Understanding How To Install Mac Apps Downloaded From Web Sites

Often when you download apps from third-party web sites you are given a disk image and need to do a drag-and-drop install of the app. New Mac users are sometimes not sure how this works and may not know what to do with the disk image or try to run the app while it is still in the disk image. Learn how to get the app into your Application folder and then run it from Launchpad, Spotlight or the Dock.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Understanding How To Install Mac Apps Downloaded From Web Sites”

    Jim Curtin
    4 years ago

    Often, when I drag an application to the trash folder, while the app is deleted, the Application Support files associated with the app, as well as preference files, container/group container files are not deleted. Do you have any suggestions as to how to completely remove the entire app and its associated files? Thank you.

    4 years ago

    Jim: This is becoming less and less of an issue. With Catalina, apps are supposed to put everything they use IN the app. So there shouldn't be much left over when you toss it. There may be some preferences, but those files would be very tiny and not worth worrying about. Usually if an app does install something else, then it also includes an official uninstaller and you should use that.

    Dave Hunter
    4 years ago

    I tried to unload an updated version of Flash but the computer refused to open it as being from an unapproved developer. Should I just accept that as a valid warning and stop trying?
    Thanks for great tips!

    4 years ago

    Dave: Did you get that updater from going to Adobe's actual site (not following a link) and download the real installer? The actual installer wouldn't say that.

    4 years ago

    So you can’t just double click anywhere to automatically install programs, the only way to do it is to drag and drop the program into the applications folder? Seems counterintuitive to me. The average user isn’t going to know that. There should be a “click here to install” icon somewhere in there.

    4 years ago

    Karl: You can if that is how that piece of software is set up. The developer can build an installer, sure. Many do. Some just use this method because it is all that is needed. Of course the "average user" is going to be using the Mac App Store, not a download.

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