The Norman Transcript


March 24, 2013

Downloading, installing files: must-have computer skills



As an example, here’s how to download and install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. (1) Use your browser to visit Adobe’s website at and scroll down the right side of the page until you see the Adobe Flash Player download link. Click the link. (2) On the next page that appears, uncheck the box that allows “optional” add-ons like McAfee or Chrome and click “Download now.” (3) Choose and/or make note of the download location, because you will need to locate the downloaded file later, for installation.

Step 3 is usually the one that confuses file-downloading newbies the most. People complete the download stage, but don’t know where the downloaded file went, which prevents them from completing the download/install process. When you click the “download” link, pay attention to what happens. If you are using Firefox, it may have been preconfigured to download all files into a folder called “Downloads.” You need to be able to find that folder, so, it is sometimes a good idea to make sure you actually know how to find the Downloads folder before you begin the file downloading process.

You may also be given the option to choose the download destination. It doesn’t really matter that much what location you pick, as long as you make note of the location for future reference.

Be sure to remember the name of the downloaded file, too. I will often choose “Desktop” as the download destination because files located there are super-easy to find. Some people save downloaded files to their Documents or My Documents folders, because they already know how to get there.

If you use Internet Explorer as your browser, you may be given the option to “Run” (another word for “install”) the file. I rarely choose this option; downloading the file first, and then installing, gives more consistent results. Click the little arrow next to “Save,” choose “Save As,” pick your download location, and then move on to step 4.

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