. The file you downloaded is actually a group of files called an archive. This archive contains all the files you need to install the application you downloaded. Zip archives appear as a single file icon in Windows Explorer.

To unzip an application you've downloaded from the Web, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on your Windows desktop and choose Explorer from the shortcut menu that appears (Windows Explorer opens).

  2. In the left pane of the Internet Explorer window, click the drive that the downloaded file resides on.

  3. In the right pane of Internet Explorer, double-click the folder that holds the file.

  4. Locate the downloaded file and double-click it.

  5. If you have a WinZip-compatible compression program installed on your system, Windows opens that program and displays the contents of the compressed file (see Figure 3.3). If you're using WinZip, you can extract the compressed files by clicking the Extract button on the WinZip toolbar.

  6. Specify a folder in the Extract dialog box that you want WinZip to place the extracted files into (such as your Windows Temporary folder).

  7. Click Extract to extract the files to the specified folder.


Some Downloaded Files Are Zipped and Some Are Not Some applications you download from the Web aren't zipped, but they are contained in autoexecutable compressed files. Just double-click their icons in the folders that they were downloaded to. This begins the installation process. If you are using a version of Windows that supports compressed folders (the Microsoft version of Zip), you can even double-click zipped files and copy their contents to a new location in the Windows Explorer window.

Figure 3.3. WinZip opens the compressed file archive you downloaded.

Installing the Unzipped Application

After you've unzipped the file archive to a particular folder, you can then use the Windows Run dialog box to install the software. The installation process for the software you downloaded is the same or very similar to software that you bought on disk or on a CD.

After the application is installed on your computer, you can start it by clicking the Start button, pointing at Programs, and then clicking the icon for that particular application. Some applications also install a shortcut icon on the desktop that you can use to start the application. You can now use the software the same as you would any other software application.

Remember that you might be bound to certain restrictions when you are using shareware products. For example, you might be limited to a 30-day trial period. If you have any questions regarding the software, the best place to start is the help system provided with the particular application.

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