Installing Apps - Mac OS X

Software installation on a Mac is not the same as doing it on Windows. There are a few ways to install apps on Mac and you choose how to do it depending on what you want to install. If you are new Mac user, you must be wondering about several things such as where do I find apps not found in Mac App Store and what does DMG file mean? Another thing that you are likely not to understand is the reason to open an app before dragging and dropping the icon.

Related: 5 Good Reasons to Switch from PC to Mac

The Mac App Store

The OS X is the latest Mac and its app store is similar to the iPad and iPhone App Store. You simply open the store and choose the apps you want and install them in your Mac. The apps update automatically, but you may not find some apps in the store.

Installing Apps - Twitter on Mac

This is usually caused by a number of reasons. They include limitation due to sandboxing done by the Mac App store. It protects the users but makes it impossible to access some software. This limitation makes most Mac users get apps away from the device’s app store.

What are DMG files?

DMG file can be described as a disk image that resembles an archived file. This is what you download when you visit the Mac app site to get an application. You simply double click on it after downloading and it mounts, which enables you to get the application in it.  After its amounted, you can find it in Finder, under Devices.  You drag and drop the icon and its goes to your computer’s application folder. You must choose to install it because DMG cannot do it automatically.  When you download the app for the first time, a warning will come up, just open and the warning will not appear again. The app is installed.

Mac OS - DMG Files

Application Files

Apart from using DMG files, you can go for Application file. It is downloaded and you drag and drop it from downloads folder to your Application folder. This is easy, you can double click on the app to install it and it’s ready for use.

Mac OS - Hip Chat

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You get some apps in archived files, which have extensions such as .tbz, .tar or .gz. To get the file, you simply double click on it and its content will be extracted automatically by the Archive Utility. Drag and drop into the Application folder.

Mac OS - Archives


You will find that some applications such as Microsoft Office have installers that resemble those of Windows. This means when you want to install something like the Google Video and voice plug-in, you have to get a DMG file, open it and double click on the installer. The best thing with the installer is that it does other things such as placing files in other places in your computer and setting up system services.

Follow those simple steps and you will get you apps installed and ready to work in a few minutes.

Related: 4 Overwhelming Mac OS X Hidden Features

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